Workers end Chrysler strike
DETROIT - Chrysler Corp. willingly took a 'very significant short-term loss' to preserve its ability to decide what work is done in its plants, Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said.
Workers at the Mound Road Engine Plant in Detroit ratified a new three-year local agreement on Friday, May 9, ending a 29-day walkout.
Chrysler retained the right to outsource its driveshaft work at the plant to independent supplier Dana Corp. The 250 employees who make driveshafts at Mound Road will be shifted to other work in the plant.
The automaker lost 86,066 units during the strike, which idled five assembly plants and affected 10 stamping, powertrain and component operations.
Said Lutz in an interview: 'For a local union to tell us, 'No, we don't like making this; we would rather keep making these over here,' that's just not acceptable.'
Prowler price set: $39,000
DETROIT - Chrysler Corp. said the 1997 Plymouth Prowler will carry a suggested retail price of $39,000, including the destination charge.
There are no extra-cost options on the Prowler, which will go on sale later this year. Production begins this quarter.
Standard equipment includes dual airbags, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, a 320-watt Infinity stereo system with compact disc player, run-flat tires and a fully retractable convertible top.
Chrysler, BMW pick Brazil site
Chrysler Corp. and BMW AG will build a joint-venture engine plant in Campo Largo, Brazil, adjacent to the site of a new Chrysler truck plant.
The engine plant will produce newly designed 1.4- and 1.6-liter engines to power future small cars from Chrysler and the Rover Group, a BMW company. Chrysler and BMW have an equal interest in the joint venture, which has yet to be named.
The automakers announced the forming of the joint venture in October.
The engine plant will have annual capacity of up to 400,000 engines. Construction is expected to begin by year end.
Loss tops sales for energy firm
DETROIT - Energy Conversion Devices Inc. of Troy, Mich., lost $7.1 million in the first quarter of 1997, as revenue from one-time licensing fees tailed off. In the same period a year ago, the company's net income was $758,000.
The company reported revenue of $5.7 million, down from $7.5 million last year. Meanwhile, expenses have increased as its GM Ovonic LLC unit prepares to begin pilot production of nickel-metal hydride batteries for electric vehicles. (See story on Page 3.)
Kia eyes move into Canada
TORONTO - Kia Motors America Inc. has begun preliminary work for entering Canada, but it said it has not set a firm timetable.
The company, based in Irvine, Calif., recently asked the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association for information on the legal aspects of operating in Canada, the association said.
Kia had said previously that it will expand into Canada after it finishes its rollout in the United States.