Auto Alliances In Japan: Carload Of Trouble?
Snap up distressed Japanese auto makers and get a foothold in the vast Asian market. That's been the strategy of foreign companies drastically rewriting the rules of the road in Japan over the past four years. When Ford Motor Co. took control of Mazda Motor Corp. in 1996 by boosting its stake to 33.4% from 25%, the move sent shock waves through the country. Now, half of Japan's total vehicle market is partly owned by gaijin, or foreigners: Renault owns a third of Nissan Motor Co., while General Motors Corp. has acquired or will acquire sizable stakes in Isuzu Motors Ltd., Suzuki Motor Corp., and Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru.
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