GM's Donnelly to retire April 1
DETROIT - Dick Donnelly, the former president of GM Europe, is retiring April 1 after a 37-year career with General Motors.
Donnelly, 55, was the program manager responsible for the development of the Chevrolet Corsica and Beretta.
He was president of GM Europe from 1995 until last September, when he returned to Detroit after GM reshuffled management.
Olds prices rise $20
DETROIT - Oldsmobile has raised prices on its Cutlass, Silhouette and Bravada lines. Alero prices are up and down, and the reductions exceed the boosts.
The result is an average increase of $20.21 on a 1999 Oldsmobile car or truck, Automotive News estimates. Since Oldsmobile sales are such a small portion of General Motors' sales, the Olds increase raises the average price of a GM vehicle only $1.46.
By lines, the Olds increases amounted to $100 on the Silhouette and Bravada and $30 on the Cutlass. Four Aleros went up $30; two others went down $270 and $215.
NHTSA mum on side airbags
WASHINGTON - The federal government responded late last week to General Motors' claims that competitors' side airbags are dangerous by reminding all carmakers they are responsible for the safety of what they sell.
Beyond that, 'I'm not going to predict what, if anything, we might do,' said Rae Tyson, a spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA, which quietly has been reviewing side airbag safety for about six months, does not regulate the devices.
BMW of North America Inc., whose side airbags were thought to be among those GM tested, believes federal standards 'would make sense,' but the company already strives to minimize risk, said product information manager Rob Mitchell.
He and others in the industry said they were surprised at GM's hard-nosed approach in its heavily promoted claims.
GM distributed information and videotapes that it said showed competitors' side airbags could harm children, but it did not name the competitors.
GM also announced it soon will introduce a system to suppress front passenger airbags if children are seated in front.