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Archived Auto News and Events for May 2008

GM Sees 19,000 Workers Accept Buyouts
General Motors disclosed on Thursday, May 29 that approximately 19,000 hourly employees accepted the latest buyout offer and will leave their jobs on or before July 1 paving the way for new hires to receive the lower entry-level wage and benefit package negotiated in 2007 with the United Auto Workers Union.
More Cuts in the Offing at GM
The Associated Press is reporting that the declining auto market in the United States will force General Motors to undertake more restructuring and to more rapidly accomplish the transition from trucks to an emphasis on fuel efficient vehicles.
Sanyo and VW Partner on Lithium-Ion Tech
In a partnership venture announced on May 28, Volkswagen and Sanyo Electric will collaborate on the development of lithium-ion batteries, a key component in the competition to develop the next generation of hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles.
Gas Prices Hit 20th Record in a Row
The average retail per gallon price of gasoline set another record, the 20th in a row, on Tuesday, May 27 at $3.937 nationally, a bad sign for the opening of the summer driving season traditionally associated with the Memorial Day weekend.
Soaring Cost of Fuel Lowers Memorial Day Weekend Travel
As the Memorial Day weekend opened Friday, May 23, the national average per gallon price of gasoline jumped from $3.831 to $3.875 overnight, according to figures compiled by AAA, setting the 16th record in a row.
Tentative Agreement Could End American Axle Strike
Today United Auto Workers members employed at American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. will vote on ratification of an agreement with the company that would cut wages and end the three-month strike that has effected General Motors' ability to maintain their inventory.
Honda Announces Plans for Hybrid Fit
While the Honda Fit already has a reputation for superior fuel efficiency, the company announced on May 21 that it will offer a gasoline-electric version of the subcompact that should be ready for sale by 2015 or earlier.
Experts Say High Gasoline Prices a Long-term Trend
According to an article by Joshua Boak and Greg Burns for The Chicago Tribune , high gasoline prices represent a long-term trend rather than a summer aberration.
As Prices Rise, Gas Saving Myths Abound
In an article published on May 15, CNNMoney.com reports on six methods for saving fuel that do not work, but that persist as myths, especially as gasoline prices head steadily for the $4 per gallon mark.
Prius Sales Top 1 Million Units
According to figures released this week by Toyota, sales of the iconic Toyota Prius , the first hybrid to be mass marketed, have now surpassed the 1 million mark.
Canadian Union Reaches Agreements with GM, Chrysler
According to a spokesperson for the Canadian Auto Workers, a marathon round of night-time negotiations resulted in a new contract agreement between the CAW and General Motors and the union has also achieved an "in principle" agreement with Chrysler LLC.
GM Facing Steep Money Raising Curve
According to a report published by Reuters, in order for General Motors to refinance its debt the company will need to raise approximately $9 billion over the next 24 months.
Nissan On Track for Growth, Innovation by 2012
Nissan has announced a five-year business plan, Nissan GT 2012, emphasizing a program of cutting costs, the development of electric vehicles, and a new concentration on evolving markets in China, Russia, and Brazil.
Gasoline Hits New Record Highs
On Monday, May 12, AAA reported the sixth consecutive daily increase in national gasoline prices and the fifth record in a row for America's on-going pain at the pump.
GM Offers Financial Package to End American Axle Strike
After announcing earlier in the week that it was being forced to halt production on a number of full-sized trucks and SUVs due to the ongoing United Auto Workers strike against American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings, General Motors will pay $200 million to bring the labor action to an end.
American Economy Effects Toyota Profit
According to a statement issued on May 8 by Katsuaki Watanabe, president of Toyota Motor, the company will likely report its first drop in annual profits in nine years due to the slowing American economy.
Strike Causes GM to Halt Orders for Big Trucks
Due to the ongoing strike against American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings, General Motors suspended production of a portion of its full-sized truck and SUV line for 2008.
Hyundai, Microsoft Partnership Announced
After two years of negotiations Microsoft and the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group announced today that beginning in 2010 Hyundai and Kia vehicles made for the North American market will offer infotainment systems powered by Microsoft Auto software.
Gas Rose 15 Cents Over Past Two Weeks
Surveys indicate that over the past two weeks the average price of gasoline in the United States jumped 15 cents for a national mean price of $3.62 per gallon (self-serve, regular.).
Compact and Sub-Compact Cars Sold Briskly in April
Writing for the May 2 edition of the New York Times , Bill Vlasic highlights the steady move of the American automotive consumer to smaller, more efficient vehicles.
Daimler Decreases Valuation of Its Chrysler Stake
Daimler AG, which retains a minority stake in Chrysler LLC, reduced the value of that holding after absorbing a pre-tax hit of $529.1 million on its first quarter pre-tax profits attributable to the American automaker.
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