FIAT STILL ON THE FENCE OVER GM/DAEWOO DEAL
General Motors Corporation’s global alliance partner, Italian giant Fiat, isn’t so sure about the level of its participation in the world’s top automaker’s takeover of Daewoo Motor. After better than a year of wrangling, GM has secured its intentions in the $1.8-billion deal to take majority interest in the bankrupt South Korean automaker. The agreement appears to be satisfactory to the General, Daewoo’s creditors, and the South Korean government, but Fiat has yet to commit. "No decision has been taken yet," according to a Fiat spokesman, "It will be taken at the definitive and formal conclusion of the negotiations." That conclusion is expected by the end of the year.
GM-Daewoo Make a Deal by Joseph Szczesny (9/24/2001)
FORD TO DEEPEN CUTBACKS EVEN FURTHER
Prior to the madness of September 11th, Ford Motor Company was already hard at work cutting jobs and trying to somehow find the $5 billion that analysts said it was going to have to save to stay competitive. Word on the street now is that after the attacks, desperate measures are going to hit at Ford. The 10 percent cutback of white-collar jobs at Ford that were going to be achieved through voluntary buyouts now appear to be just the beginning of a program that may eventually take upwards of 10,000 people off the payroll.
Ford Cuts Jobs, Delays T-Bird by TCC Team (8/20/2001)
Big 3 Meet with Big Feds by TCC Team (9/24/2001)
EUROPEAN AUTO STOCKS HIT FIVE-YEAR LOW
The world continues to feel the effects of the terrorist assaults on New York and Washington D.C. The latest reflection of the devastation appears on the stock exchanges of Europe where many automakers’ shares have fallen to their lowest values in more than half a decade. Porsche AG, DaimlerChrysler AG and PSA Peugeot Citroen appear to be the worst hit stocks amid fears that the U.S. attacks will throw a chill into demand for cars in the U.S. and Europe. Volkswagen AG is the sole automaker whose share price has gone up. European industry analysts say that they expect the stock markets to decline even further before any signs of recovery begin to appear.
GERMANY DIVIDED ON EFFECT OF ATTACKS AGAINST U.S.
In the midst of Europe’s largest economy, Germany, socioeconomic reactions to the September 11th murder and devastation at the World Trade Center and Pentagon are split in a number of directions. On one hand, the German automobile association, VDA, has announced that it does not foresee the need for any major revisions in vehicle-production forecasts as long as the buying public doesn’t panic. At the same time, however, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag is citing economists from Germany’s Halle Institute for Economics (IWH) and the Institute for Economic Research (DIW) who paint a much bleaker picture. "The attacks on the United States will cost us 100,000 jobs," said IWH’s Udo Ludwig. "We are not just on the brink of a small economic downturn. A recession lies before us."
WHISTLEBLOWER SUIT AGAINST GM DISMISSED
In Atlanta, Georgia, General Motors has won a dismissal in a case involving Michigan’s whistleblower-protection law. The case involves Bill McAleer, a GM veteran with 30 years experience. McAleer had been working on a GM national inspection team, but after he threatened to report discovered defects to the feds, he says the company transferred him to a job working with suppliers in the Southeast, thus invoking the whistleblower-protection legislation. U.S. District Judge Richard Story saw otherwise, deciding that employment law in Georgia, where the case was heard, gives employers broad leeway in making staffing decisions, and that Georgia law took precedent over Michigan law in the state of Georgia. Judge Story had nothing to say about McAleer’s defect claims.