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No. 356, May 1999

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American Companies in Japan


TRANSPORTATION EQUIPMENT

For any number of reasons, the expansion of SATURN CORP.'s dealer network is not proceeding as fast as the company's subsidiary had planned. However, it has signed up the 17th Saturn dealer. In October, AMIC CORP. will open a store in Maebashi, Gunma prefecture, north of Tokyo. It will be Saturn's 22nd dealership. The subsidiary hopes to make Saturn a more marketable nameplate this fall when it introduces the first midsized cars from the GENERAL MOTORS CORP. affiliate. The engine in the L series has a displacement of 2.2 liters versus the 1.9-liter engine that powers Saturn's small cars.

The huge Visteon Automotive Systems parts unit of FORD MOTOR CO. has opened its fifth sales and service center in Japan. The newest location, intended to expand sales to HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD., is in Utsunomiya, Tochigi prefecture. It will be equipped with five CAD/CAM workstations to tailor products to Honda's specifications as well as a videoconferencing system. Last year, Visteon established a sales and service center in Aichi prefecture to work with TOYOTA MOTOR CORP. It also has similar facilities at its Asian Pacific headquarters in Yokohama and at two places in Hiroshima prefecture. .....In the meantime, FORD MOTOR CO.'s Visteon Automotive Systems awarded a two- year contract to SUMINO KOGYO CO., LTD. of Hiroshima to make an ignition coil bracket for MAZDA MOTOR CORP. vehicles.

An exchange rate of ¥120=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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