Daily Edition: Mar. 31, 2006

March 30, 2006

GM's Big Friday-Selling GMAC, Delphi In Court?

General Motors could be spending much of today in front of the press, with both its ongoing sale of GMAC and supplier Delphi's battle with the UAW possibly coming to a head.

In the first action, the ongoing negotiations for a majority stakeholder at General Motors Acceptance Corp. may be coming to a close. The Wall Street Journal said in its Thursday online edition that Cerberus Capital Management is close to a deal to buy a 51-percent stake in the financial arm of the Detroit automaker. Cerberus would pay $11 billion or more for the controlling share of GMAC. GM has been trying to sell a stake in GMAC since last fall, in the hopes that the money raised could fund a turnaround process at the automaker, hit hard by Asian competition and high labor costs in its home market.

At Delphi, the news could be considerably darker. The union's leadership expects that Delphi Corp. will ask its federal bankruptcy judge to void its labor contracts, a move that the UAW has said could trigger a strike at the supplier-a strike that could push General Motors closer to bankruptcy if a GMAC deal does not come through.

Read the latest breaking news on GMAC and Delphi.

New York

Show Gets G6 GXP

Pontiac's G6 mid-sizer-known in some Detroit circles as the car that Oprah built-gets a high-performance edition at the coming New York auto show. The April expo will showcase the new G6 GXP, a spin-off of the two-door coupe that gets a 270-hp, 3.9-liter V-6 engine along with body mods. Technically a concept, the G6 GXP will share New York show space with the new Mitsubishi Outlander, the revamped Audi TT, and a host of other new vehicles, most of which you can see in our New York show preview:


Dropping Some Vibes

The good Vibes are leaving Pontiac, although one will stick with the GM brand through at least the 2007 model year. Reuters reports that Pontiac is dropping the GT and all-wheel-drive versions of the nifty Vibe hatchback from its lineup following the current model year. Slow sales and expensive refits to bring the engine up to new emissions standards have been cited as the reasons for the move. The news service adds that Pontiac may bring back the performance and AWD versions in a next-generation car. The Vibe is built in GM's joint-venture NUMMI plant in Fremont, Calif., which it shares with Toyota.

StabiliTrak Systems Work to Prevent Rollovers

Electronic stability control systems such as GM's StabiliTrak, have helped prevent rollovers in about 41 percent of cars and SUVs involved in single-vehicle accidents, says Bob Lange, GM executive director for vehicle structure and safety integration.  Speaking before the Detroit Automotive Press Association on March 29, Lange said accident data show that two-thirds of accidents involving SUVs along could have resulted in rollovers without presence of electronic stability systems.  The rollover prevention total for cars alone was 35 percent.

"StabiliTrak-type systems are highly effective in keeping vehicles from tipping over by applying extra braking force to one or more wheels," Lange said.  According Lange, GM is building a dedicated rollover testing structure at the GM Proving Ground in Milford, Mich., where it is also stepping up research on "interactive" safety systems.  One outgrowth of GM's research has been introduction this model year of the industry's first dual-depth airbags, deploying in accord with the severity of the crash, on the Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS sedans.  GM is working toward a goal of 85 percent airbag deployment on vehicles that have rolled over, Lange said.  "Ideally, passengers would be safer if the airbag deployed before an actual rollover began."

Daytime running lights (DRL), standard on new GM vehicles in the U.S. since 1994 and mandatory on all new vehicles in Canada, have saved 433 lives and helped prevent an estimated 85,000 two-vehicle crashes, according to Lange.  Use of seatbelts has risen to 82 percent in the U.S. and "seatbelt protection remains the most effective way of preventing serious injuries or fatalities," Lange said.-Mac Gordon



Subaru Passes Hometown Milestone

Recently, the one millionth Subaru Forester rolled out of the Gunma Yajima plant in Japan. This important milestone for Fuji Heavy Industries was reached in nine years and three months. In 1997, when the Forester AWD was introduced, the model was one of the first crossover vehicles, combining the capabilities of a SUV and the practicality of a station wagon.-Henny Hemmes


FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases


Volvo Names America's Top Hometown Heroes

The 2006 Jeep(R) Commander Earns Top Government Safety Rating from NHTSA

DaimlerChrysler Is the Only Manufacturer Building Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

All-New Lexus Hybrid to Make World Debut at New York International Automobile Show


Name Symbol Last Change
Autobytel, Inc. ABTL 4.77 -0.07 (-1.45%)
Autoliv Inc. ALV 56.85 -0.15 (-0.26%)
AutoNation Inc. AN 21.75 +0.35 (+1.64%)
ArvinMeritor Inc. ARM 15.09 -0.13 (-0.85%)
American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc. AXL 17.31 -0.45 (-2.53%)
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLDP 6.87 +0.02 (+0.29%)
BorgWarner Inc. BWA 60.39 -0.42 (-0.69%)
Cummins Inc. CMI 104.06 -1.09 (-1.04%)
Dana Corporation DCN 0.66 0.00 (0.00%)
DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR) DCX 57.65 +0.67 (+1.18%)
Dura Automotive Systems DRRA 2.40 +0.20 (+9.09%)
Eaton Corporation ETN 73.29 +1.43 (+1.99%)
Ford Motor Company F 8.16 -0.10 (-1.21%)
General Motors Corporation GM 21.06 -1.09 (-4.92%)
Gentex Corporation GNTX 17.37 +0.08 (+0.46%)
Goodyear Tire & Rubber GT 14.28 +0.08 (+0.56%)
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) HMC 31.58 -0.05 (-0.16%)
Johnson Controls Inc. JCI 76.57 -0.07 (-0.09%)
Lear Corporation LEA 18.29 -0.20 (-1.08%)
Magna International Inc. MGA 77.06 +1.06 (+1.39%)
Motorola Inc. MOT 22.96 +0.19 (+0.83%)
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) NSANY 24.05 +0.20 (+0.84%)
Sonic Automotive Inc. SAH 27.92 +0.05 (+0.18%)
Siemens AG SI 93.77 +1.87 (+2.03%)
Sirius Satellite Radio SIRI 5.05 +0.06 (+1.20%)
Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) TM 110.15 +0.89 (+0.81%)
TRW Automotive Holdings TRW 23.29 -0.43 (-1.81%)
Tower Automotive Inc. TWRAQ.PK 0.085 -0.02 (-19.05%)
United Auto Group Inc. UAG 42.80 +0.23 (+0.54%)
Visteon Corporation VC 4.74 +0.03 (+0.64%)
XM Satellite Radio Hold. XMSR 22.41 +0.61 (+2.80%)
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