Cambridge gets help
DETROIT - Cash-strapped Cambridge Industries Inc. has obtained financial relief from General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and other customers as the plastic components supplier seeks a buyer. The company in Madison Heights, Mich., said last week that its largest customers and its banking consortium granted new financial terms that will free up cash for the capital expenditures it needs to launch major new programs for GM and Ford. Accelerated payments and other relief from the automakers is expected to carry the company until it can sell a division or the entire company.
KEY SEEKS PROTECTION
DETROIT - Key Plastics LLC, a supplier to General Motors and Ford Motor Co., has sought Chapter 11 creditor protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court here. The Novi, Mich., company has grown rapidly in recent years through acquisitions. Last week it filed for the voluntary court petition.
MAKERS WARY OF ETHANOL
WASHINGTON - Carmakers are concerned about a Clinton administration plan to require ethanol in gasoline instead of an oxygenate called MTBE, but they won't have a big role in the fight over the plan.
Greg Dana, vice president of environmental affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said carmakers are wary of ethanol because of its corrosive effect on fuel systems and because it increases gasoline volatility. Variations in volatility make meeting emissions standards more difficult.
The Clinton administration last week proposed the change because MTBE, which makes fuel burn more cleanly, is showing up in drinking water, especially in California. MTBE, or methyl tertiary butyl ether, may cause cancer.
WASHINGTON - The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is about to add its 12th and 13th members and a sixth vice president.
Porsche Cars North America Inc. and Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc. will join Saturday, April 1, said alliance Vice President Gloria Bergquist. Also, Robert Strassburger, director of government and technical affairs at Nissan North America Inc., is leaving that post to become the alliance vice president for safety, Bergquist said.
The alliance was formed in 1999 to represent both U.S.-based and overseas-based carmakers.