Report: Auto Industry Acquisitions To Continue

According to a new Price Waterhouse survey, record levels of mergers and acquisitions are expected in the automotive industry this year. Michael Burwell and William Doepke, who lead the Price Waterhouse Corporate Finance Automotive practice in the U.S., say U.S. companies remain vulnerable to a "refocus or sell" syndrome -- either selling non-strategic assets or strengthening core assets through acquisitions. Burwell and Doepke say the industry will remain under pressure in 1998 and beyond as it undergoes a global consolidation that is rapidly shrinking the universe of automotive suppliers of all sizes.

Based on the study findings, Burwell and Deopke say that the mergers and acquisitions trend will accelerate this year due to more consolidation among original equipment manufacturers, slower growth in North America and Western Europe, and industry focus on customer-driven production.

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