Daily Edition: Feb. 7, 2006

February 6, 2006

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.

GM said York will officially become a director February 7 and he will serve on the board's public policy and investment funds committees. The announcement also heads off what could have become a potentially divisive proxy fight with Kerkorian, who now controls about 9.9 percent of GM's stock and who said last year he wanted a representative on the board.

"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.

York has been a consultant to Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. for more than a decade and in 1998, he played a pivotal role in the Chrysler Corp.'s decision to accept the offer from Daimler-Benz that created DaimlerChrysler.

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

York: GM Should Drop Saab, HUMMER by Joseph Szczesny (1/10/2006)
Company has 1000 days of cash left, Kerkorian's wingman says.


WJR Auto Report: Super Bowl, Super Cars?

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the greenest of them all? If you caught the Super Bowl game on Sunday, you might have seen Kermit the Frog pitching Ford's enviro-friendly Ford Escape Hybrid. Or perhaps you saw the ads for GM's ethanol-powered products. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda have done a great job building their environmental image with products like the Prius and Civic Hybrid. Which company is really in the lead? There's no simple answer, but driven by both federal regulation and, increasingly, by concerned consumers, there's no question the auto industry is, on the whole, racing to find ways to cut emissions and raise mileage, and not just a decade from now. You haven't heard nearly as much talk about hydrogen fuel cells lately. Work continues, but few expect the technology to be ready for prime time for years to come. With global warming and rising oil prices, there's need for some solutions right now. And competition is pushing the industry to come up with a variety of creative solutions.

Spy Shots: '08 Jaguar XKR Coupe/Convertible

S80 1999 Volvo

S80 1999 Volvo

Jaguar launched its new XK at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show-but there's clearly more to come. TCC has the first photos of the XKR, shown here as a convertible prototype during cold weather testing. The differences from the stock XK are clear: there's an altered front end with big air intakes, air intakes in the hood, and four big exhaust pipes at the rear end, along with larger wheel arches and a taller rear spoiler.

Spy Shots: '08 Jaguar XKR by Hans Lehmann/Hidden Image (2/6/2006)
The new XK reaches for 400-hp heights.

Spy Shots: '07 BMW 1-Series Convertible

BMW is set to show a new three-door version of the 1-Series at next month's Geneva Motor Show. But the hardtop won't be the only new version of BMW's smallest model to emerge in the coming year. 

These are the very first pictures of the future 1-Series Convertible, taken during a short test drive in Munich's city traffic. The prototype in the photos still wears some disguise, but its canvas top is still clearly visible.

Spy Shots: '07 BMW 1-Series Convertible by Hans Lehmann/Hidden Image (2/6/2006)
Is there room for a sub-3er ragtop?

<[email protected]@[email protected]@>


FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases


As the official automotive sponsor of the 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM) Games, Hyundai Motor America unveils its new Spanish-language television commercials that will begin airing mid-February, in anticipation for the worldwide event. The campaign underscores Hyundai's commitment to soccer and to the World Cup with three television spots that will air nationally on Spanish-language television.

<[email protected]@[email protected]@>


Name Symbol Last Change
Autobytel, Inc. ABTL 4.9425 -0.1075 (-2.13%)
Autoliv Inc. ALV 48.41 -0.08 (-0.16%)
AutoNation Inc. AN 22.35 +0.09 (+0.40%)
ArvinMeritor Inc. ARM 16.80 +0.50 (+3.07%)
American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc. AXL 17.38 -0.54 (-3.01%)
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLDP 5.44 +0.18 (+3.42%)
BorgWarner Inc. BWA 55.30 +0.53 (+0.97%)
Cummins Inc. CMI 102.01 +1.91 (+1.91%)
Dana Corporation DCN 4.26 -0.30 (-6.61%)
DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR) DCX 57.27 +0.36 (+0.63%)
Dura Automotive Systems DRRA 2.49 -0.03 (-1.19%)
Eaton Corporation ETN 66.64 +0.09 (+0.14%)
Ford Motor Company F 8.11 -0.15 (-1.82%)
General Motors Corporation GM 23.34 +0.19 (+0.82%)
Gentex Corporation GNTX 17.30 +0.25 (+1.47%)
Goodyear Tire & Rubber GT 15.27 +0.06 (+0.39%)
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) HMC 28.94 +0.25 (+0.87%)
Johnson Controls Inc. JCI 67.99 +0.08 (+0.12%)
Lear Corporation LEA 24.65 +0.26 (+1.07%)
Magna International Inc. MGA 72.52 -0.08 (-0.11%)
Motorola Inc. MOT 20.53 -0.64 (-3.02%)
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) NSANY 21.81 -0.14 (-0.64%)
Sonic Automotive Inc. SAH 23.84 +0.37 (+1.58%)
Siemens AG SI 89.25 +0.32 (+0.36%)
Sirius Satellite Radio SIRI 5.49 +0.16 (+3.00%)
Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) TM 102.91 +0.27 (+0.26%)
TRW Automotive Holdings TRW 25.60 +0.34 (+1.35%)
Tower Automotive Inc. TWRAQ.PK 0.08 +0.00 (+2.56%)
United Auto Group Inc. UAG 39.40 -0.02 (-0.05%)
Visteon Corporation VC 4.64 -0.20 (-4.13%)
XM Satellite Radio Hold. XMSR 23.55 -0.79 (-3.25%)
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