User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: February 2007
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2007-02-28

* Spain - Nissan in deal to boost output of light trucks from plant in

Tokyo,Japan -XFN, Asia/Forbes (NY,USA) -27 Feb 2007: -- Nissan Motor Co said the provincial government of Castilla y Leon, the Avilla City Council and unit Nissan Motor Iberica have signed a deal aimed at boosting output of light commercial vehicles from Nissan's plant in Avila... Under the agreement, the provincial government will develop logistics infrastructure and services, the Avila City Council will provide a minimum of 11 hectares of land for the infrastructure, and Nissan Motor will lead the project... In a statement Nissan said it is aiming to boost production capacity at the plant to 29,000 light commercial trucks this year from just under 22,000 last year and it expects to produce 40,000 a year in future...

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AUTOMAKERS NEWS

* USA - Mississippi officials joyous over new Toyota plant
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -Feb 27, 2007: -- Toyota officials said Tuesday they chose a site near Tupelo, Miss., for the company's newest manufacturing plant that will begin building SUVs in 2010... The $1.3 billion plant on 1,700 acres will be able to build 150,000 Highlanders a year starting in 2010. It will be Toyota's eighth North American assembly plant and will create 2,000 new jobs. The site was selected over finalists in Tennessee and Arkansas...

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* USA - Global Vehicle Technologies Unveils Next Generation Solenoid Valves

For High-Temperature Applications

Seattle,Wash,USA -Layover -Feb 27, 2007: -- As heavy-duty truck manufacturers and engine makers have worked to comply with tougher federal guidelines for emissions controls, they have faced rising temperatures under the hood... The Seattle-based manufacturer of custom-engineered products developed the Next Generation Solenoid Valves (NGSV) to stand up to hotter engine compartment conditions, more aggressive road salts and increasing environmental compliance requirements...

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* USA - Oshkosh Truck awarded $878 million Army contract

Oshkosh,Wis,USA -The Trucker -Feb. 23, 2007: -- Oshkosh Truck Corp. has been awarded an $878 million contract by the U.S. Army’s Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) to continue producing the family of heavy tactical vehicles (FHTV) that is currently in use by the Army... The FHTV contract, according to a Feb. 23 company news release, covers new production of the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), Palletized Load System (PLS) vehicle, and PLS trailer... Under the contract, Oshkosh will deliver 1,857 new vehicles and 2,599 new trailers...

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* USA - Navistar suspends production of Ford diesel engine

The carmaker has "stopped honoring the terms of agreement under which the engines were built"

WARRENVILE, Ill. -Today's Trucking -26 Feb 2007: -- Navistar International says it's halting production of the Power Stroke diesel engine that it builds for Ford Motors F-Series pickups because the carmaker has "stopped honoring the terms of agreement under which the engines were built"... The two long-time partners have been embroiled in a major contract dispute over commercial terms and production of these engines. As a result, says Navistar, production for Ford will cease indefinitely at its Indianapolis, Ind., and Huntsville, Ala. facilities...

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* Canada - Trucking giant posts record result

Toronto,ONT,CAN -The Toronto Star -Feb 27, 2007: -- Acquisitions drove Canada's largest trucking company, TransForce Income Fund, to a record-setting financial performance in 2006... Full-year profit rose to $151 million from $147.3 million while revenue rose 21 per cent to $1.8 billion, from $1.5 billion in 2005, the company said yesterday...

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Products * USA - Business advisors set up shop for truckers

Lawrence,Kan,USA -The Trucker -Feb. 27, 2007: -- Truckers trying to keep an eye on finances and on the highway have new help: Higher Roads, the Center for Business Advancement, has opened for business. Working with independent trucking professionals, Higher Roads — founded by trucking veteran Jack Milligan — provides the financial services, support and training needed to stay the course, according to the center’s opening news release...

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* Canada - Fuel crunch threatens truckers

'Perfect storm' prolongs shortage

Toronto,ONT,CAN -Today's Trucking (CAN) -27 Feb 2007: -- A growing number of Ontario trucking carriers are finding it harder to fill up as the fuel supply across the province is deteriorating, says the Ontario Trucking Association... While it hasn't yet received reports of truckers having to park power units, "the situation appears to be growing worse day by day" for both highway customers and carriers that own their own bulk storage, OTA says... Running on Empty: Some truckers haven't been impacted by the fuel crunch yet, but the situation could get dire soon...

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* USA - Picky Chrysler Gets Ready For Suitors

Pity poor Chrysler

Detroit,Mich,USA -Forbes, by Joann Muller -26 Feb 2007: -- It is locked in a loveless marriage that doesn't fulfill its needs. Mercedes doesn't want it, and it can't survive on its own in the toughest market in the world... Starting next week, a parade of potential suitors will meet with parent DaimlerChrysler and its adviser, J.P. Morgan Chase, to review the Chrysler Group's prospectus, says a source close to the situation. Each will receive an in-depth look at the division's assets, liabilities and financial projections, as well as a glimpse of future Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles... Fewer than a dozen automakers and private equity firms will hear the presentation, the source says. Rumors are flying about who will get a peek under the tent at Chrysler, which lost $1.5 billion last year and has launched a recovery plan to return to profitability next year. Among the likely investment candidates: Cerberus Capital, Apollo Management, the Carlyle Group and the Blackstone Group...

