Visteon partner files Chapter 11
WILMINGTON, Del. - Lernout & Hauspie, Visteon Corp.'s voice-recognition technology partner, which it is suing to preserve a joint venture, is seeking bankruptcy protection. The Belgian company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Wed., Nov. 29, in federal court here. Officials say the company will continue operations and rebuild its asset base.
Visteon would not comment on the filing or how it affects the lawsuit over the joint venture and Visteon's separate agreement with Lernout & Hauspie's Dragon Systems unit. But the unfolding drama won't hamper Visteon's voice strategy, a spokeswoman said, because Visteon has its own stand-alone voice technology.
Delphi plans layoffs
DETROIT - Automaker production cutbacks are pinching the world's largest supplier. Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. will temporarily lay off 3 percent of its U.S. hourly work force. More than 1,700 workers will be notified during the next three weeks. Most of the layoffs are expected to last one or two weeks at plants in Michigan, Ohio and New York.
FORD, DCX DO RECALLS
DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler are recalling a combined 1.6 million vehicles.
Ford is recalling 1995-97 Ford Explorers and 1997 Mercury Mountaineers to install heftier links between the front stabilizer bar and lower control arms of the suspension. About 876,000 vehicles are affected.
DaimlerChrysler is recalling about 770,000 1993-94 minivans so their steering wheels can be reinforced. The company said it has received about 70 reports of damaged steering wheels but no claims of crashes or injuries. Affected models are the Plymouth Voyager and Grand Voyager, Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country.
CARDAY EXTENDS REACH
NEW YORK - CarDay Inc., an Internet-based used-vehicle company, has entered franchise agreements with Planet Automotive of Coral Gables, Fla., and Dah Chong Hong USA, a Hong Kong dealership group with U.S. headquarters in Manhattan.
Planet Automotive, with 18 dealerships and $1.3 billion in sales, is No. 9 on the 1999 Automotive News list of top dealership groups. Dah Chong Hong operates 24 dealerships and expects to exceed $1 billion in sales in 2000.