IMPORT BRIEFS

IMPORT BRIEFS

FORD CHAIRMAN SAYS

JAPAN MAKES TOP CARSThe Japanese make better cars, the chairman of Ford Motor Co. says.

"If you look at the Japanese, I think we're equal to some and not as good as the best," Harold Poling told The Detroit News in a story published Sunday. "Our objective is to get there."

Mr. Poling said operational costs, not technology, put the Big Three automakers at a disadvantage.

"Can we get plants in the United States to produce vehicles as inexpensively as the Japanese do? You bet," he said. "But that requires shutting down your plants and starting from scratch. We can't do that. . . . And that gives us a serious non-competitive disadvantage going in. We have to deal with that somehow."

MOTOROLA SEEKS STAY

OF COURT'S CHIP ORDER

CHICAGO - Motorola Inc., based in Schaumburg, Ill., said it filed a motion Friday to stay an injunction issued by a U.S. District Court in Texas ordering it to stop shipping what may be its most important computer chip, a microprocessor used in machines made by Hewlett-Packard Co., Apple Computer Inc. and other major computer manufacturers.

District Judge Lucius Bunton ruled that Motorola's microprocessor, called the 68030, had infringed on a patent held by Hitachi Ltd. of Japan.

But the court also ruled that Hitachi was infringing on three Motorola patents, and ordered Hitachi to stop selling and marketing several chips.

GROUPS WANT SALMON

ON ENDANGERED LIST

WASHINGTON - An Oregon conservation group, Oregon Trout, and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund said they would petition the federal government for protection of four species of salmon under the Endangered Species Act.

The species are coho and spring, summer and fall chinook. If protection is offered, it could interrupt commercial fishing at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Oregon Trout said it would file its petition with the National Marine Fisheries Service next month. If the service determines the request has merit, then it has nine months to decide whether to list the fish species as endangered.

AUSTRALIA FLOWER GROUP

DEVELOPS US SALES PLAN

LOS ANGELES - Australia's Flower Export Council said it is developing a marketing program to create a U.S. niche for Australian flora.

According to the council, the strategy to help U.S. florists identify Australian flowers results from growing trade interest, including last month's FTD-In- Concert trade show in Anaheim, Calif., at which 10 Australian grower companies and export associations were represented.

The Australians are expected to work closely with U.S. flower brokers and import companies to take advantage of the country's reversed seasons.

NY SHOE FACTORY

CLOSES ITS DOORS

AUBURN, N.Y. - Unable to compete with foreign makers, a 123-year-old shoe factory closed its doors Friday, putting 250 people out of work.

The demise of Dunn and McCarthy Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection late last year, was blamed on foreign competition and its inability to repay a $2.3 million bank loan, said Donald Rooney, company president.