Detroit 3 headlines: Union feedback is surprising

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April 26, 2009

Detroit 3 headlines: Union feedback is surprising

FREE PRESS NEWS SERVICES

Union feedback is surprising

When UAW leaders fanned out across Ford Motor Co. plants in an effort to convince members to vote for modifications that would slash benefits they receive from their labor contract, the feedback was surprising.

"You would be surprised that the toughest question wasn’t losing relief time, the toughest question wasn’t losing holidays," said Dan Brooks, special assistant to UAW Vice President Bob King. "The toughest question was taking a physical."

The agreement, passed March 9, requires all UAW members to take a company-paid physical every one to three years. Members were concerned about the privacy of the information. Marty Mulloy, Ford’s vice president of labor affairs, said privacy laws protect doctor-patient information.

Coming up: Ford will report April vehicle sales results on Friday.

Speed reduces Dodge EV charge

Chrysler took a prototype of its Dodge Circuit EV on its inaugural public ride last week at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress. The battery-powered sports car can sprint from zero to 60 m.p.h. in less than 5 seconds, but the faster you drive it the more frequently you will need to recharge it.

John Myers, manufacturing executive for Chrysler’s ENVI division, said the car should have a range of 150 to 200 miles between charges, depending on speed, climate and terrain. Chrysler also announced last week plans to deploy up to 250 electric Town & Country minivans over the next year in a U.S. Postal Service test fleet.

Coming up: Chrysler faces an April 30 deadline to complete a deal with Fiat.

GM, Shanghai eye fuel cell vehicle

General Motors and its Chinese partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group announced last week the launch of the Shanghai Brand Fuel Cell Vehicle.

The SAIC vehicle, which is powered by GM’s fourth-generation fuel-cell propulsion technology, uses the same hydrogen fuel-cell system found in the Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell version.

GM said 10 vehicles will be built and be used, along with Equinox fuel cell vehicles, to shuttle VIPs at World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

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