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Manufacturer Consolidation a Hot Topic

21 April 2000

Polk Finds Continued Manufacturer Consolidation a Hot Topic at NYIAS 2000 First Report In a Series From the New York International Auto Show Floor
    NEW YORK, April 21 The Polk Company today released the
first in a series of trend reports direct from the New York International Auto
Show (NYIAS) floor at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

    This first report details the survey responses Polk captured at NYIAS 2000
during press preview days (April 19-20).  It also provides a sampling of
additional questions being asked at the Polk Auto Trend Centers, along with a
Top 5 listing of favorites from the show displays.  The Polk Auto Trend
Centers will be used to collect NYIAS attendee opinions throughout the 2000
show and reports will be issued on a regular basis, providing more in-depth
analysis as the show progresses.

    Polk is a global company, delivering multi-dimensional marketing
information solutions to the automotive industry to enhance the relationships
consumers have with brands.  Through lifetime understanding of individuals,
Polk helps its clients maintain current customers, win new ones and build
their brand loyalty.  The Company has served the automotive industry for 78
years and is the longest-standing steward of automobile records in the United
States.  Founded in Detroit in 1870, Polk launched its motor vehicle
statistical operations in 1922 when the first car registration reports were
published.  It now serves nearly every segment of the motor vehicle industry
as an analytical consultant and statistician, a provider of database-marketing
services, a supplier of vehicle histories and a data enabler for geographic
information systems.  Based in Southfield, Mich., Polk is a privately held
firm that employs more than 2,500 people worldwide, currently operating in
Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, the United Kingdom
and the United States.

    Auto Industry Will Continue to Consolidate

    Manufacturers attempting to operate as a single nameplate are faced with
an increasingly difficult task in addressing the growing world market. As a
result, the automotive industry has recently undergone a series of mergers and
acquisitions, with manufacturers seeking to leverage a portfolio of brands
that address consumer tastes both domestically and globally.  Recent mergers
have enabled several large manufacturers to address gaps in their product
portfolios while adding brands with a global presence.

    According to results from the Polk Trend Centers at NYIAS 2000, automotive
insiders believe the industry will continue to consolidate, leaving
approximately 13 manufacturers worldwide by 2010. Visitors to the auto show
were asked for their predictions on the number of auto companies that will
exist in 2010 and what the next merger will be:

    -- Predictions regarding the number of worldwide manufacturers in 2010
       ranged from more than 30 to less than five, with the average number
       predicted to be 13.  This would represent a drop of more than 30% from
       current levels and reflects the efforts of existing manufacturers to
       leverage worldwide platforms and sourcing;

    -- Media members, manufacturer and industry representatives are uniformly
       consistent in their belief that the industry will include a smaller
       group of manufacturers, consolidated through mergers and acquisitions.

    What will the next merger be?

    Merger Candidate     Predicted Buyer     Percent of Respondents
    BMW                  Ford                     17%
    BMW                  General Motors           11%

    In total, 36% of respondents believe the next merger will involve BMW.
Other merger candidates included Honda, with 10% of the predictions, followed
by Nissan with 7% and Fiat with 4%.
    Industry observers believe that BMW is currently a very attractive
candidate, given the strong performance recently by its vehicles in both the
luxury and SUV segments.  BMW has taken an aggressive position in bringing new
products to an increasingly competitive luxury market, as evidenced by its
NYIAS press conference that revealed 21 new products for the present and
short-term future.

    Lifestyle Trends
    Media and Auto Industry visitors to NYIAS 2000 were also asked about
specific lifestyle trends related to the auto industry:
    Which New York Personality Best Describes Your Driving Personality?
    David Letterman 22%
    Jerry Seinfeld  22%
    Howard Stern    12%
    Katie Couric    8%
    Rosie O'Donnell 8%

    Have You Talked on the Phone in Your Vehicle?

                              Never     Occasionally   Frequently
    Media Visitors            18%            39%            43%
    Auto Industry Visitors    19%            28%            54%

    More than 80% of media and auto industry visitors to NYIAS 2000 talk on
the phone in their car or truck, while interestingly, a large percentage favor
a ban on cell phone use while driving.
    Do You Favor a Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving?

                              Yes       No
    Media Visitors            44%       56%
    Auto Industry Visitors    32%       68%

As of 10 a.m. April 21, 2000   *Top 5 leaders based on voting at the Polk Auto
Trend Centers

    Concept Vehicle:                    Minivan/Full-size Van:

    1. Jaguar F-Type Concept 13%        1. Chrysler PT Cruiser       19%
    2. Chrysler 300 Hemi     10%        2. Honda Odyssey             11%
    3. GMC Terradyne         10%        3. Chrysler Town & Country    8%
    4. Chevrolet SSR          7%        4. Mazda MPV                  8%
    5. Kia Rio SV Concept     7%        5. Dodge Caravan              8%

    Exhibit:                       Pickup Truck:

    1.  Audi                15%         1.  GMC Sierra           16%
    2.  Saab                13%         2.  Toyota Tundra        16%
    3.  BMW                  8%         3.  Chevrolet Silverado  14%
    4.  Chrysler
         -Plymouth           8%         4.  Ford F-Series        12%
    5.  Cadillac             5%         5.  Nissan Frontier       8%

    Sports Car:                     Prestige Luxury Car:

    1.  Porsche Boxster   13%      1.  Jaguar XJ8                     17%
    2.  Porsche 911       12%      2.  BMW 7 Series                   11%
    3.  Dodge Viper        8%      3.  Infiniti Q45                   11%
    4.  BMW M5             7%      4.  Mercedes-Benz S-Class          11%
    5.  BMW M Roadster     6%      5.  Audi A8                         9%

    Luxury Car:                     SUV:

    1.  Cadillac Deville  13%       1.  BMW X5                         11%
    2.  Lincoln LS        13%       2.  GMC Yukon                       7%
    3.  Audi A6            7%       3.  Hummer                          7%
    4.  BMW 3 Series       7%       4.  Lincoln Navigator               7%
    5.  Mercedes-Benz CLK  7%       5.  Toyota Sequoia                  5%

    Midsize Car:                   Small Car:

    1.  Volkswagen Passat   14%    1.  Volkswagen New Beetle           24%
    2.  Honda Accord        12%         2.  Ford Focus                 22%
    3.  Volkswagen Jetta    12%         3.  Nissan Sentra               9%
    4.  Volvo S40           12%         4.  Dodge Neon                  7%
    5.  Pontiac Grand Prix  10%         5.  Honda Civic                 7%