RENAULT PLANS NEW CARS FOR ASIA, EASTERN EUROPE

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[manila] Renault is gearing up to market a new budget car for developing nations in Asia. The vehicle, to retail at $6,000, will be assembled by Renault partner Nissan Motor Co. at plants in the Philippines and Indonesia. Sales are expected to start in 2003. Renault, which has a 36.8% stake in Nissan, also plans to produce and market similar cars in Russia, Romania and other Eastern European countries. The French automaker is aiming for global car sales of about 4 million units a year by 2010.

Sony schedules March debut of PlayStation 2

[tokyo] Sony Corp. next March will introduce its new PlayStation 2 videogame console in Japan. A U.S. launch follows in July and Europe by October. The current PlayStation game controls about 40% of the global market and is one of the most profitable products in the Sony line. Separately, Nintendo is teaming up with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. to produce its next generation game, called Dolphin. The game is slated to be released at the end of 2000.

Unilever Italy switches media acc't to MindShare

[milan] Unilever Italy ended a long relationship with CIA Blumedia by shifting its $150 million media business to WPP Group's MindShare. The appointment followed a global review of Unilever's media operations, said Alan Rutherford, global media director at Unilever in London. Italy is Unilever's third-largest market in Europe. The loss of the Italian account leaves CIA Medianetwork off Unilever's roster worldwide.

Lego's fourth theme park to spring up in Bavaria

[copenhagen, denmark] Lego chose Germany for the site of its fourth Legoland Park. The $500 million venture will be based on a 400-acre site in the Bavarian town of Gunzburg. The park is expected to be completed in 2003 and attract 1.5 million visitors annually during a season stretching from Easter to November, or an average of 6,000 people a day. Lego is considering building a fifth park near Tokyo. Lego's other parks are in Denmark, England and Carlsbad, Calif.

Time Warner units join forces online in Asia

[hong kong] Time Inc.'s Time and Asiaweek joined forces with sister Time Warner unit CNN.com to launch AsiaNow (www.cnn.com/asianow). AsiaNow combines CNN.com's newsgathering resources and Asia coverage with the magazines' analysis and commentary on regional events and issues. Turner Broadcasting Sales and Time

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