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Automotive and Insurance Industry News


Auto Suppliers Feel the Heat to Expand Globally 

DETROIT, March 8/ -- Manufacturing wonít disappear in Europe and North America but it will undergo some relocating. The development of emerging markets and the need to compete with peers in low-cost countries will draw more automotive manufacturing investments into the south of the U.S. and Mexico and toward Asia and Eastern Europe. 

In a study conducted by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, the company found that movement to low labor cost locations is the highest priority for suppliers.  North America and Western Europe will lose 11% to 20% of their global supplier production share by the end of 2010, as automotive supplier production in Asia and Eastern Europe will soar. 


ZAP Electric Cars Save Gas, Save Money 

SANTA ROSA, Calif., March 8 / -- Gas prices are hitting record highs, and while you may not be able to get them from major automakers these days, electric car company ZAP (OTC Bulletin Board: ZAPZ) of Northern California says it has over 100 models in stock for consumers and auto dealers interested in selling them.     

With some reports predicting gas prices of $3.00 per gallon this summer, saving gas is quickly becoming more of an issue of saving money. Zap says freeway capable electric cars, with a range of 50 miles per charge, cost about $1.50 per charge at 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, or 3 cents per mile. 


Porsche Carrera GT Christened Road & Track's 'Best Dream Car 2004' 

ATLANTA, March 8 / -- In Road and Track Magazineís inaugural Readers' Choice Award, the Porsche Carrera GT has won the "Best Dream Car 2004." The survey was conducted entirely online, asking consumers for their opinion for "Best Car 2004" and "Best Dream Car 2004."  These awards will be featured in the April issue of Road & Track. 

To be eligible for the "Best Dream Car 2004" award, cars must be an enthusiast car with above-average performance and handling, pleasing design and space and fuel efficiency.  It must also be an all-new model and have a 2004 model year designation. 


Bridgewater Interiors Wins Fordís Largest Minority Contract Ever 

WARREN, Mich., March 8 / -- Officials of Bridgewater Interiors announced that the firm has earned the largest contract ever awarded to a minority-owned firm by Ford Motor Company. 

The agreement with Ford calls for Bridgewater Interiors to supply automotive seat systems for the F-150 pickup trucks built at Ford's Dearborn Assembly Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, as well as the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator models produced at the automaker's Michigan Truck Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.  The contract, valued at more than $500 million annually, is believed to be the largest contract between an automaker and a minority supplier in automotive history.



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