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AUTOS
May 1, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
This posted has been updated. See the note at the bottom for details. Automakers posted their strongest April sales since 2007 as many reported double-digit gains with trucks and SUVs leading the surge. General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and Nissan all posted strong gains in April from a year earlier. Hyundai posted a marginal sales bump, while Toyota was down slightly and Volkswagen was down more than 10%. Truck sales were crucial to the success of the Big Three U.S. automakers in April, thanks largely to the improving economy, said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Edmunds.com.
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AUTOS
April 24, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Heavy spending to repair more than 6 million vehicles in the first quarter triggered an 88% plunge in General Motors Co. earnings for the period, compared to a year earlier. The nation's largest automaker said it earned just $108 million, or 8 cents a share, in the quarter, down from the $873 million in profits, or 63 cents a share, it collected in the same period in 2013. Revenue edged up a little more than 1% to $37.4 billion. “It is an understatement to say that the first quarter was challenging for General Motors,” said Mary Barra, the automaker's chief executive.  However, she said, that GM could still produce a profit was a testament to the strength of the company.  The earnings reflected a $1.3-billion charge to fix millions of vehicles recalled globally so far this year, including 2.6 million of GM's Chevrolet Cobalt and other older vehicles equipped with a faulty ignition switch linked to 13 deaths.
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BUSINESS
September 3, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
The outspoken and colorful auto industry veteran Robert A. Lutz, who has worked for all the major American car companies and retired from General Motors Co. in May, has resurfaced. He is going back to GM to work as a part-time consultant. Lutz, 79, started a second stint at GM in 2001, charged with revitalizing the automaker's vehicle lineup. He stayed with the company through its brief sojourn into bankruptcy in 2009. He helped push a new generation of GM autos — including the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac SRX, GMC Terrain, Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Camaro — into the marketplace.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2014 | By Charles Fleming
Is Tesla going to be manufacturing more cars or car parts at a new facility? The electric car company won't comment specifically, but city officials in tiny Lathrop, Calif., say work is underway converting a 431,000-square-foot facility that once housed a Chrysler-Daimler distribution center into a Tesla factory. Lathrop City Manager Steve Salvatore, confirming the arrival of Tesla in his small town of 19,000, said the company had indicated it will be hiring 100 to 125 workers, to start, and is likely to hire more.
BUSINESS
July 18, 2003 | From Bloomberg News
General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, said second-quarter profit plunged 30% as lower demand for cars forced it to cut production and raise rebates. Net income declined to $901 million, or $1.58 a share, for the Detroit-based company from $1.29 billion, or $2.43, in the same period last year. Sales were unchanged at $48.3 billion.
BUSINESS
September 28, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
General Motors Co. is changing course on how it will handle customers of its OnStar vehicle communication system once they opt out of the service. The automaker said it will change its proposed "Terms and Conditions" policy and will not keep a data connection to customers' vehicles after the OnStar service is canceled. U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that OnStar's policy represented an invasion of privacy, and he threatened a federal investigation. "OnStar's reversal of policy is good news.
BUSINESS
August 15, 1988
General Motors Corp. has purchased a 15% interest in AeroVironment Inc., a privately held engineering firm in Monrovia, which specializes in alternative energy vehicles. AeroVironment played a large role in the development of Gm's Sunraycer Vehicle race across Australia last November.
BUSINESS
February 8, 1989
Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Thomas E. Everhart, president of the California Institute of Technology, have been elected directors of General Motors Corp. Shultz returns to the GM board after an absence of nearly seven years while he was secretary of state. Everhart joins the board after nine years on the General Motors science advisory committee.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2002 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Richard Gerstenberg, 92, retired chairman and chief executive of General Motors Corp., died Thursday at his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., a company spokesman said. The cause of death was not announced. Born in Little Falls, N.Y., Gerstenberg grew up in nearby Mohawk and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1931. He started at General Motors the next year as a timekeeper in the company's Frigidaire division in Dayton, Ohio.
BUSINESS
December 27, 1991 | From Reuters
General Motors Corp., battling the worst car sales slump in 10 years, received another dose of bleak news Thursday when two credit-rating agencies downgraded its debt. Analysts said the moves by Fitch Investors Service Inc. and Duff & Phelps Inc. could lead to higher borrowing costs for the auto maker. The ratings changes apply to both the parent company's debt and that of its financing arm, GMAC. Just last week, the world's largest auto maker announced drastic steps to streamline its U.S.