* COMMENT: USA - Captain Kirk, meaning Kirk Kerkorian, Please Report To The Bridge
NY,USA -Forbes, by Jerry Flint -23 Feb 2007: -- As I read these stories about Chrysler, I cannot help thinking of Mark Twain's famous cable to The Associated Press 110 years ago: "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."... Yes, things look bad for Chrysler... The Germans on the ruling Supervisory Board at DaimlerChrysler seem determined to get rid of the U.S. company, the bankers are eyeing the fees and all the momentum points to a sale. The old saying applies here; once these things get started, they tend to have a life of their own... The sad thing is that Chrysler really is not in horrendous shape. OK, a $1.5 billion loss sounds scary, unless you remember the $12 billion loss of Ford last year and the $10 billion loss at GM the year before. The auto industry is a cyclical business. I figure that DaimlerChrysler lost at least $5 billion on its silly little Smart car, and it has yet to bail out of that boondoggle... Will it happen? If the buyer is not one of the auto companies, there are still plenty of scavengers and vultures looking to make some money by breaking up the company. Right now, General Motors may be the only car company seriously looking at possible deal with Chrysler... Chrysler has faced more than one crisis in its history, and something always comes along to save the company... Ah, where is Captain Kirk, meaning Kirk Kerkorian, when we need him?

* USA - Chrysler workers get $100K to go - Early retirement, buyout packages are part of plan to cut 11,000 jobs; some say it's not enough money
Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Josee Valcourt -27 Feb 2007: -- DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group said Tuesday it will offer union workers up to $100,000 to leave the company as it moves to cut 9,000 hourly jobs in the United States... Some workers, however, said they were disappointed the offers weren't more generous and didn't include a voucher for the purchase of a new vehicle... Chrysler announced a deep restructuring two weeks ago and has already detailed buyout and early retirement offers designed to cut 2,000 hourly positions in Canada and 2,000 U.S. salaried jobs...

* Germany - DCX OKs Chery deal - China likely to approve plan to sell its cars here
Frankfurt,Germany -Associated Press/The Detroit News, by Matt Moore -27 Feb 2007: -- DaimlerChrysler AG, seeking to cut costs and boost sales in North America, said Tuesday it will start selling Chinese-made cars in that market and western Europe as it tries to meet demand for smaller, more economical vehicles... The world's fifth-largest automaker said its supervisory board approved the framework of a limited partnership that will see China's Chery Motor Co. build the cars in China...

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* USA - South Bay Expressway tolls will be $11.25 for trucks

CAL,USA -Land Line Magazine -Feb 27, 2007: -- The builder and operator of a private toll road in the San Diego area has announced that truckers will pay three times more than four-wheelers to use the road... Trucks with five axles will be charged $11.25 to travel the length of the 10-mile South Bay Expressway when the toll road opens in the summer. That’s three times the $3.75 rate that four-wheelers will be charged, according to the operator’s Web site...

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‘Passenger Responsibility’ * USA - Indiana bill advances

IN,USA -Land Line Magazine -Feb 26, 2007: -- In hopes of preventing needless deaths along roadsides, the Indiana House unanimously approved a bill that would require passengers of vehicles to act and call police in life-or-death situations. It now heads to the Senate... Sponsored by Rep. Tim Neese, R-Elkhart, bill would require passengers to help injured or trapped drivers and immediately report the incident to law enforcement. All people involved in wrecks who are at least 15 years old would be required to attempt to notify someone for aid. Failure to act could result in up to 60 days in jail and as much as $500 in fines... Neese is pursuing the effort in response to the death of Thomas Hoopingarner in November 2005... Hoopingarner, a 17-year-old, died after two passengers in his vehicle left him trapped while the vehicle was inverted and underwater in a pond in northern Indiana, The Associated Press reported... The two teenage passengers left him there without seeking aid and did not report the wreck, The Truth of Elkhart reported...

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Faulty sensor * USA - Leads to overcharges on Florida toll road

FL,USA -Land Line Magazine -Feb 26, 2007: -- Motorists and truckers with SunPass accounts in Florida overpaid $90,000 in tolls in January, according to company officials who also said full refunds have been issued... Drivers with SunPass pay their tolls using an electronic transponder and a pre-paid debit account... A malfunctioning sensor at the Commercial Boulevard exit on the Florida Turnpike led to 30,000 incorrect readings from late December 2006 until Jan. 25 of this year... One motorist was quoted in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel as saying he was charged $6 at a toll booth that normally costs 50 cents... The faulty sensor has been replaced, the newspaper reported... SunPass is used on 450 miles of Florida toll roads, according to the Turnpike Web site...

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Ticket Quotas Stalls * USA - Utah bill to outlaw

Utah,USA -Land Line Magazine -26 Feb 2007: -- A bill has stalled in the Utah Legislature that was intended to prevent law enforcement officers from going on ticket-writing sprees... “I was with (my) daughter and we got pulled over. I asked the officer if he’s under a quota system. He said they really don’t call it a quota system, it’s more of a performance-based evaluation system,” Rep. Neil Hansen, D-Ogden said at a recent hearing on the bill in the House... As part of that system, the officer told him, he’s required to write eight tickets a day... Supporters of the measure said there’s a difference between telling officers to write a certain number of tickets and telling them to write all the infractions they see... Hansen said that if chiefs have officers who refuse to write tickets, the problem is with the officers who refuse to enforce the laws – not the lack of a ticket quota.

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"Hot Fuel" * USA - Pump technology could solve troubles altogether

The warmer liquid gets, the more it expands, right?

Valley Grain,MO,USA -Land Line Magazine, by David Tanner -Feb 26, 2007: -- To put it simply – if the fuel that flows from the nozzle of a gas/diesel pump is too warm, you don’t get as much Btu bang for your buck... For years, consumers have been ripped off by fuel sold at temperatures warmer than the national standard of 60 degrees, according to plaintiff groups involved in five lawsuits filed in December 2006 in federal courts... The consumer plaintiffs want to change that because, according to an investigative series in The Kansas City Star, hot fuel costs consumers between $1.7 billion and $2.3 billion per year... The devil is in the details, and while a little piece of pump equipment known as a temperature-compensation device does not change the temperature of the fuel, it does “compensate” for warm, expanded fuel. So why don’t fuel pumps in the U.S. all have one?... Plaintiff groups in the five U.S. District Court lawsuits in California, New Jersey, Missouri and Kansas want to see temperature compensation become mandatory at the federal level... The groups of plaintiffs, all seeking class-action status, include owner-operators and OOIDA members... OOIDA Foundation Project Leader John Siebert is contributing research to the legal teams... "Temperature compensation is available, it is the correct way to do it, it is the equitable way to do it, and it is going to happen,” Siebert says with confidence. “They will try to slow down the train as much as possible, but they won’t stop it.”...

