2007 Dodge Durango
Spy Shots: '07
Chrysler Aspen by Brenda Priddy
New Durango-based ute coming in January.
Miller Says GM Is the Key
Ultimately, General Motors will provide the key to locking down a settlement between bankrupt supplier Delphi Corp. and its increasingly angry union workers, Delphi CEO Steve Miller told TheCarConnection on Wednesday.
The automaker, Miller noted, has
already booked $5.5 billion to cover the anticipated cost of a bailout. GM
recently unveiled a proposal to buy out thousands of
"We're broke," said Miller,
insisting that only GM can ante up what it will take to satisfy the UAW and
Despite the angry rhetoric flowing
from labor leaders,
Bill Ford Says No Bankruptcy
The challenge for Ford Motor Co. is to institutionalize change, said CEO Bill Ford, "without it being chaotic. We have to make (innovation) part of the decision-making process without disrupting the company." Ford had plenty more to say during an appearance on Wednesday, where he was named Industry Executive of the Year.
Tower Prepares Chapter 11 Exit
Tower Automotive Inc. has reached
an agreement with retirees on pension and healthcare issues and remains in talks
with its unions on proposed wage and benefit cuts, chief executive Kathleen
Ligocki said on Wednesday. Ligocki said the agreement was an important step
forward in the company's effort to exit bankruptcy by the end of next
Tower, a metal vehicle frames producer that filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2005, has asked a bankruptcy judge to cancel its labor agreements with its unions, including the United Steelworkers and the United Auto Workers. The judge, however, has not yet ruled on the motion.
Meanwhile, Tower, a major supplier to companies such as Ford and DaimlerChrysler, is continuing to negotiate with both the United Auto Workers and the United Steel Workers. The two unions, which represent approximately 2000 Tower employees, have threatened a strike should the judge issue a ruling that allows Tower to impose a new contract. Ligocki, however, said discussions are continuing and Tower still hopes to reach an agreement with the union fairly soon - perhaps as soon as the end of April.
"I believe, one way or another, that we will come to a solution," Ligocki said. "A work stoppage won't help anybody," said Ligocki, who noted Tower's customers are undoubtedly doing everything possible to line up alternative suppliers in the event of a strike.
However, she noted the discussions with the unions are making headway. "This is the same judge that handled the Northwest Airlines case and we know how that came out," she said. In the Northwest bankruptcy case, the judge basically forced the airline and the pilots union to negotiate until they reached a deal. "Everybody knows we have to figure this out," she added. "Rhetoric aside, the discussions are sober, tough, and everyone is very engaged."
"The unions are very sophisticated," she said, and appreciate the challenges facing companies such as Tower, who are being pushed by customers to offer the lowest possible price for their products.
Ligocki, an executive at Ford before moving to Tower, said she doesn't expect the cost pressures in the industry to relent because they reflect the competitive reality of a global economy. "To be successful, all of us are going to have to put aggressive productivity and cost reduction programs in place," she said. -Joe Szczesny
Chevrolet Prices New Avalanche
2007 Chevrolet Avalanche
GM, VW Face Sibling Rival's
General Motors and Volkswagen are
getting a new surprise competitor in
Spokesperson Zhu Xiangjun says the launch will inspire a "healthy rivalry" among the joint-venture partners. GM says it understands Shanghai Automotive's "desire for further growth," while VW says it recognizes "SAIC's wish to build up its own Chinese brand." SAIC projects 2010 production of about 200,000 of the new sedans, with 25 percent to be exported. SAIC has been building VW Passat and Santana cars since the early 1980s and Chevrolet and Buick cars since 1997. The GM-Shanghai venture has brought tidy profits to the struggling GM, amounting to $327 million last year.
Michael Dunne, president of Beijing-based consultancy Automotive Resources Asia, told the Wall Street Journal (April 5) that "the Chinese formed joint ventures for just one purpose: To learn how to do it themselves one day. That day is here." -Mac Gordon
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases
|American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc.||AXL||16.96|
|Ballard Power Systems Inc.||BLDP||7.02|
|DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR)||DCX||60.04|
|Dura Automotive Systems||DRRA||2.48|
|Ford Motor Company||F||7.57|
|General Motors Corporation||GM||19.85|
|Goodyear Tire & Rubber||GT||14.35|
|Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||HMC||31.91|
|Johnson Controls Inc.||JCI||77.64|
|Magna International Inc.||MGA||75.20|
|Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||NSANY||23.976|
|Sonic Automotive Inc.||SAH||28.53|
|Sirius Satellite Radio||SIRI||5.04|
|Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR)||TM||112.64|
|TRW Automotive Holdings||TRW||23.68|
|Tower Automotive Inc.||TWRAQ.PK||0.071|
|United Auto Group Inc.||UAG||43.24|
|XM Satellite Radio Hold.||XMSR||22.35|