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TCC'S DAILY EDITION: Mar. 1, 2004
Saturn May End L-Series Early
subscribePlummeting sales and the coming of the Kappa cars could spell an early end for the Saturn L-Series, according to a report from the Detroit News. The paper reports that the L-Series’ sales have dropped by 78 percent in January from a year before, with inventories of 151 days available to General Motors in an industry when a 60-day supply is considered normal. The L-Series bowed in 1999 as a competitor for the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Wilmington, Delaware, plant that assembles the L-Series is to build the new Pontiac Solstice roadster and other Kappa-architecture vehicles such as the Saturn Curve beginning in 2006. Saturn plans to replace the L-Series with a new car based on the Delta platform that underpins the new Pontiac G6.
Review: Tragic Indifference
It could be that Tragic Indifference: One Man's Battle with the Auto Industry over the Dangers of SUVs , simply arrived to long after the Firestone tire-recall fandango for many people to care about the story. But journalist Adam Penenberg's new book about plaintiff lawyer Tab Turner's crusade against Ford and Firestone for what he believes was faulty design is a worthwhile read for the exhaustive reporting done, which is organized in a fairly compelling way.Penenberg, known infamously as the Forbes reporter who exposed New Republic journalist Stephen Glass as a fraud, focuses literally on the trials and tribulations of Clyde "Tab" Turner, the Little Rock, Ark., lawyer who has done the most damage against Ford and Firestone in cases representing clients who were hurt or killed in rollover accidents in Explorers outfitted with Firestone tires, as well as cases involving rollover deaths of the Ford Bronco.
Review: “Tragic Indifference” (2/29/2004)
Book follows late on Firestone recall, but compelling details save it.
Pentagon Plots for Climate Change
A new study by the U.S. Department of Defense has warned that changes in the earth's climate that are possible in the years to come could undermine the national security of the United States. The report "The Weather Report: 2010 to 2020" was prepared by the DOD's Office of Net Assessment, the Pentagon's in-house think tank headed by one of the Defense Department's in-house legends, 83-year-old Andrew Marshall. The Office of Net Assessment's futurists have over the years successfully predicted the sudden fall of Soviet Union nearly a decade before it happened. The weather report prepared for the Office of Net Assessment by outside consultants indicates that the weather around the globe could change swiftly if glaciers around the world melt. The melting of the glaciers could disrupt ocean currents that transfer heat from the equator, leading to a series of changes that would make weather colder in the Northern Hemisphere and much warmer in the Southern Hemisphere.
Pentagon Plots For Climate Change (2/29/2004)
Report raises security concerns coming from pollution.
American Axle Strike is Over
After a brief strike, the United Auto Workers and American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. have reached a new contract that over time will cut the wages of the company's employees. The wages of 6500 current American Axle employees, many of whom had once worked for General Motors Corp., have been protected in the new four-year contract — but new employees will be hired at lower pay rate that will be negotiated in the next 90 days, union officials said. The union reached similar agreements last year with Visteon, Delphi, and DaimlerChrysler and its Metaldyne Corp., which acquired a key Chrysler Group parts operation last year. The new agreements amount to a tacit acknowledgement by the UAW that even relatively healthy suppliers such as Delphi and American Axle cannot afford Big Three compensation packages in an era when carmakers are pushing suppliers to move to low-wage countries to trim costs. Earlier this month, Tower Automotive, for example, recently announced plans to move from a factory in Milwaukee to Mexico because to trim costs.