Battenberg: The price isn't right
Delphi Automotive Systems has been buying a company a month for more than three years. But the world's largest supplier has shied away from the really big deals. 'Some of the prices that are being paid today are exorbitant in the supplier sector,' explains J.T. Battenberg, Delphi CEO. 'The big guys are very expensive.' Battenberg, by the way, walks with a bit more independence these days. On Jan. 1, Delphi became a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors. The move paves the way for Delphi's initial public offering, expected early this year.
UNIVERSAL ADVENTURE - Dodge will invite more than 3 million Caravan minivan owners to a preview of Universal Studios' new Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Fla., June 17-20. The event kicks off an exclusive automotive marketing partnership with Universal Studios. The venture includes theme parks, movie studios and the Internet. The deal provides Dodge with first-look tie-ins with select motion pictures and licensing and merchandising opportunities.
CHEAPER TO RUN - It must be true, because the tax man (or woman) says it is. The cost of owning and operating a car or truck has not just leveled off. It is going down. So, the Internal Revenue Service is reducing the standard employee reimbursement or tax deduction for the use of a motor vehicle for business. It is going down from 32.5 cents a mile to 31. Larry Snyder, director of government development for Runzheimer International, an IRS contractor, said the reversal is the first since 1981. The reduction to 31 cents was to have taken effect Jan. 1 but has been postponed until April 1. Scott Mezistrano, manager of government relations for the American Payroll Association, said employers needed time to figure out how to implement the change because 'it never goes down.'