General Motors to takeover Saab's Canadian operations


TORONTO -- General Motors of Canada said Tuesday it will takeover the Canadian operations of Sweden-based Saab Automotive AB and merge it with its Passport division in September.

At a joint press conference, GM president George Peapples and Saab president David Herman said Passport dealers will become the sole Canadian distributor of the Saab 900 and 9000 series.


Peapples said it was 'a natural marriage' between two carmakers intent on distributing a top quality, high performance car.

GM's Passport dealers in Canada currently carry the Impulse, Trooper and Pickup models from Isuzu of Japan, and the Optima which is an Opel design manufactured by Daewoo of South Korea.

Herman said the decision to distribute its cars through Passport was 'a well planned, timely and responsive initiative.'

'Considering the size of the country and the Canadian market, it has for some time been clear that current sales levels .... (were) not sufficient to warrant a separate organization,' Herman said.


There are about 10,000 Saab car owners in Canada with annual sales in the 1,000 to 1,200 range.

Herman said Saab wants to focus its attention on increasing sales in the United States and West Germany. In 1989, Saab sold 31,300 cars in the U.S. and 6,000 in West Germany. Worldwide sales totalled 109,500 cars.

A number of Saab's 32 dealers are expected to switch over to Passport, which expects to have 85 dealerships up and running by the end of 1990, Peapples said.

Peapples said Passport hopes to push Saab's annual sales to between 2,000 and 2,500 cars over the next few years.NEWLN:Some of Saab-Scania's 39 employees will be offered jobs at Passport, said Ulf Bundell, president of Saab-Scania.NEWLN:0302 WORDS FILED AS nff0223NEWLN:ind nff .. ...cleanairNEWLN:nff0221 bc-cleanair:710p 0600 m. V057F-- df n F-nat0291 F-byodxx. NEWLN: pcc yfcndxx. xxxxxxxx m. to nff nbw din cin d f bc-3M:805ped 5-8 NEWLN: 3M expects higher sales and earnings

ST. PAUL, Minn. (UPI) -- The Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. will post higher sales and earnings this year despite slow U.S. economic growth, Allen F. Jacobson, 3M chairman and chief executive officer, predicted Tuesday.

Jacobson told stockholders at the company's annual meeting that 1990 results will benefit from contuinued strong international volume growth, production-improvement efforts, smaller currency effects and a lower tax rate.


'This would mark the company's fifth consecutive year of higher earnings,' he said. 'During the past four years, the company has increased earnings 87 percent.'

Jacbson said 3M still invests heavily in research. 'Technology is one of our greatest strengths,' he said. 'We invest 6.5 cents of every sales dollar in research and development. That's far ahead of the average in U.S. industry.'NEWLN:0151 WORDS FILED AS nff0230NEWLN: pcc yfccdct. m. to nff nbw bin r f bc-earn-hartford:810ped 4-8 NEWLN: The Hartford posts higher income

HARTFORD, Conn. (UPI) -- ITT Hartford Insurance Group Tuesday reported first-quarter net income rose 4 percent to $68 million from $66 million in the same period last year on the strength of its

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Donald R. Frahm attributed the results to the strength of the company's life insurance operations. Results improved despite the soft North American property-casualty market, he said.

'Retaining our commercial insurance accounts at responsible rate levels remains our priority,' said Frahm.

Written premiums for The Hartford's worldwide insurance operations declined 1 percent to $1.8 billion.

The company's combined ratio -- claims and other expenses as a percentage of property-casualty premiums -- was 107.5 percent in the first quarter, compared with 107.1 percent in the same period in 1989.


The Hartford's net investment income for worldwide property-casualty operations increased to $161 million, up 4 percent from last year. Total assets were more than $28 billion at the end of the first quarter.

A subsidiary of ITT Corp., the insurance company now identifies itself as ITT Hartford and reports per share earnings as part of ITT Corp.'s results.

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