Week of June 26, 2000

June 26, 2000

GM TO BUILD NEW MICHIGAN PLANT
DC: FIRST FUEL-CELL PRODUCTS
UNOCAL CLAIMS INNOCENCE
GM KEEPS TRUCKIN’
TEENS RIDING WITH TEENS: RISKY
FORD MOTOR AND TOYOTA WIN IN LATEST CRASH TESTS
DC WILL BUILD VAN
GM: SPECIAL ORDER CARS TAKING OFF
TEAMSTERS AND UAW LOOKING GREEN
OPEL WORKERS BACK ON THE JOB

 

GM TO BUILD NEW MICHIGAN PLANT General Motors will build a new assembly plant near Lansing, Michigan. The plant would produce the next-generation Chevrolet Malibu, Oldsmobile Alero, and Pontiac Grand Am models. A $91.6 million incentive plan has been offered by the state of Michigan for the site.

DC: FIRST FUEL-CELL PRODUCTS DaimlerChrysler announced that it intends to introduce fuel-cell-powered transport buses in two years. Furthermore, the automaker said that it plans to equip passenger cars with fuel cells within four years. Chief Executive Juergen Schrempp claimed that the company would be the first world automaker to bring fuel-cell vehicles to the market.

UNOCAL CLAIMS INNOCENCE Unocal Corporation claims that patent royalties due to the company for new clean gasoline are not a factor contributing to higher gas prices in the Midwest. The company told a Congressional delegation that, even though Unocal has not yet sought legal action against any other refiners producing the reformulated fuel, the impact of licensing fees and royalties that would apply to Unocal's formulation would amount to less than two cents per gallon. In a California case, however, a 1997 ruling awarded Unocal 5.75 cents per gallon of fuel that infringed on the company's clean fuel formulation. A Unocal official suggested that the rise in prices is due to a combination of factors including high crude prices, pipeline interruptions, and problems with preparation for the new requirements.

 

GM KEEPS TRUCKIN’ General Motors plans to shift more new-vehicle development money toward pickups, sport-utility vehicles, and minivans, says a top company official. For the 2002 model year, 70 percent of vehicle-development money will be spent on the trucks. By that time, GM estimates that about 60 percent of the vehicles the company sells in the U.S. will be light trucks. The company is expected to add more truck models and delete car models as the company trend continues.

 

TEENS RIDING WITH TEENS: RISKY A new study has found that teenage passengers are far more likely to be killed as passengers of other teenagers than of any other driver age group. "Child Injuries and Fatalities: Who is Behind the Wheel," a study by the University of Michigan and Ford Motor Company, finds that the age group most in danger as passengers is 14 and 15 year olds. At that age, teenagers start to ride as passengers of other teenagers, says the study, and that puts them at a much higher risk. The study found that 70 percent of the 14 and 15 year olds who were killed in accidents were riding with drivers under the age of 21. Over 20 percent of such accidents involved excessive speed.

 

FORD MOTOR AND TOYOTA WIN IN LATEST CRASH TESTS The Ford Taurus, Lincoln LS, and Toyota Avalon have emerged victorious in the latest frontal offset crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Four other cars were tested at the same time: the Isuzu Rodeo, Mazda MPV, Nissan Maxima, and Nissan Sentra. The Isuzu Rodeo's performance in the 40-mph barrier test was rated poor, while the others were rated acceptable. The Taurus, LS, and Avalon were rated good.

 

DC WILL BUILD VAN DaimlerChrysler has announced plans to build the Sprinter van in the U.S., starting in the latter half of 2001. The delivery van will be built in Gaffney, South Carolina, and will have the Freightliner brand name, rather than the three-pointed star. The van is already sold in Europe, where it has been highly successful, most recently with a 21 percent market share. Last week, DC announced that it will stop production of the Dodge Ram Van in two years.

 

GM: SPECIAL ORDER CARS TAKING OFF General Motors' new Specialty Vehicle Activity Unit, which handles vehicles modified to individual customers' orders, reports twice as many orders during the 2000 model year as compared to 1999. GM reports that the unit is more efficiently dealing with niche vehicle orders. General Motors is also planning to implement a mass, made-to-order vehicle system that would take effect in 2003. Both the automaker and dealers would save money on excess inventories, and customers would get exactly what they want. Before such a program goes into effect, General Motors needs to improve synchronization with suppliers and vehicle tracking during production.

 

TEAMSTERS AND UAW LOOKING GREEN According to the New York Times, both the Teamsters and the United Auto Workers may choose to back Green Party Candidate Ralph Nader in the fall presidential election. Teamster president James Hoffa reportedly will not yet endorse Nader for president, although Hoffa made a public appearance with Nader. Both the UAW and the Teamsters, groups that usually endorse Democratic presidential candidates, have refused to endorse Al Gore because of his support for the China trade bill. Both groups together consist of about 2.2 million members. Whether the unions mesh with other Green Party policies, such as those on the environment, is another matter.

 

OPEL WORKERS BACK ON THE JOB GM's German unit, Adam Opel AG, has reached an agreement with its workers on workforce policies regarding alliance ventures with Fiat. The agreement, which will apply to other European GM workers at Saab and Vauxhall, will assure that existing workers are transferred to any such new joint ventures. Last week, about 4500 Opel workers were on strike in protest of the absence of such a promise.

2019
The Car Connection
See the winners »
2019
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
 
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.