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Trucking Jobs * Canada - See: "Truckopolis"

Are you looking for an administrative, dispatcher, sales or accounting career in Trucking? Are you looking for a mechanic or technician job?

Toronto,Ont,CAN -Truck News -26 Feb 2007: -- You can find your ideal job here: www.trucknews.com/truckopolis... TRUCKOPOLIS, Canada’s employment website exclusively for Office and Technician Careers in Trucking...

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Production * Japan - PM meets Russian colleague

Tokyo,Japan -RIA Novosti (Moscow,Russia) -Feb 28, 2007: -- Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with his Russian counterpart Wednesday and said he would pay a return visit to Russia in the first half of 2007... Speaking at a news conference following talks with Mikhail Fradkov, on the second day of his visit to Tokyo, Abe said: he had a "useful exchange of opinion" with the Russian premier, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate in a number of sectors... Earlier Wednesday, Russian car manufacturer Severstal Avto and one of Japan's leading truck producers, Isuzu, signed an agreement to produce trucks in Russia...

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Mexican Truckers * USA - To Get Full Access to US Roads

BAD IDEA!! - Unions, Safety Groups Oppose Mexican Trucks on US Roads

USA -immigrationwatchdog.com, by GuardDog/News VOA -Feb 28, 2007: -- “It is a real concern of ours from a safety standpoint and, frankly, from a security standpoint,” he said. We do not know what is coming over these borders. They claim they are going to look at each truck and inspect each truck, but they try to do that now and they cannot even do ten percent of the trucks that come over the border.”... The Teamsters Union and highway safety groups in the United States are among those opposing the plan. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Houston... Allowing Mexican trucks to travel across the border and to all parts of the United States sounds like a great idea to Sarah Sanchez. The interim executive director of San Antonio’s Free Trade Alliance says her city, which sits a little over 200 kilometers from the border, would benefit greatly by becoming a logistical hub for U.S.-Mexico trade... But what might be good for San Antonio’s business leaders may not be good for the rest of the country and could pose a threat to motorists on U.S. highways, according to the Teamsters Union... The Teamsters say Mexican trucks are not up to the standards of U.S. trucks and that Mexican drivers are often pushed by their employers to drive longer hours than is safe... “We do not know what is coming over these borders. They claim they are going to look at each truck and inspect each truck, but they try to do that now and they cannot even do ten percent of the trucks that come over the border.”…

* More criticism comes for Mexican truck program
Grain Valley,MO,USA -Land Line Magazine -Feb 26, 2007: -- Just days after it was announced, more groups weighed in with heavy criticism of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s pilot program that will allow Mexican trucks further into the U.S. than ever before... a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, questioned how the United States could afford to send inspectors to Mexico when only a small portion of U.S. trucks are inspected each year... Joan Claybrook, president of safety advocacy group Public Citizen, hit on the hours of service compliance angle. She said in a statement that even if inspections do happen, they’ll be meaningless because inspectors will have “no way of telling how many hours these (Mexican) truck drivers have been driving before they get to the U.S.”... The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation is planning a hearing on March 8 to determine whether the program meets safety requirements...

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Truck Driving II * USA - The Deadliest Occupation ?

COMMENT 1:
USA -From: forums.motortrend.com, by tyrsmkr -26 Feb 2007: -- Situation:
1. Truck driving has highest fatality rate of any occupation
2. On average, 900 truck drivers killed on job each year
3. Turnover rates estimated at 130% per year, highest of any occupation
4. Truck drivers do not receive adequate training
5. Unyielding delivery deadlines, winter storms create unsafe roadways for truckers
6. Also for other motorists on roads w/ them
Significant Points
1. Pressure to keep driving has taken hold in last 5-10 years
2. Just-in-time deliveries eliminate need for maintaining inventories
3. But create ever greater pressure on truck drivers to take risks

COMMENT 2:
USA -From: forums.motortrend.com, by RMcG -26 Feb 2007: -- Its a very tough job and truckers frequently quit for other occupations. I am actually surprised how decent most truckers are. Sure you will get the occasional, but for the most part they are courteous providing you dont act like an idiot. I think the biggest problem is fatigue... The time pressure causes them to drive more than they legally should at times...

COMMENT 3:
USA -From: forums.motortrend.com, by Jahmills -26 Feb 2007: -- I was driving on the PA turnpike last night, in the middle of a snow & ice storm, and got passed by three big rigs (they were in the right lane!)... First they were going about 75mph, the road was very slick, my DSC light was blinking constantly, and second I watched a car merge in between two of these trucks where there was clearly not enough room. I was thinking about these drivers probably needing to keep on schedule and having to deal with idiots in cars, but they were also driving too fast for the conditions. It was a crazy situation on the roads here last night and I couldn't wait to get off that highway, I was actually scared, and I'm never scared when I'm driving...

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2007-02-27

Truck Driving I * USA - The Deadliest Occupation ?

USA -forums.motortrend.com -27 Feb 2007: -- Talking about total number of workplace deaths then, indeed, truck driving is the deadliest job. (See right)

But, in terms of fatalities rate per 100,000 people, in other words, your odds of being killed on the job, truck driving doesn't even make the top ten: (See left)

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DEBATE * USA - Is the Wall Street Journal Playing Semantic Games in Its on Mexican Trucks Editorial?

