Takes Ethanol Message on Road by Joseph Szczesny
Follow-ups to State of the
Press: Fuel-Economy Numbers "Misleading"
Press's skepticism could also reflect the fact that
Toyota Camry by Bengt Halvorson (1/30/2006)
Ready to spoil a new round of frugal family buyers - and keep its best-selling title.
New Tundra Has
The hubbub over
Shots: '07 Toyota Tundra by Hans Lehmann/Hidden Image (1/30/2006)
The first pictures, ahead of
GMT900 Ahead of Schedule
With the bad news piling up, General Motors is basically betting the company
on the success of the GMT 900. Gary White, the vehicle line executive
responsible for the trucks and sport-utility vehicles in the 900 family, said
the program is ahead of plan. "We're ahead of schedule," he said in
Ford Keeps Part of "Way Forward" Secret
Ford Motor Co. isn't prepared to offer any more details about its "Way Forward" restructuring plan, said Anne Stevens, Ford executive vice president and one of the chief architects behind the effort to revive Ford's struggling automotive business. Stevens also said the company was still evaluating specifics such as what additional plants it will closes as part of the restructuring. Ford assembly plants in Wixom, Mich., Atlanta and St. Louis are preparing to close as part of the effort to reduce the company's assembly capacity. Ford also is discussing closing two additional assembly plants to further reduce capacity. Stevens, however, noted that Ford also wants to retain some flexibility as it moves ahead with the plan. In 2002, Ford outlined most of the details of the plan right from the start but wound up painting itself into a corner, she said. As circumstances change, Ford found it was difficult to alter the plan because of its earlier public statements. Ford would like to avoid repeating the mistakes of 2002, she said. Other Ford officials also said the company is still wrestling with what to do with the Lincoln Town Car and the platform on which it rides. So far, Ford hasn't found a home for the Town Car, which will be evicted next year from its long-time home in Wixom. Ford is still looking at various scenarios for moving and/or enhancing the Town Car, Ford officials said in advance of the Chicago Auto Show. The final decision isn't far off but it has not been made yet. Stevens also declined to say whether in the wake of the planned cuts spelled out in the restructuring plan, the company's automotive business will return to profitability in 2006. "We're not saying anything in connection with 2006," she said.-Joe Szczesny
York Gets GM Board Seat
Jerry York, Kirk Kerkorian's car guy, was named to General Motors Corp.'s board but the giant automaker held up in announcing any major changes to its dividend policy in the wake of the monthly meeting of the GM's directors.
"Jerry brings years of business experience and knowledge of the automotive industry to the GM Board," noted Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and chief executive officer. "We are pleased to welcome him to our Board," Wagoner said.
Last month, York served up a blistering critique of GM's management in which he warned that GM had only about 1000 days of cash reserves left on hand and needed to change and change dramatically, even before GM posted a $8.6-billion loss for 2005. He also called for a cut in the company's dividend, reductions in executive salaries, and the elimination of brands such HUMMER and Saab.
Wagoner also disclosed that Stanley O'Neal, the chairman of the Merrill Lynch, had quit GM's board. In submitting his resignation, O'Neal cited increased time demands resulting from the expanded schedule of GM board meetings which were difficult to accommodate given his responsibilities at Merrill Lynch, as well as limits on his ability to act as a GM director because of potential conflicts with matters in which Merrill Lynch is involved, GM said.
GM is currently trying to sell part of GMAC, its financial services subsidiary, and Merrill Lynch, as one of the world's largest financial services companies, is likely to be involved in any potential deal. -Joe Szczesny
GM Should Drop Saab, HUMMER by Joseph Szczesny (1/10/2006)
Company has 1000 days of cash left, Kerkorian's wingman says.