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Detroit 3 headlines: Ford adjusts UAW health care deal

July 26, 2009

Detroit 3 headlines: Ford adjusts UAW health care deal


Ford adjusts UAW health care deal

Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it reached a new agreement with the UAW on how it can meet its obligations for a retiree health care trust fund.

Ford must pay $13.1 billion into the trust fund, or Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association, by 2011.

Lewis Booth, Ford’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the agreement gives Ford the option to fund up to half of its VEBA obligations with Ford common stock at market prices, rather than fixed prices.

Booth said the new agreement benefits shareholders because Ford can meet the obligations with fewer shares, so it lessens the dilution of Ford’s stock.

Coming up: Ford to unveil Taurus advertising

Chrysler to restart 9 assembly plants

Nine of Chrysler Group LLC’s 11 assembly plants resume production Monday. The only two that will remain idle are Sterling Heights Assembly, which produces the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger, and Conner Avenue, which makes the Dodge Viper.

Coming up: The company’s new board meets Monday for what is expected to be three days of meetings to discuss product planning, marketing strategy and profitability.

GM’s new board has telecom ties

As General Motors Co.’s new board of directors took final shape last week, it became clear the new body will have several members with extensive backgrounds in telecommunications.

Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr., is the former chairman and CEO of AT&T. He is joined by Daniel Akerson, who ran Nextel Communications from 1996 to 2001 and ran XO Communications before joining the Carlyle Group.

New member Patricia Russo helped engineer the merger of telecom equipment maker Lucent with French rival Alcatel in 2006, and stepped down in September 2008.

Carol Stephenson, who was appointed by the Canadian government, was CEO of Lucent Technologies Canada from 1999 to 2003. She’s currently the dean of the business school at the University of Western Ontario.

Coming up: Watch for more management changes.


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