USA -BizzyBlog, by TBlumer: This item from an OpinionJournal.com editorial Tuesday looks too clever (bolds are mine) -Feb 27, 2007: -- According to the Transportation Department, 32% of Mexican trucks were pulled from the road for safety violations in 2001. Last year that number fell to 21%. Meanwhile, 21% of U.S. trucks failed safety inspections in 2001, versus 23% last year. Mexican drivers are less likely than their U.S. counterparts to be in violation of the law — 1.2% in 2006, versus 7% for U.S. truckers... Is there a difference between “pulled from the road” and “failed safety inspections” (i.e., you can fail a safety inspection but not be “pulled from the road” — at least not immediately)?... And are Mexican drivers much less likely to be “in violation of the law” because, as Mexicans and not US citizens, they don’t fall under the jurisdiction of US law?... If either of the above answers is “yes,” the Journal is playing semantic games to downplay the potential safety impact of the Bush Administration’s plans to allow Mexican trucks on all of the roads in America (vs. the current situation of forcing them to off-load within 25 miles of the border)...

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Business * Sweden - Volvo pays $1.3bn for Ingersoll Rand unit

Stockholm,Sweden -Financial Times (UK), by David Ibison -Feb 27 2007: -- Volvo, the Swedish manufacturer of trucks, buses and construction equipment, on Tuesday continued its buying spree with the $1.3bn (€983m) acquisition of the road construction business of Ingersoll Rand of the USA... The purchase follows last week’s $1.1bn takeover bid for Nissan Diesel, the Japanese truck maker, and comes ahead of an expected investment in Dongfeng Motor, a Chinese truck group...

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Business * Germany - VW may put whole trucks business into MAN/Scania

HANOVER,Germany -Reuters, by Christiaan Hetzner -Feb 26, 2007: -- Volkswagen might put its entire commercial vehicles division into a combined MAN/Scania group if MAN and Scania can agree on a friendly merger, it said on Monday... In the past, talk has focused on including only VW's Brazilian heavy trucks business into a combined group that would be the European truck market leader...

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PURCHASES * USA - Modine Wins $6.2 Million Order from Oshkosh Truck

To Supply Powertrain Cooling for New U.S. Marine Corps Heavy-Payload Trucks

Racine,Wis,USA -BUSINESS WIRE -26 Feb 2007: -- Modine Manufacturing Company, a diversified global leader in thermal management technology and solutions, announced today it has received a six year order valued at more than $6.2 million in the aggregate from Oshkosh Truck Corporation, to provide the powertrain cooling modules for the next generation U.S. Marine Corps’ heavy-payload truck fleet. Modine will supply a module, including a radiator, charge air cooler, and two oil coolers for each of the new Logistic Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) trucks. The Marine Corps could purchase up to 1,900 of the new cargo, wrecker and fifth-wheel LVSR variants over the next six years.

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"GREEN" NEWS * USA - Electronic car tests pollution on the go

USC and UCLA researchers team up to collect samples to analyze L.A. air near freeways, neighborhoods

Los Angeles,CA,USA -The Daily Trojan Online, by Hannah Kim -26 Feb 2007: -- At first glance, USC assistant professor Scott Fruin's vehicle looks like something out of "Back to the Future"... But far from being stolen out of a Hollywood backlot, the electric vehicle actually performs an important function: measuring concentrations of harmful particles on freeways and in nearby residential areas... Carbon dioxide was one of the gases being monitored in the research... the monitoring would continue until the end of the first full week of March. They would then collect data in the spring, summer and fall in order to obtain data for each season... (Photo by Michael Sugarman, Daily Trojan / Media Credit: On the go Kathleen Kozawa, USC doctoral candidate, adjusts equipment in the state-of-the-art SUV she uses to conduct pollution research around Los Angeles)

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Trucking Regulations * USA - Should Apply to All For National Security’s Sake

Ridgewood,NJ,USA -Family Security Matters, by Joan Messner -25 Feb 2007: -- In 1986, the 99th Congress passed the Commercial Motor Vehicles Safety Act. It was an Act designed to help secure the safety of all of us... The first regulation in the CMV Safety Act dealt with driver’s licenses: it ruled that no one who operates a commercial motor vehicle shall have more than one driver’s license. It further states that the minimum information required will include the “social security number of such operator”... Further, the general rule written in this act is that the Secretary of State shall disqualify for life from operating a commercial vehicle:
- anyone who has committed more than one violation while driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
- anyone who has committed more than one violation of leaving the scene of an accident;
- anyone who has used a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony.

... There are some who object...their excuse is “privacy”. That is a red herring and it stinks...

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AUTOMAKERS' NEWS * UK - Daimler may purchase minority stake in GM

London,UK -The Gulf News (Dubai,UAE)/Reuters/Financial Times -27 Feb 2007: -- DaimlerChrysler AG is considering taking a minority stake in General Motors as payment for Chrysler if a deal between the two automakers takes place... Such an all-share option was being weighed up by the firm, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the situation... Other possible options included a sale of DaimlerChrysler's struggling US arm to private-equity or industry investors, and a flotation of Chrysler...

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Business * UK - Volvo trucks set to rumble into Asia

Big ambitions...