OPINION
April 14, 2014 | By Jonathan Turley
In the late 1960s, a charismatic vice president at Ford Motor Co. decided to bring out a low-priced car that could be produced for little money while bringing in huge profits. The executive's name was Lee Iacocca, and the Ford Pinto he championed became one of the most infamous models in U.S. automotive history. Why? Because to save money, Ford released a car that could explode in even low-speed rear-end collisions. I still teach the Pinto case to my law students as an example of how profits sometimes overwhelm principle.
AUTOS
April 9, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Toyota Motor Corp. will recall more than 6 million vehicles worldwide to fix a variety of problems, including a wiring issue that might disable airbags and a glitch that could trigger the driver's seat in some cars to suddenly shift. It's just the latest in a parade of massive recalls by manufacturers this year, especially in the U.S. Toyota's announcement Wednesday brought the number of vehicles called back by automakers in the U.S. to nearly 13 million so far this year, on pace to surpass the record 30.8 million vehicles recalled in 2004.
SPORTS
April 8, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
English soccer giant Manchester United will meet the Galaxy in a July 23 friendly at the Rose Bowl. The match will be the first in the team's summer tour of the United States, and it will also mark the first time the team will wear its Chevrolet-branded kits. General Motors paid a record $560 million over seven years to place the Chevy name and bow-tie logo on the team's uniform. United, which has won 13 of 21 English titles decided during the Premier League era, will be in the U.S. to compete in the International Champions Cup, a tournament that debuted last year and included two games at Dodger Stadium.
AUTOS
April 8, 2014 | By David Undercoffler, This post has been updated to reflect new developments.
Some of the country's most popular midsize sport utility vehicles flunked a recent series of crash tests, leading the influential magazine Consumer Reports to pull its coveted "recommended" rating for three of the vehicles. The independant Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced Tuesday that the Kia Sorrento, Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9 all earned a "poor" overall rating in the front overlap crash test. Six others passed the test. The Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain twins scored "good" ratings from the IIHS.
AUTOS
April 1, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Auto sales turned up in March as relief from the bitter winter cold in much of the nation brought shoppers back to showrooms. “Solid March sales pushed first-quarter industry results ahead of last year's pace despite one of the harshest winters on record,” said Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota's U.S. sales division. “Toyota dealers had their two best sales weekends of the year late in the month, and we're optimistic that momentum will spring us in into April.” Toyota Motor Corp.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch and David Undercoffler
Despite General Motors' recent recall of millions of its cars - and several investigations into the issue - buyers are still streaming into GM dealerships. The beleaguered automaker announced Tuesday that sales in March rose 4% compared with the same month a year earlier. Nearly the entire industry saw a similar jump in the U.S., with sales up 5.7% to 1.54 million vehicles, according to Autodata. Pent-up consumer demand and healthy sales incentives helped companies rebound from a slow February, when bad weather throughout much of the country kept buyers away, according to Mark Wakefield, managing director at AlixPartners and head of its automotive practice in North America.
BUSINESS
March 21, 1985
In its second major move into the mortgage business this month, GM said it has agreed to buy the Colonial group of companies, a unit of CoreStates Financial Corp. of Philadelphia. The purchase, for an undisclosed price, would make GM the nation's second-largest mortgage banker. General Motors, the world's largest car manufacturer, earlier in March agreed to buy the $11-billion mortgage-servicing portfolio of Minneapolis-based Norwest Corp.
BUSINESS
September 19, 1992 | From Times Wire Services
The United Auto Workers authorized its second strike against General Motors Corp. in less than a month Friday, warning of a walkout at the Lansing body plant. The "five-day letter" was received by the leading auto maker at 10 a.m., notifying the company that the 4,200 members of Local 602 will strike Sept. 25 unless issues are worked out, GM spokeswoman Linda Cook said.
AUTOS
March 31, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
As General Motors Co. heads into key congressional hearings Tuesday over a safety defect linked to 13 deaths, the automaker announced it would recall an additional 1.5 million vehicles globally and take a $750-million charge against its first-quarter earnings. GM told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday that it would recall more than 1.3 million vehicles in the United States that may experience a sudden loss of electric power steering assist. It will recall 200,000 outside the U.S. The charge will set aside money to pay for this latest recall and a slew of similar auctions over the last two months.
BUSINESS
March 28, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
General Motors Co. recalled an additional 824,000 vehicles in the U.S. as it continued to deal with the fallout of a faulty ignition switch linked to a series of crashes and at least 12 deaths. The automaker said it is calling back Chevrolet Cobalts, Pontiac G5s and Solstices as well as Saturn Ions and Skys from the 2008-11 model years. It also recalled the Chevrolet HHR from the 2008-11 model years. Although the cars were built with an ignition switch that has had no problems, they might have been repaired with faulty switches left in the parts bins at dealers and auto shops, said Jim Cain, a GM spokesman.
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