GM proposes arbitration
General Motors has proposed including mandatory, nonbinding mediation in its 2000 dealer agreement. If mediation failed, the dealer could litigate the dispute.
The proposal was presented last week at the National Association of Motor Vehicle Boards and Commissions. GM also is getting feedback from the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Airbag rules target extended
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation has extended the deadline for final rules on advanced airbags by six months. The new target is March 1, 2000, rather than Sept. 1, 1999.
In a letter to lawmakers made public late last week, Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater said more time is needed because of 'complex technological issues presented by this rulemaking.'
A law enacted last year still requires automakers to phase advanced airbags into vehicles during the 2003-06 model years. The airbags are to tailor deployments for different occupants and crashes and to reduce risks from deployment, especially to children.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued preliminary rules last September. Automakers argued some provisions are unworkable and others would force them to revert to more powerful - and more dangerous - airbags.
Canada sales up 8.3% in July
TORONTO - Light-vehicle sales in Canada, still driven by incentive programs, increased 8.3 percent in July, boosting sales volumes 4.5 percent for the year.
Passenger car sales increased 6.8 percent compared with last July, and truck sales rose 9.6 percent, according to figures from DesRosiers Automotive Statistics. Ford Motor Co. recorded a 15.2 percent increase. General Motors gained 6.7 percent, and Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep sales rose 2.5 percent.
Japanese light-vehicle sales increased 11.2 percent in July. Sales by European makes declined 9.8 percent due mainly to a 14.4 percent slide at Volkswagen.
GM may build Hummer plant
The fledgling partnership between AM General Corp. and General Motors may result in a new assembly plant in Mishawaka, Ind.
Carl Kaser, a UAW official at AM General in Mishawaka, said AM General wants to build a new plant near the existing Hummer plant to assemble a new Hummer vehicle with GM.
The union local approved a contract addendum last week for the possible new plant, but no decision can be made until AM General and GM make their partnership final, probably within 90 days.
Last month GM agreed to buy the Hummer brand, but not the plant.