London,UK -The Gulf News (Dubai,United Arab Emirates-UAE) -26 Feb 2007: -- Patiently, and at times with dogged perseverance, Leif Johansson, Volvo's Chief Executive, has asked the truckmaker's shareholders to sit back and wait for him to implement his vision... Johansson told them he was a dealmaker by nature and reminded them that Volvo, having absorbed Renault Trucks in Europe and Mack Trucks in the US, was not shy of making acquisitions... Johansson promised that the next step would be into Asia, the world's fastest-growing region... Last week's acquisition of Nissan Diesel by Volvo delivered control of a significant Japanese producer and, with it, a base for exports into neighbouring Asian countries. Combined with an expected deal with Dongfeng, a Chinese truckmaker, the plan could also put Volvo within striking distance of replacing DaimlerChrysler as the world's biggest manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks... The acquisitions form just one part of Johansson's vision. The other side of the equation is the combination's ability to generate savings and synergies... It is this area that forms the rationale behind any automotive industry merger. In practice, the cost savings can be notoriously difficult to realise. Johansson's track record in tricky area is, however, established. Since his company's purchases of Mack and Renault Trucks, the group has reduced the number of platforms it uses on its new engine range from 18 to just two...

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DEBATE * USA - Border opening about two months away

Grain Valley,MO,USA -Land Line Magazine -Feb. 23, 2007: -- After years of roadblocks that all but prevented Mexico-domiciled trucks from operating throughout the U.S., the border will be opening to 100 Mexican motor carriers in two short months... One of the biggest sticking points keeping the border closed to Mexican-domiciled trucks has been who will inspect the trucks and where they will be inspected before they are allowed into the states... OOIDA officials learned the Department of Transportation already has a pretty good fix on 100 motor carriers for possible approval into the program... Of the 100 motor carriers, 70 already operate in the U.S. commercial zone – leaving 30 Mexican-domiciled carriers being considered with no experience operating on U.S. soil... Utilizing FMCSA data, OOIDA officials determined the agency shows there were more than 4.65 million incoming trucks to the US from Mexico in 2005. Those 4.65 million trucks represent the entire vehicle population that could be subjected to an inspection... Simple math indicates that the inspection rate of the entire available vehicle population is 3.9 percent. To put it another way, a Mexican truck has a 96.1 percent of not being inspected at any border crossing in the country... OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said, the safety and security of U.S. motorists and truckers sharing American highways with trucks from Mexico can no more be assured now than it could in 2002 when Congress overwhelmingly told the Bush administration that safety had to be assured before the border opens... Spencer said not only are U.S. regulations on Americans more stringent in terms of verifying that a driver has been tested, but U.S. licenses can also be verified to show driving history, violations and compliance of any vehicle driven going back even a decade or longer. When enforcement officials run a Mexican CDL, the only information he can access will be that of previous operation in the U.S., not Mexico where a driver might have a rap sheet as along as your arm... Mexico has never had specific drug testing regulations or hours-of-service rules for its drivers that could be verified or enforced and still doesn’t... Spencer pointed out while Congress directed that states adopt laws on trucks with international shipments, few have done it and not a single state enforces these laws nor have their law enforcement officers ever been trained on what to enforce and how to assure compliance with U.S. law...

* Canada - Comment: The Mexicans are coming – but not everyone in the US is pleased
Washington,DC,USA -Truck News (CAN), by James Menzies -25 Feb 2007: -- ... The US government announced last week it would allow Mexican carriers to operate in the US. Those trucking firms would be subjected to inspections by US inspection officers. Currently, Mexican trucks are only allowed to operate within 20 miles of the US, where they must swap loads with US carriers... “This program will make trade with Mexico easier and keep our roads safe at the same time,” US Transportation Secretary, Mary Peters said. Mexican trucks could take to US highways as soon as 60 days from now under the ruling... OOIDA also said US enforcement officers cannot see a Mexican driver’s home record when they swipe a Mexican CDL – only their driving performance in the US will appear... “When enforcement officials run a Mexican CDL the only information he can access will be that of previous operation in the U.S., not Mexico where a driver might have a rap sheet as along as your arm,” added Spencer... The owner/op group is calling on Congress to put an end to the pilot project...

* Mexican trucks coming - Safety, smog concerns in trade test program
Washington,DC,USA -Los Angeles Daily News (LA,CAL), by LISA FRIEDMAN -24 Feb 2007: -- U.S. and Mexican leaders announced a test Friday to allow Mexican trucks full access to the state and the rest of the nation, a move that alarms air quality regulators who believe it will foul Southern California's air and crumble its roads... The one-year program allows an unlimited number of trucks from 100 Mexican companies to carry cargo beyond the current 25-mile border zone... Estimates vary widely on how much pollution would be generated by a sharp increase in the number of polluting diesel engines on the freeways... But one study predicted that Mexican trucks could add 50 tons per day of smog-forming emissions - more than the pollution generated by the region's 350 biggest industrial sources combined...

* Safety Advocates Say Move Endangers Motorists
San Diego,CA,USA -The Insurance Journal, by Leslie Miller -Feb 26, 2007: -- The news that Mexican trucks will be allowed to haul freight deeper into the United States drew an angry reaction Friday from labor leaders, safety advocates and members of Congress... They said Mexico has substandard trucks and low-paid drivers that will threaten national security, cost thousands of jobs and endanger motorists on the northern side of the Mexican border...


* India - Mexico to open new market for US
India -Fibre2fashion.com -Feb 26, 2007: -- U.S. trucks will for the first time be allowed to make deliveries in Mexico under a year-long pilot program that expands cross border trucking operations with Mexico, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced during a visit to truck inspection facilities in El Paso, Texas... U.S. trucks will get to make deliveries into Mexico while a select group of Mexican trucking companies will be allowed to make deliveries beyond the 20-25 mile commercial zones currently in place along the Southwest border. Secretary Peters said the new demonstration program was designed to simplify a process that currently requires Mexican truckers to stop and wait for U.S. trucks to arrive and transfer cargo. She said this process wastes money, drives up the cost of goods, and leaves trucks loaded with cargo idling inside U.S. borders...


