BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky - Kentucky state police arrested 17 General Motors workers at the Chevrolet Corvette plant here on drug charges after a 14-month undercover investigation.
According to an officer with the Kentucky state police, the investigation was prompted by complaints from other employees that some workers were consuming and selling drugs on the job. GM hired an outside security firm to investigate.
Frequent fliers for car buyers
A marketing plan to give frequent-flier miles for car purchases has earned mixed reviews from dealers. 'If we sell a $50,000 car, we pay $500 for the miles,' said Mike Sullivan, marketing manager for Prestige Motors in Paramus, New Jersey, a Mercedes-Benz dealership. 'The return has been an issue, but the program has generated some interest.' Out of 1,000 inquiries, the dealership sold or leased 50 vehicles.
Rodger Meier Cadillac in Dallas said 200 inquiries resulted in the sale or lease of 20 new Cadillacs.
The 'Buy2Fly' concept could catch on with more frequent fliers if the promoter, Member Services Inc. of Bentonville, Arkansas, attracts more airlines. It started with American Airlines.
GM best and worst
GM is the most appreciative manufacturer - and the least appreciative, too - according to a survey of US auto dealers.
Dealers were asked to rate their companies on how much attention they paid to dealers' input. GM's Saturn dealers ranked No. 1 at 9.2 on a scale of 10, and GM's Chevrolet dealers were last at 3.7.
Toyota cuts Tercel
LOS ANGELES - Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. has slowed imports of the Japanese-built Tercel and Paseo to a trickle. For many dealers, the Corolla is now the smallest Toyota.
Toyota still offers a two-door Tercel loaded with options priced at $12,690, but sales have fallen to 30,000 from a peak of more than 100,000 in 1991.
'Tercel didn't fit in our model line. It didn't have the right content or pricing,' said Don Esmond, Toyota Division general manager.
'We're still looking at the basic-small category. You have to. But there's not a lot of profit in it. And if there's a dealer out there who would rather have fewer Camrys and more Tercels, let me know.''
Makers should focus on efficiency in existing plants
TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan - Manufacturers should not rush into emerging markets just to take advantage of low wages. The warning was given by senior executives on the first Annual Blue Ribbon Panel on Global Manufacturing convened by the TBM Consulting Group. The panel said companies should concentrate on developing lean manufacturing methods in their existing plants.