Delphi issues stock options
DETROIT - Delphi Automotive Systems last week issued options on 15 million shares of stock to more than 200,000 hourly and salaried employees. The options are exercisable at $18.66 per share at various future dates. The options are designed to link employee interests and shareholder interests, the company said.
German firm to buy Zollner
Automotive piston maker Kolbenschmidt Pierburg AG of Germany has agreed to acquire Zollner Pistons LLC of Fort Wayne, Ind.
Zollner supplies pistons and power cylinder modules to Ford Motor Co. and General Motors and to other makers of trucks and farm equipment. Zollner, owned by affiliates of Ryan Enterprises Group, a Chicago investment group, posted sales last year of $120 million from a plant in Fort Wayne and another in Ontario, Canada. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Luxury tax bid is softened
WASHINGTON - In a budget draft late last week, some lawmakers floated the idea of extending the federal tax on luxury vehicles, but then backed off.
The GOP-controlled Senate Budget Committee ultimately passed and sent to the full Senate a fiscal 2000 budget that mentions in general terms the extension of expiring taxes as a revenue-raising option.
Scott Lane, vice president of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, said he believes quick reaction to the draft by dealers, manufacturers and others led to the change.
A budget resolution by itself would not change tax law. A separate bill would have to be approved by Congress and the president. But the flare-up 'shows we really have to keep our eyes on that tax,' said AIADA President Walter Huizenga.
The tax, currently 6 percent on transaction prices above $36,000 of cars and some trucks, expires in 2003.
Toyota opens credit center
Toyota Motor Credit Corp. last Friday, March 19, opened a $20 million financial services center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to handle the customer-relations needs of the company's 1.3 million finance and lease customers. About 400 people will work in the center.
The center will take over account maintenance chores from 33 regional offices. It also will handle some claims for Toyota Motor Insurance Services.
The office is expected to handle 3.6 million phone calls and nearly 5 million pieces of mail a year. One major benefit: A consumer can get the same customer-service representative every time he or she calls.
The 33 regional branches now will concentrate on generating new business.