* Mucho Mexican Trucks
Sherman Oaks,CA,USA -RushLimbaugh.com (subscription) -Feb 26, 2007: -- Well, this is going to tick you off if you haven't heard about it. "Mexican trucks will be allowed to haul freight deeper into the United States," according to the plans being hatched in Washington... They've been out there for quite a while, but the news has only recently been made public, and it "drew an angry reaction Friday from labor leaders, safety advocates and members of Congress," not to mention the people in this country are upset over the open borders policy of much of the immigration proposals that are now flirting, percolating around in Congress... do "safety advocates" because you have trucks coming from Mexico. They're not governed by global warming emissions, transmission emissions, transmission rules...

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Health * USA - Truckers be wary

Truckers among those at higher risk for bladder cancer

Grain Valley,MO,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Clarissa Kell-Holland -Feb 2007: -- Ironically, for one OOIDA member, the dreaded routine DOT physical saved his life... It wasn’t until his regular DOT physical a few months later, which included a routine urine test, that Bill Hainline, of Lawrenceburg/KY, found out there were still traces of blood. The doctor doing the DOT physical recommended Bill see a urologist who, through a battery of tests, confirmed that Bill had bladder cancer and needed surgery to remove a tumor... The treatment was successful and Bill is back out on the road. He and his wife, Betty, drive team for an Ohio-based carrier... After his cancer was diagnosed, Bill said he researched it and found that truck driving was considered to be one of the higher-risk professions for bladder cancer. Bill said that wasn’t too much of a surprise when he considered the fuel fumes and exhaust he has been exposed to during his career as a trucker...

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Police's Stories * USA - Trucker says sheriff’s deputies shocked him with stun gun seven times

Miss,USA -Land Line Magazine, By Charlie Morasch -Feb 23, 2007: -- Larry Works is looking for anyone who may have witnessed a July 29 incident at a Missouri Petro... Works, an OOIDA member from Holladay, TN, told Land Line he was pepper sprayed, shocked multiple times with a Taser gun and arrested for an argument with a sheriff’s deputy on July 29, 2006, in Joplin, MO... However, some facts about that night vary, depending on the source... Works says a disagreement with an off-duty Newton County Sheriff’s deputy needlessly escalated. Ultimately, Works was arrested on charges of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer... The incident started when Works pulled into the Petro on Interstate 44 in Joplin... The man climbed on to the truck’s driver’s side step and tried to open the door, which Larry had locked. The man then fell to the parking lot, drew his pistol and told Larry to get out of his truck... Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland told Land Line that Deputy Steve Cathers has since taken a job in Jasper County, MO. Copeland wouldn’t say whether he disciplined Cathers or any other employees in relation to Larry’s arrest... Cathers didn’t return phone messages left by Land Line at the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department... The Sheriff’s department has a policy for use of Taser guns, but Copeland declined to describe or reveal the policy and wouldn’t show Land Line the use of force report. “I don’t want to try a case in a magazine before it gets to court,” Copeland said...

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A “flawed idea” * USA - ‘Ag fees’ on border blasted

Washington,DC,USA -Land Line Magazine (Grain Valley,MO) -Feb 23, 2007: -- A high-ranking American politician has joined a lot of Canadian truckers in blasting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plan to slap fees on inbound trucks at border crossings... In a statement, U.S. House Rules Committee chairwoman Louise Slaughter, D-New York, said the fees are a “flawed idea” and a “heavy-handed response to a narrow problem.”... On Thursday, Feb. 22, the government announced that it was delaying the implementation of the fees – which will supposedly help pay for beefed-up inspection of agricultural products – for 90 days...

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Punishing the Police * USA - Trucker files federal civil rights suit against

SC,USA -Land Line Magazine (Grain Valley,MO), by Coral Beach -Feb 23, 2007: -- A 74-year-old South Carolina trucker who spent several months and thousands of dollars fighting DUI and drug charges that were eventually dropped has filed a federal lawsuit against the Hoover, AL, Police Department... Victor Angeline was hauling a load of emergency hurricane relief supplies on Nov. 3, 2005, when police pulled him over on Interstate 65 near the Alford Avenue Exit in Hoover, AL. The police had reportedly received a call about a trucker driving erratically in the area... In a suit alleging that his constitutional rights were violated, Angeline contends his truck was illegally searched and that he was falsely arrested and imprisoned. The case was filed Feb. 13 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama... During the months following his arrest, Angeline spent thousands of dollars to defend himself while his ability to earn a living was in limbo... Finally, in February 2006, the drug charge was dismissed, but it took until May 2006 for the alcohol-related charge to be dismissed, even though the breath test showed Angeline’s blood alcohol content was 0.00... Angeline is seeking a jury trial and monetary damages to pay for the legal fees he has incurred and to replace the income he lost as a result of the actions of the Hoover police. He is also asking for punitive damages to punish the police department, Police Chief Nicholas C. Derzis, the officers involved and the city of Hoover for allowing the “false arrest” and failing to take appropriate steps to remedy the situation...

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Fuel shortage * Canada - Continues to impact Ontario

TORONTO,Ont,CAN -Truck News, by James Menzies -26 Feb 2007: -- Although CN workers have returned to the job, a shortage of gas and diesel continues to plague Ontario... An independent Web site, torontogasprices.com, shows diesel was going for as much as 97.9 cents per litre in the GTA. Some stations were closed over the weekend as they ran out of fuel. The shortage has been blamed on the CN strike as well as a Feb. 15 fire at an Imperial Oil refinery... Petro-Canada says it has increased production of gas and diesel in Ontario by 500,000 litres per day to help cope with the shortage. Several Petro-Canada and Esso stations were closed over the weekend as they ran out of fuel...

