Fresh Start For Swatch
 
BERN, June 3 (AFP) - Novelty watchmaker Swatch has signed an agreement with a major French car manufacturer to develop a vehicle powered by both electricity and gasoline, the group's chief executive Nicolas Hayek announced Thursday.
  
He said the terms of the deal to produce the so-called hybrid vehicle prevented him from revealing the name of the car manufacturer.
  
The SwatchMobile system developed by Swatch will be "built into a small car", said Hayek.
  
The car will have a normal gasoline engine, but can also be powered by 10 kilowatt electric motors which are recharged by the engine.  
 
Prototypes are already being driven on the streets of Bern.
  
In November, Swatch pulled out of a project to manufacture a similar vehicle, the Smart, developed by German group Daimler-Benz.
  
Swatch Group has also struck a "gentleman's agreement" with a major US car manufacturer, said Hayek, without giving further details.

Marty Bernard
Oakland, California

To find out about a new form of personal urban transportation please visit the Information Pages of the National Station Car Association at http://www.stncar.com which are updated periodically.