"Nice car." The words finally registered the third time the young man in the parking garage said them. With surprise, I acknowledged his comment. Then he asked, "It's a Lincoln, right?" No, the 2012 Verano is a Buick, not a Lincoln. But yes, it is a decidedly nice car with pleasing styling, quiet interior, decent fuel mileage and noteworthy ride and handling.
DETROIT (AP) — Top officials of the United Auto Workers have decided against picking a target company for an effort to sign up workers at U.S. factories owned by foreign automakers. Union President Bob King tells The Associated Press that the UAW executive board will wait to see the automakers' reactions to union demands to respect workers' rights before making any decision.
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago officials launched a new department Tuesday focused on helping immigrant business owners, a move Mayor Rahm Emanuel billed as a step toward making Chicago "the most immigrant-friendly city in the world." The Office of New Americans is a modest step: It's a one-person department focused on improving access to existing services, instead of providing new ones, at least at first.
GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — A former executive of a recreational vehicle company in northern Indiana has been sentenced to 41 years in federal prison for falsifying company financial reports. Mark Schwartzhoff pleaded guilty last month to wire fraud charges for his actions when he was vice president of finance at Goshen-based Dutchmen Manufacturing.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is darting across Europe with a stark message: The continent's leaders must act quickly and convincingly to defuse a debt crisis that is threatening the global economy. His visit this week comes on the eve of a summit of European leaders Friday that could yield a plan for resolving the crisis.
Solar power company SunPower Corp. will cut about 125 jobs, or 2 percent of its workforce, as the company faces a global solar power market where prices and demand are stagnating. SunPower filed a disclosure with federal regulators Tuesday that said the job cuts were part of a companywide restructuring plan its management approved on Nov.
TOKYO (AP) — Olympus Corp. vowed Wednesday to go after erring executives involved in an elaborate scheme to hide $1.5 billion of investment losses. The Japanese camera and medical equipment maker said it will investigate some 70 people including former and current board members, auditors and other officials for their possible involvement in the deception that has become one of Japan's biggest corporate scandals.
SEATTLE (AP) — Some unionized workers at Boeing say they hope their vote Wednesday on a four-year contract extension augurs a new, peaceful era in their relations with the company. The Machinists union announced last week that it reached a tentative deal following secret talks initiated by the company.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama agriculture officials are considering whether prisoners can fill a chronic labor shortage the farm agency blames on the state's new law against illegal immigration. Brett Hall, a deputy commissioner with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, said planting season is coming up in south Alabama, and some growers fear most of their usual workers have left the state because of the law.
DETROIT (AP) — The liquid solution that cools the Chevrolet Volt's batteries is the likely cause of fires that broke out inside the electric car after government crash tests, a person briefed on the matter said. Engineers at General Motors Co., which makes the much-celebrated car, are working on structural changes to strengthen the car's T-shaped battery pack, the person said.
STOCKHOLM (AP) — The owner of Saab Automobile says its court-appointed administrator doesn't think the cash-strapped car company has a future and has applied to end the salvage process. Saab, owned by the Netherlands-based Swedish Automobile N.V., said Wednesday the court has given it less than a week to come up with a plan or be declared bankrupt.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A California-based manufacturer plans to build a new plant in Colorado Springs. Bal Seal Engineering announced the $45 million project on Tuesday. It expects to hire 210 people to work in the plant when it's finished in early 2013. Bal Seal is a privately-held company based in Foothill Ranch, Calif.
DETROIT (AP) — The Dodge Dart, a 1960s compact car that gearheads turned into street racers, is making a comeback. Chrysler said Tuesday that it will use the Dart name for a new compact car based on Italian technology that it will introduce in the U.S. next year. The Dart, which is expected to get 40 miles per gallon of gas on the highway, is an extremely important car for Chrysler Group LLC, which currently has outdated offerings in the fast-growing compact car market.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A worldwide consulting and technology services company that plans to join forces with Microsoft Corp. says it was attracted to Fargo partly by the way residents reacted to a record-setting flood in 2009. Microsoft officials announced Monday that Hitachi Consulting has been selected to help develop new software for the Microsoft business group based in Fargo.
AVON LAKE, Ohio (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says its $128 million investment at an Ohio plant will protect nearly 2,000 jobs and shift medium-duty truck production from Mexico. Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik), on hand Tuesday at the Ford plant in Avon Lake west of Cleveland, says it shows manufacturing is reviving.
NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon Wireless is blocking Google's new flagship phone from supporting Google's attempt to make the smartphone the credit card of the future. In blocking the Google Wallet software from running on the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Verizon Wireless said Tuesday that it was waiting to provide a wallet application until it can offer "the best security and user experience.
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's antitrust watchdog is probing whether Apple helped five major publishing houses illegally raise prices for e-books when it launched its iPad tablet and iBookstore in 2010. The probe, announced Tuesday by the European Commission, offers a glimpse into the fierce fight for shares of the growing e-book market, especially as Apple has tried to take on Amazon and its Kindle e-book reader.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Already mocked by some as "snail mail," first-class U.S. mail will slow even more by next spring under plans by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to eliminate more than 250 processing centers. Nearly 30,000 workers would be laid off, too, as the post office struggles to respond to a shift to online communication and bill payments.
BALDWYN, Miss. (AP) — Reclining furniture manufacturer Southern Motion has announced it is moving into a vacant 192,500-square-foot building in Baldwyn for a new line of upholstered recliners. Southern Motion President Roger Blandolf says in a statement that the move represents an investment of $3 million and will create 150 new jobs over the next three years.
PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (AP) — There's a good chance the shoes you're wearing right now were made in China. Now an American shoemaker wants to put the shoe on the other foot, by persuading the Chinese to wear shoes made in the USA. The Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp., whose high-end shoes have been worn by U.