GM strike settled
DETROIT - General Motors workers cheered at the settlement of their 52-day strike last week, but industry analysts said it resolved nothing.
In the end, GM agreed to keep open a Delphi Automotive Systems parts plant it wanted to close. The strike cost GM an estimated 570,000 units.
The union agreed there would be no more strikes in the next 18 months, when the current national contract will expire.
Most plants were to resume production today.
Daimler doubles its profit
FRANKFURT - Daimler-Benz profits were up 104 percent and group revenues up 21 percent over the first six months of 1998.
'We are perfectly prepared for the Daimler-Chrysler merger,' said a happy Chairman Juergen Schrempp.
Operating profit grew from DM1.8 billion ($1.0 billion) in the first half of 1997 to DM3.8 billion in 1998. Group sales were DM55.8 billion in 1997, up from DM67.7 in the first half of 1998. US sales revenue grew 43 percent.
Global unit sales of 427,700 were up 27 percent, boosted mainly by the new A-class and M-class. Schrempp was delighted with a 12 percent return on capital, saying it had been reached a year ahead of management expectations. He projected annual revenue of DM140 billion, up from an earlier DM134 billion estimate.
India rejects BMW
India has rejected BMW's proposed kit car assembly plant.
The Director General of Foreign Trade said BMW's project would not contribute to the development of India's auto industry. BMW proposed investing $20 million in a tie-up with Hero Motors, an Indian scooter manufacturer. India expects a $50 million investment in any joint venture.
PSA sales rise
First half PSA car sales increased by 15.6 percent to FF101 billion ($16.8 billion) compared to the same period last year. Unit sales were up 12.3 percent in Western Europe, led by the Citroen Xsara.
Outside Western Europe, sales were up by 4 percent to 169,000 units, with an increase in Eastern Europe and a decrease in Asia.
New VW lab
Volkswagen will invest DM10 million ($5.6 million) in a new research laboratory for zero-emission engine technology. Chairman Ferdinand Piech told engineers he wants a hybrid engine using fuel-cell and battery ready in 2000.
The laboratory will be finished in about 6 months.