Shareholders in General Motors have approved the spin-off of Hughes Electronics and the deal that would give News Corp. 34 percent interest in the company, GM said on Monday. The company reports that more than 65 percent of its stockholders approved of the deal, and some 94 percent of shares were voted in favor of the deal, which would bring the company roughly $6 billion in exchange for its interest in the parent company of DirecTV. News Corp. and GM are expected to finish the deal by the end of the year or early in 2004.
Feds Studying Ford Diesels
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into a possible defect in some Ford heavy-duty trucks and SUVs equipped with the company’s diesel engine and power adjustable pedals. The NHTSA is investigating about 101,000 vehicles in all — all 2002 and 2003 F-Series Super Duty trucks and Excursion SUVs after six complaints were logged, charging that the vehicles lost power. An engine sensor may not work properly with the adjustable pedals, leading to a loss of power. Of the six complaints, the AP reports, one involved a crash or fire; no injuries have been noted.
Goodyear Closing Shop in Ala.
Goodyear made its planned plant closing in north Alabama official on Monday. The company, in the throes of a restructuring and fresh from sealing a new labor deal with its workforce, will close the Dunlop tire plant in Huntsville that employs about 1100 people. The company says the plant will close before December 5. The company will offer workers at the plant priority in finding other jobs at another Goodyear plant in Gadsden, Ala.
DAILY IN DEPTH
L-M Chief Back in Action at Dealer Event
It’s not often that the president or general manager of an automaker comes to a big dealership event, but Lincoln-Mercury chief Darryl B. Hazel, 55, has been working with dealers for his entire 31-year career at Ford and will attend Thursday’s (October 9) dedication of the renovated Bob-Boyd L-M store in Columbus, Ohio. Called a “dealer guy” by Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealers, Hazel became L-M president in August, 2002, only eight months after taking charge of the Customer Service Division. He suffered serious injuries after a fall on an icy airplane ladder last February en route to the Chicago auto show and just recently resumed full-time work at the L-M helm.
With L-M sales on a decline this year and the division preparing for launch of a raft of new models, Hazel is going out on dealer visits to spur the division’s recovery programs. Bob-Boyd L-M has invested approximately $800,000 in upgrading its new location, a former Oldsmobile store, just off the I-70 in west Columbus. Renovations include an all-new showroom, enhanced signage, an updated body shop and expanded service area. A L-M dealer in the Ohio capital for 33 years, Bob-Boyd also owns Dodge, Ford, and Mazda dealerships in Lancaster, Ohio. Thursday’s dedication will include a display of Mercury’s new Monterey minivan, the first of a new-model blitz Hazel will oversee for Lincoln and Mercury through 2005. —Mac Gordon
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases
Chrysler Group active employees can take advantage of a unique opportunity to lease a select group of 2004 Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge vehicles for twelve months with one payment of $2000 — and no monthly payments after that — under a new program announced today. The eligible vehicles are popularly equipped models of the 2004 Chrysler Sebring Sedan, Dodge Stratus Sedan SXT, Dakota Regular Cab SXT pickup truck, and Jeep Wrangler X. The nationwide program is open to active DaimlerChrysler UAW employees and non-bargaining employees from October 6 through November 10.