DETROIT - Juergen Schrempp is out, Mike Jack-son is in. Schrempp, DaimlerChrysler AG chairman, has canceled his Feb. 6 key-note address during the opening general session of the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in San Francisco. Mike Jackson, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz of North America Inc., will take Schrempp's place.
PEORIA, Ill. - The National Labor Relations Board will investigate a UAW complaint that Mit-subishi Motor Manufacturing of America Inc. is laying off 500 workers unfairly. The complaint, filed by UAW Local 2488, charges that Mitsubishi is violating a contract agreement to reduce outsourced labor before laying off employees. The 4,000-employee Normal, Ill., plant has proposed eliminating 500 union jobs and 200 management positions.
GM: PICKUPS OK
DETROIT - Rumors that the new hydroformed frame on the General Motors Sil-verado/Sierra pickups bend when the trucks are jacked or when loaded to capacity in the bed are false, said Dan Flores, a GM Truck Group spokesman. True, 36 trucks suffered bending at the frame's roll-formed midsection. That happened because the carrier transporting them from the Pontiac East assembly plant improperly used hydraulic rams to scrunch the vehicles down to their bump-stops for shipping, subjecting them to 'three to four times their design load,' Flores said. The carrier paid GM for the damaged vehicles, and GM has had no warranty claims on the frames of the approximately 230,000 trucks built to date, he said.
EXEC MOVES ON
SAN FRANCISCO - Nelson Bowers, one of the founders of Sonic Automotive Inc., a Charlotte, N.C.-based publicly held dealership group, has left the chain to work for an investment banking firm that serves dealers. Bowers began working for Presidio Strategies of San Francisco in December. He had joined Sonic in 1997.
PLAQUEMINE, La. - General Motors won approval from a Louisiana judge to send $1,000 vouchers to 5.8 million owners of pickups equipped with sidesaddle gas tanks. According to Bloomberg News Service, owners of C/K pickups built from 1973-87 will get the vouchers, which can be used to buy any new GM vehicle except Saturns. The agreement ends a seven-year safety dispute over the pickups, which critics claimed were vulnerable to fires caused by side-impact collisions.