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Tue, Feb 25, 2003 - Page 12 News List

World business quick take

Automakers

Small Cadi sold in Japan

General Motors Corp will start selling its new baby-size Cadillac in Japan next month in an effort to challenge domestic makers in the highly competitive entry-level luxury segment, company officials said yesterday. The Cadillac CTS will roll into Japanese showrooms March 8 and start at Japanese Yen 4.95 million (US$42,000) for a model that includes a navigation system, CD player and side air bags as standard features. The CTS starts at US$35,000 in the US but does not include all the features of the Japanese version, which will come in both right-hand and left-hand drive models. Japanese people have generally favored Mercedes and BMW models over the Cadillac because of a severe image problem American cars have suffered here as poor quality gas-guzzlers. Only some 600 Cadillacs were sold in Japan last year.

Asian economy

Vietnam to be highlighted

Government and business leaders from the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US will gather in Hanoi next week at a conference examining Vietnam's role in the Asian economy, organizers said yesterday. Former top US diplomat Richard Holbrooke, Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile and Robert Madelin, director of the European Commission's trade department, are due to speak at the March 5 through March 7 meeting. Organized by the Asia Society, the conference will study the implications of the US-Vietnam bilateral trade agreement which came into force in December 2001 and the Mekong region's emergence as a key player in the Asian economy. The New York-headquartered organisation said other topics would include the communist nation's continuing transition to a market economy, the development of its private sector and its efforts to attract foreign investment.

Car systems

Toyota to supply Fuji

Toyota Motor Corp, the world's third-largest automaker, will supply Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd with its G-Book in-car navigation and Internet access system, the companies said in a release. The agreement will help Toyota and Fuji, maker of Subaru cars, cut development costs. Toyota will start supplying the systems for Fuji Heavy's domestic models nest year, the companies said. The release didn't provide financial details. Automakers are starting to fit their vehicles with electronic information terminals to generate monthly subscription fees. Toyota plans to use its system to increase sales in Japan and win more customers from its biggest domestic rivals, Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co. Toyota's G-Book system offers drivers access to digital maps, roadside help services and e-mail.

Record labels

EMI in talks with Warner

EMI Group Plc, the world's third-largest music company, is in talks to acquire a majority stake in AOL Time Warner Inc's Warner Music, which would create a company with 22 percent of new releases in the US, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the talks. An agreement could be worth as much as US$4 billion, but the talks are preliminary and may break down, the newspaper said. EMI's stable of artists includes Norah Jones, a winner of eight Grammy awards, and Robbie Williams, the former boy-band singer who signed a new contract last October worth US$125 million.

Agencies

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