Delphi Corp. believes it can restructure and reduce the wages of its workers without a nasty strike, says the company's top executive, Robert "Steve" Miller. Miller also said it was too soon to write off the domestic auto industry as a failed enterprise and predicted it will emerge from its troubles a stronger and healthier one just like the
What had threatened
to be a sizable protest during an appearance by Delphi CEO Steve Miller fizzled
under a blanket of cold rain and strong winds on Monday. Organizers had hoped to
draw at least 100 protesters for the gathering outside
John Martinez, a member of the United Auto Workers from GM's Poletown assembly plant, said the weather wasn't going to keep him away.
"We should shut down
the entire industry," he said, in order to prevent companies like
Inside the auditorium, Miller acknowledged the protesters, saying "I can't blame them for being mad." But referring to the economics of globalization, he insisted, "we have to face reality together."
Marching back and
forth along a small strip cordoned off by
Any kind of strike
by workers at the bankrupt Delphi Corp. would pose a serious problem for the
giant auto supplier's largest customer, General Motors. But GM CEO Rick Wagoner
stressed cautious confidence
"I don't underestimate the basic challenges the UAW faces," said Wagoner, referring to demands for massive cuts in pay and benefits.
In bankruptcy court,
last Friday, Delphi CEO Steve Miller requested that the company's current labor
contracts be voided, while also asking permission to close plants and cut
thousands of jobs. The UAW has threatened to strike if the request is
implemented, and industry analysts warn that a walkout would starve GM of parts,
quickly shutting down its
"In this case, it
takes three to tango," said Wagoner, noting GM is still negotiating with the
GM Sells Stake in GMAC
Declaring the deal a "home run," General Motors Chairman Rick Wagoner announced on Monday that the automaker planned to sell a majority stake in its finance subsidiary, GMAC, to Cerberus Capital Management LP, a private investment firm. Cerberus orchestrated the deal - which still faces a variety of regulatory hurdles - with a consortium of investors including Citigroup Inc. and Aozora Bank Ltd. The troubled automaker, which has been shedding a number of assets in recent months, expects the sales to generate as much as $14 billion in much-needed capital over the next three years, but also acknowledged the deal will cut into the cash generated by the lucrative finance arm.
World Car of the Year Down to Three
finalists for the World Car of the Year have been named - and from the field of
27 entries, three vehicles will battle it out for the title. The finalists for
the second-annual award include the BMW 3-Series, Mazda MX-5, and the Porsche
Cayman S. Forty-six automotive journalists from around the world judged the
entire field on its merits and voted by secret ballot. The winner of the award
will be announced next week during the
Obese Kids Lead to Bigger Car Seats
The increasing girth of American children has led car-seat makers to super-size their products. The Associated Press says that more than 250,000 children between one and six years old are too big for their car seats, a problem that can lead to injury in accidents from poor-fitting seats and improper installation. More than 23 percent of kids from ages two to five are overweight, the AP cites from government data, and more than ten percent of children in the same age range were obese in the 2001-02 time frame. Seatmakers are responding by making seats that are wider and outfitted with stronger materials to withstand the forces generated in an accident by a larger child.
SPECIAL REPORT: 2006 SAE World Congress
Taking Motorsports to the Streets
"Our objective is to use our race cars to showcase the cars we put on the road," said Richard Brekus, BMW's product planning chief. Brekus was part of a panel at this year's SAE World Congress exploring the link between motorsports and production cars. Racing plays a critical role in developing brand identity and marketing, the panelists agreed. But it also offers manufacturers an opportunity to test new technology under harsh conditions before offering it on the retail market.
Continental Buys Motorola Auto Business
Continental AG said it plans to spend $1 billion in cash to acquire Motorola's automotive electronics division and integrate it into Continental's Automotive Systems Division.
"This strategic move will further
strengthen our position as a safety and systems supplier to the automotive
industry and will give us a real push forward in automotive electronics," said
Continental's Executive Board Chairman Manfred Wennemer on Monday in
"Motorola's automotive electronics business is a perfect fit with our strategy of providing sophisticated safety systems to our customers. They are a premier telematics supplier and possess profound experience in this field," Wennemer added.
"The integration of Motorola's automotive unit will enhance Continental's ability to offer our customers long-term technology solutions in the areas of telematics, safety electronics, powertrain as well as interior and sensor technologies," said Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, president of Continental's Automotive Systems Division. -Joe Szczesny
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