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Fuel shortage * Canada - Continues to impact Ontario

TORONTO,Ont,CAN -Truck News, by James Menzies -26 Feb 2007: -- Although CN workers have returned to the job, a shortage of gas and diesel continues to plague Ontario... An independent Web site, torontogasprices.com, shows diesel was going for as much as 97.9 cents per litre in the GTA. Some stations were closed over the weekend as they ran out of fuel. The shortage has been blamed on the CN strike as well as a Feb. 15 fire at an Imperial Oil refinery... Petro-Canada says it has increased production of gas and diesel in Ontario by 500,000 litres per day to help cope with the shortage. Several Petro-Canada and Esso stations were closed over the weekend as they ran out of fuel...

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EVENTS * Canada - Strategy Institute summit to focus on GTA traffic solutions

TORONTO,Ont,CAN -Truck News (CAN), by Adam Ledlow -23 Feb 2007: -- The Strategy Institute will be focusing on solutions for relieving traffic congestion at the 5th Annual GTA Transportation Summit at the Holiday Inn on King in Toronto March 7-8. Other discussion topics will include:* The gridlock behind funding - * Establishing a governance structure that makes sense- * Long term visioning for the GTA- * Creating congestion relieving strategies- * Addressing sustainable infrastructure and land intensification issues...

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2007-02-26

DEBATE * USA - Cross-Border Trucking Plan Draws Criticism

Transportation Dept. Defends Its Safeguards
Washington,DC,USA -The Washington Post, by Leslie Miller/Associated Press -Feb 24, 2007: -- The news that Mexican trucks will be allowed to haul freight deeper into the United States drew an angry reaction yesterday from labor leaders, safety advocates and members of Congress... They said Mexico has substandard trucks and low-paid drivers that will threaten national security, cost thousands of jobs and endanger motorists on the northern side of the Mexican border... The Bush administration Thursday announced its plan to have U.S. inspectors oversee Mexican trucking companies that carry cargo across the border... Mexico responded to the U.S. announcement by saying it would allow trucks from 100 U.S. companies to travel across the border... The American Trucking Association said it supported the program but wanted to make sure that U.S. and Mexican truck companies were held to the same standards...

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2007-02-24

"Dinosaurs-Trucks" * USA - A couple of Continental twin

London,UK -TNN/Biglorryblog (UK) -23 Feb 2007: -- I was sent these pictures from 'The Boss' who was obviously on the other side of the water at the time and decided these yellow Kenworth behemoths -I rather prefer dinosaurs- were worthy of a blog. And so they are... (Picture: Biglorryblog on ...courtesy of 'The Boss' out on the road)

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The very last * UK - Scania's T-Cab to be sold in the UK!

UK -TNN/Biglorryblog -23 Feb 2007: -- Take a good look at this because it's a rare beast indeed... It's the very last right-hand-drive T-Cab Scania to be sold in the UK since the Swedish truck maker decided that the numbers on its bonneted behemoth simply didn't add up and it axed back in 2006... (And Biglorryblog has the exclusive picture...naturally)

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TRUCKS * Germany - A Man Who's Driven the Big Vee MAN

...And is very impressed...

Germany -TNN (UK)/Biglorryblog -23 Feb 2007: -- And so to the MAN-ERF 'Editor's Dinner' on Tuesday night where, having asked when we'll finally see the German truck maker's long-awaited big vee-eight engine which has been jointly-developed with the crane maker Leibherr, I find myself chatting to one of the rising stars of the organisation. And much to my surprise (and envy) he tells me 'I've already driven a truck with one in it...and I can say that the feeling it gave me in my stomach was good' ... However, Biglorryblog reckons that 640hp is the likely rating and that we'll definitely be seeing it 'officially' launched at the RAI Show in Amsterdam in the Autumn...

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Off-Road Grade Diesel Fuel * Canada - Ontario Truckers Call Upon Feds to Allow

To Be Used in Trucks on Temporary Basis
Toronto,ONT,CAN -CNW -Feb. 22, 2007: -- The Ontario Trucking Association is calling upon the federal government to temporarily allow the production and distribution of diesel fuel used in off-road applications to be used in trucks... OTA made the request in writing to federal environment minister, John Baird last night following a day of diesel fuel rationing, pump and station closures and double digit price increases brought on by supply problems at Imperial Oil...

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DRIVER HERO * USA - Rescues 4 victims of early-morning wreck

USA -eTrucker, by Coy O'Neal -23 Feb 2007: -- John Christner Trucking, a refrigerated fleet based in Sapulpa, Okla., is proud of one of its drivers, the first to respond to an early-morning highway accident in January... On Jan. 26, Jim Hoffman, eastbound on I-84 near Scranton, Pa., was flagged down by a young woman standing 200 feet in front of him. The woman had been in an accident and had badly injured her leg. Hoffman helped the woman into his truck, applied pressure to her bleeding leg, and called 911... As they waited for the paramedics, the woman told Hoffman three other victims were involved. Hoffman grabbed his flashlight and began to search, despite an outside temperature of about 2 degrees. He found the three young men and the vehicle several hundred feet off the road near the westbound lanes. One of the men had been thrown from the vehicle and believed that his legs were broken. Hoffman used his favorite blanket, purchased in Saudi Arabia while he was in the military, to cover up the man and make him as comfortable as possible. He took a second man back to his truck and tended a third at the scene. Hoffman ran back and forth from his truck to the accident scene, trying to make sure that everyone was OK until the paramedics arrived...

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DEBATE * USA - DOT announces prescreening program for Mexican trucks

El Paso,TX,USA -KTEN (Denison,TX) -23 Feb 2007: -- USA and Mexican officials say they'll try prescreening trucks bound for each others interiors to open U-S road to Mexican trucking... U-S Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced today in El Paso that D-O-T will begin a one-year pilot program to let U-S and Mexican trucks cross their shared border more freely...

