Week of December 2, 2002
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Expansion Engine Revving?by JACK LYNE, Site Selection Executive Editor of Interactive Publishing
Michigan, Ohio Top Potential Sites
for Chrysler Alliance Engine Plant
STUTTGART, Germany, and AUBURN HILLS, Mich. Chrysler, joined by Asian partners Hyundai Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., is considering locations in Detroit and Ohio for a major new operation manufacturing engines for passenger automobiles.
A Ways to Go Before Deal is DonePlans for the U.S. engine-manufacturing plant, however, have a ways to go before reaching the done-deal ranks.
Just where the plant would be sited, for example, remains very much an open question. The chosen site will need to be able to supply all three companies' U.S. assembly plants with the engines it produces.
That's one major reason why locations near existing operations are the early favorites, particularly "someplace in the Detroit area or Ohio . . . locations driven by logistics," said DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche. DaimlerChrysler has a particularly large presence in the Detroit metro, where the automaker has six plants and 13,000 employees, as well as its U.S. headquarters. In Ohio, DaimlerChrysler has two major plants in Toledo.
Fully fleshing out the project would also mean working through the particulars of meshing the three automakers' production procedures, say industry analysts.
The United States, though, is "the only place where we might consider whether it makes sense [to do] any kind of [DaimlerChrysler/Hyundai/Mitsubishi] manufacturing joint venture," Zetsche said. Japan and Korea don't offer similar opportunities for a manufacturing collaboration, he explained.
DaimlerChrysler is in the process of purchasing a 50 percent interest in Hyundai's commercial vehicle business and a 43 per cent interest in Mitsubishi's commercial vehicle business. Both purchases should be finalized sometime next year, DaimlerChrysler officials said.
Viva, Toronto:by JACK LYNE, Site Selection Executive Editor of Interactive Publishing
Hong Kong Firm Plans 300-Worker Plant
HONG KONG Promotion has paid off for Toronto. Traveling on the first leg of a 17-day Asian trade mission, Mayor Mel Lastman closed a deal in Hong Kong with Viva Magnetics, which committed to building a 300-employee manufacturing plant east of downtown Toronto.
Further Expansion"We are very excited to be expanding in Toronto," said Choi. Viva, Choi added, plans to announce a further expansion of its Toronto-area operations in the autumn of 2003.
Planned for 2003
A number of factors, Choi explained, drove the company's decision to expand in Scarborough, including the low Canadian dollar, U.S. market proximity and Toronto's large Asian population.
Viva's new $30-million, 230,000-sq.-ft. (21,367-sq.-m.) plant will manufacture compact disk jewel boxes. Viva also manufactures CDs and replicates CDs and DVDs. The company, which has some 2,000 employees, has other manufacturing operations in Hong Kong and in Delta, British Columbia.
Toronto's Asian trade trip may also spur another major expansion. A major Hong Kong-based lighting-industry manufacturer met with the city's delegation and is now considering setting up a new Toronto plant, Lastman said.
Citigroup Adding 500-700 New Jobsby JACK LYNE, Site Selection Executive Editor of Interactive Publishing
at Commodious Tampa Complex
TAMPA, Fla. Citigroup is once again staffing up inside its sprawling 127-acre (51-hectare) complex in Tampa, Fla. The world's second-largest financial services firm has announced that it's adding 500 to 700 jobs at the company's Citi Cards division in the Gulf Coast city.
Center Is "Prototype Year 2005"Citi Cards' 500 to 700 new jobs in Tampa will be in customer service and sales, as well as in management, Fisher said. The positions will be added over the next 12 months, beginning immediately, he added.
Model for Corporate Campus Development
In Citigroup Center Tampa - Citigroup's "prototype year 2005" model for corporate campus development - Citi Cards has picked a site that's readymade for reconfiguration. The center's four three-story office buildings all have 42,000-sq.-ft. (3,780-sq.-m.) floor plates, with all of the commodious complex's square footage fitted out with flexible floor systems, pre-wired fiber-optic cabling and raised flooring. If necessary, in fact, Citigroup Center Tampa could be totally reconfigured overnight, company officials say.
"At a time when many other parts of the nation are experiencing either net job losses or little if any new job growth, long-time clients such as Citigroup have continued to expand their presence in Tampa by maximizing their existing infrastructure," said Steve Meyers, 2002 chairman of the Committee of One Hundred for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, a key player in building Citigroup's local-area presence.
Meyers also happens to be vice president and regional manager of Highwoods Properties - the landlord firm for Citigroup Center Tampa.
Update:by JACK LYNE, Site Selection Executive Editor of Interactive Publishing
Hershey Trust Busted;
Pro-Sale Members Exit
HERSHEY, Pa. "Bust the Trust."
That's been the persistent war cry driving opponents of the sell-off of Hershey Foods Corp. - a sale, community activists charge, that would likely trigger massive layoffs, particularly in Hershey, Pa., where the candy-maker employs 7,000 people.
Judge: Trust Board 'Unusually Large, Disconnected'The major shakeup pleased some of the board's most high-profile critics, including Dauphin County Orphans' Court Judge Warren Morgan. Morgan became part of the Hershey scenario after Fischer legally blocked the sale of the company.
The current 17-member board "is unusually large, and the residences and daily lives of too many members are distant and disconnected from the charitable interests they serve," Morgan said last month. The judge also criticized Hershey Trust for losing touch with the philanthropic vision of Hershey founder Milton Hershey.
Significantly, all four new board members live in Central Pennsylvania.
"The proposed sale of Hershey Food Corporation was a very difficult time for the company, its employees, the students of the Milton Hershey School, the Hershey community and the entire Central Pennsylvania region," said Fisher (who lost the recent governor's race to Democrat Ed Rendell). "Out of this ordeal, however, came an opportunity to reconstruct this board with members who are committed to this region and to carrying out the intentions of Milton Hershey."
Board critics also hope the shakeup will reconnect the trust with Hershey Foods.
As things stand, though, that disconnect is scheduled to grow greater. In July the current board and the attorney general's office signed an agreement that would bump Hershey Foods' chief executive from the board in June of 2003.
But the trust board's bust-up will likely spur a revisiting of that issue. September's near-sale underscored "the very severe fracturing of relations between the trust and Hershey Foods," said First Deputy Attorney General Jerry Pappert. "We need to act to restore relations between Mr. Hershey's trust, his food company and his school."
School, Alumni Have Been at OddsRelations have also been noticeably strained between Milton Hershey School (MHS) and leaders of the MHS Alumni Association (MHSAA).
The school which feeds, houses, clothes and educates orphaned children was the sole beneficiary of Milton Hershey's stock in Hershey Foods. That behest left the Hershey Trust in control of 77 percent of Hershey Foods' voting shares.
The school's administration has been under fire for several years from the MHS Alumni Association. The school, which holds some $5.4 billion in assets, "has had a systemic breakdown," charged MHSAA President Ric Fouad.
Such alumni concerns may now be answered with the Hershey Trust board's reconstitution. One of the departing members is MHS President and Chief Executive William Lepley.
MHSAA leaders were elated with the changes in the trust board's makeup. But they clearly feel that their fight is far from over.
"We believe that MHSAA vigilance will be required to assure that MHS Board reform fully accounts for the needs of the most important group of all, MHS children," Fouad said.
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©2002 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.