Daily Edition: Nov. 29, 2005

November 28, 2005
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Delphi Says GM Talks Progressing

Delphi Corp. said on Monday that talks with General Motors on a bailout were making progress, as the bankrupt supplier tries to slash its way out of Chapter 11. One key result to emerge from the talks thus far is a pledge by GM to suspend the price reductions for 2006 that it had previously negotiated with Delphi, which filed for bankruptcy in October. The GM agreement hasn't slowed the war of words between the supplier and its UAW workforce, however; last week's report by Delphi that its labor costs were $76 an hour including benefits were countered by the union, which reiterated its demand that Delphi back away from its offers of $21 an hour, including benefits, for its members employed by Delphi. Delphi also says it will delay a petition to the courts to dissolve its current labor contracts until discussions with GM have concluded.

War of Words Over Delphi Escalates by Joseph Szczesny (11/28/2005)
Union cries foul as Delphi says it pays $76 per hour.

Chrysler Confirms Dodge Nitro for '07

Chrysler has made it official: the new Jeep Liberty-based SUV coming to Dodge dealerships will be built in Toledo - and it will be named Nitro. The company confirmed the news at the Toledo assembly plant in a press conference Monday, noting that the Nitro would be the first non-Jeep product to be built at the Toledo complex in more than a decade. Chrysler Group will invest $600 million in the Nitro project, which includes some new tooling specifically for the longer, more sharply creased Nitro version. Both the Nitro and Liberty will be built at Toledo North; a new South plant in Toledo is under construction and will build the replacement for the Jeep Wrangler and derivative models, beginning in the summer of 2006.

Daily Edition: Oct. 5, 2005 by TCC Team (10/4/2005)
New S-Class, Yukon, Denali and Dodge Nitro.

DC Building Sprinter Plant in SC

DaimlerChrysler will also build a new plant in South Carolina where it will build the Dodge Sprinter van, in a scaled-back version of a plan originally announced for the state of Georgia. Several wire reports indicate that the German company has chosen a site in North Charleston for the new plant, which will open with between 200 and 300 workers and which will eventually employ as many as 1800 workers. In 2003 DC and the state of Georgia had planned to build a plant to build Sprinters outside the port town of Savannah, but the restructuring at Chrysler Group shuttered those plans. An existing facility in North Charleston will be converted for the new production line. Sprinters also are assembled in nearby Gaffney, S.C., on a CKD basis.
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From TCConfidential

Martha's Going to Focus On Her…Buick?

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

The worst-laid plans of mice and men seem to roughly coincide with GM's marketing initiatives. You remember last year's brilliant Oprah stunt with the new Pontiac G6 - and the tax problems and the unavailability of the car at GM's dealers, right? Now GM has hitched the Buick Lucerne's fate to Martha Stewart's version of The Apprentice. And while you have to admire Martha's pluck in going directly from jail to hosting her own Trump knockoff (and her own daytime show and Sirius radio channel), you have to feel for GM's uncanny knack for missing the cultural zeitgeist boat. Stewart's shows have been ratings sluggards since her release from jail and home confinement - and GM needs anything but lackluster numbers as it promotes the Lucerne, the big new front-driver that's carrying much of the beleaguered brand's future on its broad shoulders. With the news that Stewart's already been denied a second season interning with the Donald, the Lucerne belatedly becomes Martha's official Apprentice vehicle this week with various promotions leading shoppers to the Buick.com Web site and to a series of "Lucerne VIP Premiere Parties" across the country.
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