* It's official: Mexican trucks coming100 companies will have unlimited access to U.S. roads
USA -TTNews.com/WorldNetDaily.com (Grants Pass,OR,USA), by Jerome R. Corsi -Feb 23, 2007: -- One hundred Mexican trucking companies will have unlimited access to U.S. roads to haul international cargo as part of a year-long pilot program, the Department of Transportation announced today... In return, 100 U.S. trucking companies will be allowed to operate in Mexico but at a later date...

* Hoffa Blasts Bush Plan to Open Border to Unsafe Mexican Trucks - Calls for Congressional Hearings, Prevent Repeat of Dubai Ports Debacle
Washington,DC,USA -PRNewswire-USNewswire -23 Febb 2007: -- The Bush administration is expected to announce today it intends to open the U.S. border to unsafe Mexican trucks in the next six to eight weeks for a one-year experimental pilot program. The border has remained closed, except for transfers within a 20-mile commercial zone, since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because of the Mexican government's failure to meet the truck safety and driver training requirements of NAFTA... The Teamsters Union has led efforts to keep the border closed for the past twelve years. Just two years ago, the Department of Transportation Inspector General found that the Mexican government and Mexican motor carriers did not meet congressionally mandated requirements. An Inspector General audit report is due in the next couple of months, raising serious questions as to why President Bush is pushing this experimental program ahead of that report...

* Cross-border plan sets off reactions in DC
Grain Valley,MO,USA -Land Line Magazine
-Feb. 23, 2007: -- ... The leadership of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure waded into the fray on Friday, shortly after Secretary Peters announced the DOT’s plan... Rep. James L. Oberstar, D-MN, and Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-ID, both were quick to voice concerns over the DOT’s action. Oberstar is the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and DeFazio is chairman of that committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit... “It is impossible to know how many hours or days a driver has been behind the wheel of a truck in Mexico, without rest, prior to crossing the border and entering our highways. Anecdotal evidence from news reports suggests that working hours for truck drivers in Mexico go far beyond anyone’s estimate of a safe, reasonable limit,” Oberstar said... “Drug and alcohol testing is another essential element. Without oversight and established controls at collection sites, compliance is very difficult to gauge."... DeFazio had similar concerns...

* Cross-border trucking plan receives cold reception
USA -eTrucker, by Jill Dunn -23 Feb 2007: -- Congressional transportation leaders attacked the U.S. Department of Transportation’s pilot cross-border trucking program, which DOT Secretary Mary Peters says will allow American truckers into the Mexican marketplace as well... In about 60 days, when the initial safety audits are done and proof of insurance verified, the first Mexican trucks authorized under the pilot program will begin traveling beyond the border areas, Peters said at a Feb. 23 news conference...

* Bush decision to let Mexican trucks far into U.S. criticized
Washington,DC,USA -News 8 Austin (Austin,TX) /AP -23 Feb 2007: -- The news that Mexican trucks will be allowed to haul freight deeper into the United States drew an angry reaction Friday from labor leaders, safety advocates and members of Congress... They say Mexico has substandard trucks and low-paid drivers that will threaten national security, cost thousands of jobs and endanger motorists on the northern side of the Mexican border...

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* Germany - DaimlerChrysler trucks business sees 2007 profit

Stuttgart,Germany -Reuters -Feb 23, 2007: -- DaimlerChrysler's market-leading trucks business will make an operating profit this year despite a sharp U.S. market contraction, division head Andreas Renschler told reporters on Friday... "Earnings before interest and tax will be positive, even in the United States," he told reporters, although he acknowledged his business would not be able to match the record 2.02 billion euros ($2.65 billion) in operating profit it made in 2006... He said his division would hit its target of generating an 11 percent pretax return on net assets this year...

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Production * Indonesia - Hyundai to produce trucks and buses in Indonesia

Jakarta,Indonesia -ANTARA News -Feb 24, 2007: -- South Korean automotive giant Hyundai will start producing trucks and buses in Indonesia as of March this year with an investment of US$23 million... Hyundai in cooperation with Korindo Group would set up PT Kostramas Jaya in the building of trucks of above 8.5 Gross Vehicle Weight and large buses... The new plant which will be built in Balaraja, Tangerang, Banten, West Java, will have a capacity of producing around 300 buses and 200 trucks a month...

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AUTOMAKERS' NEWS * USA

* GM recalls Outlooks, Acadias for air bag fix
Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News -Feb 24, 2007: -- General Motors Corp. is recalling almost all of its new 2007 Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia sport-utility vehicles because front air bags may fail to deploy in a crash. The recall includes 13,032 of the SUVs built from August to this month, the automaker told the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration...
* GM temporarily idles two Michigan plants
Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News -Feb 24, 2007: -- General Motors Corp. will temporarily shut down assembly lines at two Michigan plants Feb. 26 as part of planned production cuts. The Orion plant, which makes the Pontiac G6 sedan, will be idled for three weeks and the Lansing Grand River plant that makes the Cadillac CTS and STS sedans, and SRX crossover sport- utility vehicle, will be closed for one week, GM spokesman Tom Wickham said Friday...


* UAW approves plant rules at 37 facilities
Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News -Feb 24, 2007: -- Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler union members at 37 U.S. plants have approved new agreements that require more flexible hours and fewer workers as they try to keep factories from closing amid slipping car and trucks sales... Ford, Chrysler and General Motors Corp. have national contracts with the UAW that expire Sept. 14. The drive for improving factory operations is happening separately from those negotiations as the automakers press their case at individual plants...

* Ford warns of difficult transition as thousands of workers leave
Dearborn,Mich,USA -The Detroit News (Detroit,Mich), by Bryce G. Hoffman -Feb 23, 2007: -- Ford Motor Co. is warning its managers that the next several months will be difficult as the company figures out how to cope with about a third fewer workers in the United States... Ford is completing white-collar buyouts aimed at eliminating approximately 10,000 salaried positions by 2008...

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