No GM-Delphi Settlement Yet, UAW Says
The United Auto Workers nixed reports indicating that it has reached an agreement with Delphi and General Motors Corp. that would allow both companies to move forward with a sweeping restructuring that would eliminate thousands of union jobs. The UAW, which has had stormy relations with the media for years, also took the unusual step of expressly repudiating stories suggesting the parties were closing in on some kind of deal.
"There are several newspapers
and at least one radio station reporting today that
the three parties - Delphi, GM, and the UAW - are close
to consummating an agreement to the issues in the
The erroneous reports apparently
arose with the confirmation that officers from UAW locals representing Delphi
workers had asked to attend a meeting in
Paul Krell, a union spokesman, said the meeting had been planned for a while and the agenda was designed to bring union officials up to date on discussions. "The suggestion that we have an outline of an agreement to review with you is unfortunately, just not true," he added.
Dana Plunges Into Bankruptcy by Joseph Szczesny
Quick filing for major supplier adds to
Zetsche Focuses on Bribery Scandal
DaimlerChrysler's Dieter Zetsche has always been an excellent student of culture, popular and otherwise. Zetsche had no problem zeroing in on the notion that hip-hop could boost sales, for example. Zetsche may also sense that a current scandal could give him leverage in changing DaimlerChrysler, as reports from Germany this week suggest he's moving to put an end to a culture of corruption that seemed to have developed inside the company during Juergen Schrempp's tenure as chief executive.
While the discussions of the scandal's scope began last autumn, Zetsche has until now sidestepped questions and said he had plenty of confidence in the company's auditing practices.
However, with the release of DaimlerChrysler's annual report for 2005, Zetsche has taken the offensive. In the report, the company disclosed that in recent years a small number of the company's employees had paid or received bribes while conducting company business in various part of the world.
The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission had been investigating the bribery charges, the annual report noted. The SEC investigation was triggered by a lawsuit by a DaimlerChrysler employee based in Auburn Hills, who said he was fired after questioning the existence of accounts in various countries that were used to funnel payments to local officials. The lawsuit was settled but not before allegations that bribery was considered an accepted business practice in some countries in which Mercedes-Benz operated had found their way into print.
The charges also are being
investigated by authorities in
DaimlerChrysler also was tagged by
a third investigation - this one the highly publicized probe of the UN's
oil-for-food program, a probe headed by Paul Volcker under the auspices of the
United Nations. DaimlerChrysler was one of companies cited by Volcker
for paying bribes to middlemen in return for contracts in Saddam Hussein's
DaimlerChrysler's annual report did not give an exact number of employees involved in the illicit conduct, but noted that 13 employees had been cited by the SEC for improper conduct related to the Iraq program.
"We are voluntarily sharing with
the DOJ and the SEC information from our own internal investigation of certain
accounts, transactions and payments, primarily relating to transactions
involving government entities, and are providing the agencies with information
pursuant to outstanding subpoenas," the report said. "In connection with our
internal investigation, we have identified and self-reported potential tax
liabilities to tax authorities in several jurisdictions. These tax liabilities
of DaimlerChrysler AG and certain foreign affiliates
result from misclassifications of, or the failure to record, commissions and other payments and expenses."
The changes were substantive enough that they actually required adjustments to the DaimlerChrysler balance sheet. "We are taking action to address and resolve the issues identified in the course of our investigation to safeguard against the recurrence of improper conduct," the report added.-Joe Szczesny
DC Profits $3.4 Billion in
2005 by Joseph Szczesny
Chrysler Group gets nearly $2 billion in credit for the gains.
Former Ford Exec Petrauskas Dies
Helen Petrauskas, former Ford executive and one of the people responsible for making airbags standard equipment in the company's cars, died on Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. Petrauskas had joined Ford in 1971 as an attorney, then moved to environmental and safety engineering. As one of Ford's first female vice presidents, Petrauskas was a leading champion of installing airbags into vehicles. She retired in 2001.
Cars off the Trailer
Disney and Pixar want you to know their newest effort, Cars, is coming soon. But they don't want you to see too much in advance of the picture's June 9 debut. The new trailer featured on the movie's Web site, www.carsthemovie, is the briefest of snippets that introduces the main character in the flick-Lightning McQueen, a racecar that detours down Route 66 "when a small community that time forgot shows McQueen what he's been missing in his high-octane life." Like other Pixar efforts before it, this one's jammed with celebrity voices throughout: Paul Newman, Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy all lend their pipes to the effort, as does racing and dental legend Richard Petty.
Nissan Picks HQ Design Team
Yesterday TCC told you about the exec changes at Nissan in advance of the company's move to Tennessee. Now, Nissan has chosen the architects that will build its new headquarters in suburban Nashville. Gresham, Smith and Partners (GS&P) will be the firm to pen the company's new offices, which will take about two years to complete and are expected to be occupied in 2008. Until then, the company will use an office building in downtown Nashville for its workers, of which Nissan expects more than 50 percent to make the pilgrimage from Los Angeles to Tennessee.
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases
Foreign built cars will be the stars of the 10th annual Ypsilanti Orphan Car Show Sunday, June 4, 2006 in the city's downtown Riverside Park. Sponsored by the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, the show runs 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The Orphan Car Show is open to all factory stock, un-modified makes and models of cars, trucks and motorcycles that have been out of production for at least seven years. Un-restored vehicles are welcome, though kit cars and most replicars are not accepted. Cost to exhibit a vehicle is $18.
|American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc.||AXL||16.11|
|Ballard Power Systems Inc.||BLDP||6.01|
|DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR)||DCX||55.12|
|Dura Automotive Systems||DRRA||2.04|
|Ford Motor Company||F||7.75|
|General Motors Corporation||GM||21.34|
|Goodyear Tire & Rubber||GT||13.14|
|Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||HMC||29.44|
|Johnson Controls Inc.||JCI||72.18|
|Magna International Inc.||MGA||72.88|
|Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||NSANY||22.85|
|Sonic Automotive Inc.||SAH||26.87|
|Sirius Satellite Radio||SIRI||4.89|
|Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR)||TM||106.00|
|TRW Automotive Holdings||TRW||24.35|
|Tower Automotive Inc.||TWRAQ.PK||0.044|
|United Auto Group Inc.||UAG||42.82|
|XM Satellite Radio Hold.||XMSR||21.05|