Serra quits Saturn chain
Joe Serra has resigned his 5-month-old position as president of Saturn Enterprises Inc. to become the sole owner of Serra Investments Inc., one of the nation's largest auto retailing groups.
Serra, appointed president and COO of the new Charlotte, N.C.-based Saturn chain June 1, will become the sole stockholder of Serra Investments. His father, Albert Serra, is currently the majority shareholder.
The Grand Blanc, Mich., chain is the country's 13th largest group of Automotive News' annual ranking of top dealerships.
Saturn Enterprises was created this year as a holding company to acquire and operate Saturn stores around the country. In a statement released Friday, Saturn Enterprises Chairman Don Hudler expressed regret over Serra's departure.
Prices rise $82 on Chevy cars
DETROIT - In its second price increase of the 2000 model year, Chevrolet has raised its car stickers an average of $82. Coupled with an estimated increase of $507 at introduction time, Chevy prices have gone up an average of $589 since the end of the 1999 model year, Automotive News fins.
The latest boost affects seven of Chevrolet's nine car lines; only the Lumina and Monte Carlo were spared. The increases ranged from $20 on the Metro to $265 on the Camaro Z28. Chevrolet also raised destination charges between $10 and $20 on five car lines; Metro, Prizm, Malibu, Camaro and Corvette.
See Page 64 for details of an Oldsmobile price increase.
AIADA aims at estate tax
WASHINGTON - Now that President Clinton has vetoed a bill to repeal the estate tax gradually, car dealers and other business groups are trying instead to chip away at the federal levy on assets passed to heirs.
They gained ground late last week when House Republican leaders assured business lobbyists they will attach an estate tax cut to a bill raising the federal minimum wage by $1 over three years. A vote could come this week, but the outcome is uncertain.
'We've got to eat this elephant one bite at a time,' said Walter Huizenga, president of American International Automobile Dealers Association. His organization launched a weekend drive to persuade lawmakers to support the bill. Republicans especially are reluctant to vote for a minimum wage increase.
The estate tac cut would be accomplished by eliminating a 5 percent surcharge on large estates, lowering the top rate from 55 percent to 53 percent and converting the current unified credit to a true exemption. AIADA Vice President Scott Lane said the conversion effectively lowers rates on all but the largest estates.
Although details of the bill have not been written yet, Huizenga estimated that the changes would save at least several hundred thousand dollars for the heirs to a typical metropolitan dealership.