Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

American Classic pares mainland schedule

American Classic Voyages Co. yesterday announced travel incentives on its Hawaii cruises and a reduction in the itineraries for its ships in the eastern United States.

Subsidiaries American Hawaii Cruises and United States Lines, which run the Independence and the Patriot, respectively, are offering half-price air-cruise packages to Hawaii from Nov. 17 until the end of the year.

Packages begin at $899 per person aboard the Independence and $999 aboard the Patriot from select West Coast and Southwest cities.

Meanwhile, the company's Delta Queen Coastal Voyages and Delta Queen Steamboat Co. subsidiaries are reducing their itineraries by a combined 27 cruises through the early part of next year, due to what the company described as a "challenging travel environment."

The two companies offer river and coastal cruises from ports including New Orleans, St. Louis, Charleston, S.C., and Chicago.

DBEDT offering guide to Japanese companies

The state Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism and the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce have produced a catalog of Japanese companies with local ties.

"Japanese Companies Registered to Do Business in Hawaii" is a directory designed as a business development tool for firms seeking partnership opportunities or marketing contacts in Japan. The guide costs $10 and is available on the Hawaii products and services page of DBEDT's Web site at or via the chamber by phone at 949-4431.

Ford forms unit to sell car and truck accessories

Dearborn, Mich. >> Ford Motor Co. formed a unit to sell automotive accessories such as food containers and blenders for tailgate parties as part of the second-largest automaker's push to diversify beyond car sales.

AJ Prindle & Co. has sold products through a Web site and 3 million catalogues distributed since April, unit President Eoin Comerford said. The wholly owned unit seeks to attract non-Ford customers as well as buyers of the company's cars and trucks.

Ford Chief Executive Jacques Nasser has bought non-automotive businesses such as a used-parts resale company since 1999 to rely less on auto revenue. Auto sales fell 9.9 percent last month, and Ford had a wider-than-expected loss in the third quarter as it added incentives. Prindle, based in Farmington Hills, Mich., sells hand-held televisions, luggage, cellular telephone accessories and harnesses to keep pets in their seats. A Ford survey found that 36 percent of drivers said their vehicles lack accessories, the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker said.

In other news ...

CHICAGO >> A federal judge in Indianapolis will hear arguments tomorrow that could shape the future of the legal battle faced by Ford Motor Co. and Firestone over deaths and injuries in rollovers of the popular Explorer sport utility vehicle. At issue is whether U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker should certify as a class action hundreds of lawsuits filed in state courts across the country involving Ford Explorers and tires manufactured by Firestone, a unit of Japan's Bridgestone Corp.

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