Sales of the '99 Cadillac Catera plummeted 68.1% (1,985 vs. 6,229) January-March because General Motors Corp. needed to make changes to the sport sedan's fueling system after production had begun in Russelsheim, Germany.

About 8,000 Cateras were held at a port in Brunswick, GA, “for a significant amount of time” in recent months, a Cadillac spokeswoman confirms. Output also was held up at the Russelsheim plant. In both cases workers retrofitted Catera's fueling system so that the cars would be able to meet on-board refueling vapor recovery regulations.

A GM spokesman says about 100-150 Cateras are being certified each day. Catera inventories should return to normal levels in two to three weeks, the spokesman says.

For '99, Catera became the first Cadillac to meet new low emissions vehicle (LEV) standards.