Bernie's Feed
Jan 23, 2013

Union membership falls to lowest percentage in 76 years

By James B. Kelleher and Lisa Lambert and Bernie Woodall

(Reuters) – The percentage of workers belonging to unions tumbled to 11.3 percent in 2012, the lowest percentage in 76 years, led by dramatic declines in states where lawmakers have put organized labor in the political crosshairs, government figures showed on Wednesday.

The total number of union members fell by nearly 400,000, from 11.8 percent of the workforce in 2011, the Labor Department report on union membership said. The rate of 11.3 percent of the workforce was the lowest since 1936, when Franklin Roosevelt was president.

Jan 18, 2013

Alfa Romeo brand to return to U.S. market in late 2013-CEO

DETROIT, Jan 18 (Reuters) – An Alfa Romeo 4C sports car will
be introduced in the U.S. market late this year, the chief
executive of Fiat SpA and Chrysler Group LLC said on
Friday, adding that further details would come in the next two
to three months.

“For sure it’s coming back this year with the 4C. With the
Alfa Romeo 4C,” CEO Sergio Marchionne said after a speech to a
Detroit businesswomen’s group. “We are finalizing the car now,
so it should be here this year.”

Jan 16, 2013

Chinese auto dealer group sees big jumps in consumer financing

DETROIT, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Zhongsheng Group Holdings Ltd
, a large Chinese auto dealership group, said consumer
financing is fast gaining acceptance in China, which will help
boost the market as well as encourage younger buyers to buy more
expensive cars.

Currently only one fifth of car buyers use financing at
Zhongsheng’s 160 dealerships, with the rest paying cash.
Countrywide, that ratio is even less with only 10 percent of
consumers using financing.

Jan 16, 2013

VL Automotive combines Fisker shell with Corvette engine

DETROIT (Reuters) – Bob Lutz, who championed the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, was at the Detroit auto show on Tuesday pitching a new venture that combines an electric car’s exterior with a high-performance gasoline-powered engine.

VL Automotive, a tiny boutique carmaker less than a half-year-old and maker so far of only two cars, is combining the shell of a Fisker Karma with the guts of a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.

Jan 13, 2013

Corvette enthusiasts await debut of 2014 model

DETROIT, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Members of America’s Corvette
Club can’t wait to see General Motors Corp’s 2014
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the first new Corvette in nine
years, which the automaker will unveil this week at the annual
Detroit auto show.

The seventh generation Corvette, called C7 by fans of the
iconic American sportscar, has a front-mounted engine and a
shape like a race car. GM will show it to the media on Sunday
and make pictures and video available to the public.

Jan 10, 2013

Chrysler minority owner pushes first step toward IPO

DETROIT, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The minority owner of Chrysler
Group LLC on Wednesday pushed the U.S. automaker to take the
first step toward becoming a public company again by demanding
that Chrysler register shares with U.S. regulators.

The minority owner, a United Auto Workers union retiree
healthcare trust, on Wednesday demanded that Chrysler register
16.6 percent of company shares with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. The trust has the right to make the demand
because of the 2009 agreement that brought Chrysler out of
bankruptcy and left Fiat SpA as part-owner.

Jan 3, 2013

Auto industry posts best U.S. sales year since 2007

DETROIT, Jan 3 (Reuters) – U.S. auto sales rose 9 percent in
December, led by foreign manufacturers, capping off the best
year for the industry since before the recession.

The year’s sales were driven by a slowly recovering economy,
more available credit and the need for consumers and businesses
to replace aging cars and trucks.

Jan 3, 2013

December sales mixed for Detroit automakers

DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit’s automakers showed December U.S. sales gains of 5 percent, slightly better than analysts’ expectations, but likely not enough to stave off market-share gains by Japanese rivals.

General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted sales growth of 5 percent compared with the previous December, Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) increased sales 2 percent and Chrysler Group LLC’s sales rose 10 percent.

Dec 27, 2012

Toyota to settle acceleration cases for over $1 billion

DETROIT (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp has proposed spending $1.1 billion to install safety systems and provide cash payments to customers to resolve sweeping U.S. class-action litigation over claims that millions of the Japanese automaker’s vehicles accelerate unintentionally.

About 16 million Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles sold in the United States from the model years 1998 to 2010 are covered by the action, according to court filings made public on Wednesday. Thirty models are affected, including the top-selling Toyota Camry midsize sedan and Corolla compact car.

Dec 27, 2012

Toyota seeks to settle acceleration cases for $1.1 billion

DETROIT (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp has proposed spending $1.1 billion to install safety systems and provide cash payments to customers to resolve sweeping U.S. class-action litigation over claims that millions of the Japanese automaker’s vehicles accelerate unintentionally.

About 16 million Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles sold in the United States from the model years 1998 to 2010 are covered by the action, according to court filings made public on Wednesday. Thirty models are affected, including the top-selling Toyota Camry midsize sedan and Corolla compact car.