Daily Edition: Mar. 28, 2006

March 26, 2006

GM Says Pricing Is Working

Despite an anticipated one-percent decline in its first-quarter market share, General Motors' marketing czar insists the automaker's "value pricing" strategy is working. Since last autumn, the troubled automaker has trimmed prices on the vast majority of its cars, crossover, and light trucks, while slashing back on its incentives. And the strategy is paying off, asserted GM Vice President Mark LaNeve, through rising retail sales, higher residuals, and increased awareness among buyers who might otherwise ignore the offerings from the General's eight North American brands. Even so, "there's a strong sense of urgency to show results," the executive admitted, and a lot of challenges yet to overcome. So is GM's gas tank half full or half empty?




Black Tuesday Hits GM TechCenter

It's being called "Black Tuesday" by those working at General Motors' mile-square TechnicalCenter, in Warren, Mich. And though it may actually take several days for all affected employees to receive notice, the automaker is expected to terminate hundreds of design and engineering staff starting today, as part of its latest turnaround plan. Last November, CEO Rick Wagoner announced plans to trim seven percent of GM's salaried workforce, a figure including 36,000 staff members, as well as an unspecified number of contract employees. A number of TechCenter contract workers have already been trimmed, a company source told TheCarConnection.com. Prior to naming affected employees, team leaders at the TechCenter plan to hold group meetings to discuss the company's plans. Those GM staffers affected involuntarily are likely to receive some form of buyout offer. The automaker already has announced plans to offer buyouts to 113,000 employees as part of a deal worked out with Delphi, its former parts-making subsidiary, now in bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Mark LaNeve, director of sales, service and marketing for North America, revealed on Monday that his operation has trimmed its employment ranks by 40 percent over the last five years. "We'll do a little more (cutting) this year, and a little more forever," said LaNeve, adding that "I don't headcount has anything to do with your ability to grow" the business because of increases in productivity. -TCC Team



Acura Bringing MDX Concept to New York

Along with its new RDX compact crossover, Acura will also have a concept vehicle based around the next MDX large crossover for the upcoming New York auto show. The new version will be the second generation of the vehicle; a production version goes on sale in the fall. The MDX joins the RDX, the Saturn Outlook, Nissan Altima, and a slew of other new products coming to the New York show in April - get the rest of the debuts in our show preview now:

2006 New York Auto Show Preview by Marty Padgett (3/27/2006)
For the capital of the world, some global introductions.


Chrysler Adds Long-Wheelbase 300

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