STC - Exide power batteries to help automotive sector
Signing of an agreement between The State Trading Corporation (STC)
and Brown and Company PLC took place recently. In accordance to the
agreement STC will exclusively issue Exide batteries marketed by Brown
and Company PLC to the State sector.
Chairman STC Pradeep Gunewardana exchanging the agreement
with Director Browns Group Ishara Nanayakkara. Minister of
Trade Marketing Corporate and Consumer Services Bandula
Gunewardana looks on.
The newly launched STC-Exide battery will offer the State Sector a
special discount on STC-Exide batteries which will be bundled with a one
The State Sector will also have the privilege to enjoy the Battmobile
service which offers a service in a spark, firstly within Colombo city
limits, thereafter it will be expanded to other key areas.
Minister of Trade Marketing Corporate and Consumer Services Bandula
Gunewardana who presided at the signing of the partnership commended
Brown and Company PLC on taking this initiative to promote a local
product at a affordable cost within the State sector. He also went on to
point out that this initiative would save currency out flow to foreign
countries. Chairperson Brown and Company PLC Rohini Nanayakkara stressed
the importance of the agreement and also stated that this is the first
ever time Browns have signed an agreement with the State sector, after
the new management take over.
Chairman STC Pradeep Gunewardana stated that they are happy to sign
an agreement with Browns Battery to be sold to the State sector. The new
management of STC headed by him.
Director Browns Group Ishara Nanayakkara with Chairman STC Pradeep
Gunewardana signed this trade agreement. Deputy Chairman Ajith
Devesurendra and General Manager Agriculture, Battery and New Business
of Browns Panduka Weerasingha and the management of State Trading
Corporation also attended.
General Motors cuts 744 jobs in Brazil Unit
U.S. automaker General Motors Corp. (GM) announced Monday night that
it has cut 744 temporary jobs at one of its Brazilian units because of
declining consumer demand and output.
According to the company, the cuts involved only temporary workers
who were employed under contracts originally due to expire in July and
August. The cuts took place at the company's plant in Sao Jose dos
Campos in Sao Paulo State.
Local unions said they were considering strike action in response to
the firings. "It is unacceptable that the Brazilian government provided
billions for those companies and, in response, they cut jobs," said Luiz
Prates, a union representative in Sao Jose dos Campos.
At the end of 2008, the Brazilian government reduced the IPI
industrial products tax on vehicles as a way to kick-start sales. The
government also boosted availability of consumer credit for buyers of
In Brazil, GM has three factories and 24,000 workers. Last year, GM
sold 468, 476 vehicles in Brazil, up 5.3 per cent from 2007.
Last year, domestic sales in Brazil reached a record 2.82 million for
an annual rise of 14.5 per cent according to the National Motor Vehicle
Manufacturers Association, or Anfavea.
Brazilian motor vehicle manufacturers enjoyed a banner year in 2008
through the month of September.
In order to become a viable company:
Sen. Corker hopes Chrysler will merge
Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who pushed for tough conditions on the
U.S. government bailout for automakers, said on Tuesday he hoped that
Chrysler LLC would merge to become a viable company.
Corker, who was touring the Detroit auto show and scheduled to meet
with U.S. auto executives, also said he was concerned that General
Motors (GM.N) might not meet the aggressive restructuring targets set
out under the $13.4 billion loan granted to the automaker by the Bush
"Chrysler probably needs to merge with somebody, not necessarily
disappear from the standpoint of existence," said Corker, who added the
automaker owned by Cerberus Capital Management CBS.UL was not making the
needed investment to remain competitive.
A Republican whose home state includes auto supply operations and the
North American headquarters of Japan's Nissan Motor Co. (7201.T), Corker
said he was concerned that the auto restructuring could be losing steam.
"I do think that we lost a little bit of a sense of urgency," Corker
said, attributing it to a lack of legislative mandate for the
restructuring targets on GM and Chrysler and uncertainty about the
intentions of the Obama administration and the naming of a car czar.
Corker met with GM President and Chief Operating Officer Fritz
Henderson before touring the auto show floor. He looked at several
vehicles at GM, Ford Motor Co (F.N), Chrysler and Volkswagen, guided by
representatives from each company.
Henderson told Corker that GM had begun discussions with bondholders
and the United Auto Workers union, the senator said. It was important to
see "shared sacrifice in those talks," the senator said.
Corker said GM needed to slash its $62 billion debt load by
two-thirds to become viable.
"My only hope is that the things that have to happen in the next
quarter get done so that these companies are able to deliver," Corker
Corker led a group of Southern conservatives during the ill-fated
congressional bailout effort, some of whom opposed a rescue while others
wanted deeper labour concessions than those proposed by Democrats.
He attempted to broker a compromise that faltered over how quickly
wages for unionized U.S. autoworkers would be brought in line with those
at some Japanese rivals that build vehicles in the United States.
"More than ever I am strongly committed to the concepts I laid out,"
Corker said, adding he regretted the legislation failed to pass.
The wage proposal and two other labour provisions wound up in the
$17.4 billion auto bailout approved by the White House and serve as a
baseline for negotiations on bailout-related concessions that began this
week between GM and the UAW.
Chrysler was granted $4 billion in emergency loans and has sought
another $3 billion. Ford has asked for a $9 billion line of credit as
insurance against a worsening economy.
A proposal to strip the Corker-inspired labour provisions from the
automaker rescue was included in legislation introduced in the House of
Representatives last week to expand the government's $700 billion
corporate bailout program.
The UAW has objected to Corker's proposals for purportedly placing an
unfair burden on the union compared with GM and Chrysler's other
Corker, surrounded by reporters, photographers and television crews
at the show, said he hoped bondholders and other stakeholders would do
what is necessary for GM, Chrysler and possibly Ford to have capital
structures that allow them to compete.
"Companies that have moderate debt levels are having tremendous
troubles today," he said.
"So the troubles that all of these companies are having, if anything,
reinforces the fact that this sort of re-engineering of the balance
sheet needs to take place, and needs to take place right now."
Corker was invited to attend the Detroit auto show by Michigan
Attorney General Mike Cox, a fellow Republican, and met with Cox during
his tour of the show floor.
GM and Chrysler face an end-March deadline of submitting
restructuring plans to the new Congress with expanded Democratic Party
majorities in order to demonstrate that they have won needed concessions
from the UAW and creditors. Reuters
Hyundai Genesis named Car of the Year
After months of expert test-drives, critical acclaim and independent
awards, the Hyundai Genesis took top honours in the most exclusive award
in North America when it was named 2009 North American Car of the Year.
The new Hyundai Genesis
A jury of 50 independent automotive journalists evaluated all the new
cars introduced last year and chose the 2009 Hyundai Genesis as the best
new model. The award was announced at a news conference at the 2009
North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
"Genesis represents everything we've learned, so far, about
engineering great automobiles - and we're delighted that the judges have
recognized the good work of our R&D teams," said Hyundai Motor America
acting president and chief executive officer John Krafcik. "And we're
not stopping here.Genesis will share company in Hyundai showrooms this
spring with its rear-wheel drive platform-mate, the Genesis Coupe."
This year the jurors considered more than 50 new vehicles before
selecting the top three cars and top three trucks. The Volkswagen Jetta
TDI and Ford Flex were the other finalists.
The North American Car of the Year award is decided by a jury of 50
independent, full-time automotive journalists from the United States and
Canada. This is the 16th year of the awards, which were inspired by the
prestigious European "Car of the Year." They are administered by an
organizing committee and are funded exclusively with dues paid by the
jurors. Jurors judge the cars on a number of factors including
innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for