TRADE BRIEFS

TRADE BRIEFS

VOLVO WITHDRAWS PLAN

TO MERGE WITH RENAULTSTOCKHOLM, Sweden - AB Volvo Managing Director Soren Gyll said the board of the Swedish vehicle maker was withdrawing a plan to merge with France's Renault from a special shareholders meeting.

Last September Volvo and Renault had proposed merging their car, truck and bus making activities into one company from Jan. 1, to be 65 percent owned by the French and 35 percent by Volvo.

Volvo Chairman Pehr Gyllenhammar, architect of the planned merger, told a news conference he was leaving his post. The plan was meeting with significant shareholder opposition and was seen having a hard time gaining approval.

Volvo said it continued to work on a strategic alliance with Renault, but company spokesman Knut Leman said the company has canceled the extraordinary shareholders' meeting called for Dec. 7 to approve the merger.

PRICE/COSTCO INC.

EXPANDS INTO EUROPE

LONDON - Warehouse retailer Price/Costco Inc. Tuesday opened its first European store at a site near London to spearhead the warehouse club's planned expansion into Europe.

Located in Thurrock, the store's legal go-ahead last month prompted a sell-off in British retailing shares on fears of stiffer price competition.

Price/Costco has kept up the pressure on U.K. retailers by also announcing plans to link up with European retailers to form Costco Europe.

The U.S. group will own 60 percent of the new venture, while Britain's largest private-owned company Littlewoods and French hypermarket giant Carrefour SA each have 20 percent.

FORD SELLS 75 CARS

TO RUSSIAN POLICE

PORT NEWARK, N.J. - Ford Motor Co. has sold 75 Crown Victoria police cars to the Russian police force, according to FAPS Inc. of Port Newark, N.J.

FAPS, an automotive servicing company that specializes in preparing cars for delivery, was contracted by Ford's export division to outfit the police cars with sirens and lighting equipment.

Westwood Lincoln of Emerson, N.J., is the selling agent.

The Crown Victoria will replace the Lada, a Russian-built Fiat.