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Gale Halderman, designer behind first Ford Mustang, dies

Gale Halderman, credited with the exterior styling of the original Ford Mustang, based on a sketch he created some 21 months before the car’s April 1964 public debut, died Wednesday. He was 87. The cause of death, at a hospital in Troy, Ohio, was cancer, the Dayton Daily News reported, citing the family. Halderman was a fairly young designer whose early sketch of the Mustang emerged the winner among a competition during a secret project to create what became the first so-called pony car. Along with Hal Sperlich, he was… Read More »Gale Halderman, designer behind first Ford Mustang, dies

Hertz talks with banks, Treasury in push to avoid bankruptcy

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. is doing everything it can to preserve cash and get leniency from lenders to avoid a bankruptcy filing in the midst of the travel industry’s collapse, CEO Kathryn Marinello said in an interview. The company has been in discussions with creditors for weeks and is still pushing the U.S. Treasury Department to help rental-car companies, which Marinello says have been hit as hard as the airline sector by the coronavirus pandemic. “We are seeking the support of our lenders and banks,” said Marinello, whose biggest shareholder… Read More »Hertz talks with banks, Treasury in push to avoid bankruptcy

Hertz skips lender payments amid talks to reduce obligations

Hertz Global Holdings Inc., the giant rental-car firm running low on cash, hasn’t made certain payments related to leasing vehicles for its fleet as it engages in talks with lenders to reduce the obligations. With travel virtually ground to a halt across much of the globe, Hertz has furloughed employees and is trying to further reduce monthly expenses to lease vehicles from its special-purpose vehicle-finance subsidiary. While the company said in a regulatory filing that it’s reached an agreement with holders of the subsidiary’s notes, talks with lenders are ongoing.… Read More »Hertz skips lender payments amid talks to reduce obligations

Latest target in quest for service technicians: seventh-graders

Most everyone agrees that a shortage of technicians ranks among the biggest challenges facing dealership service departments. Over the decades, recruiting strategies have largely been aimed at high school and college-age students. Now, the latest in a long line of industry efforts is trying to lure them at an even younger age. “We decided we would target as young as middle school,” said Harry Hollenberg, a managing director at Carlisle & Co., a Concord, Mass., consulting firm that has been working for the better part of a year with nine… Read More »Latest target in quest for service technicians: seventh-graders

Asbury furloughs 2,300 employees, cuts salaries

Asbury Automotive Group is furloughing 2,300 employees and slashing executive pay as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a regulatory filing. The retailer cited a “sudden and significant decline” in U.S. vehicle sales and service operations for the cutbacks, the company said Friday. Asbury, the nation’s seventh-largest dealership group, said it also implemented temporary pay cuts for all employees. CEO David Hult will see his salary reduced by 50 percent, while base salaries for senior vice presidents, regional and field vice presidents and national directors will be reduced… Read More »Asbury furloughs 2,300 employees, cuts salaries

Ford indefinitely delays reopening N.A. plants

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is postponing for a second time the reopening of its North American manufacturing facilities amid the global surge in coronavirus cases. The automaker said Tuesday it will indefinitely delay the restart of production at plants in Mexico, Canada and the United States and declined to offer a restart date. It was previously aiming to begin work at Hermosillo Assembly in Mexico on April 6 and a handful of U.S. plants on April 14. Those dates came after it pushed back original projections of returning to… Read More »Ford indefinitely delays reopening N.A. plants

VW: Sales picking up across industry after blow

FRANKFURT — Volkswagen Group expects vehicle sales in China to quadruple in March, the head of its China operations said, pointing to a recovery following the coronavirus pandemic. “We are cautiously optimistic that the worst effects of the crisis will be behind us in two to three months,” said Stephan Woellenstein, head of VW Group’s China business. VW is the largest global automaker in China. Demand was still limited, the automaker said, but it is prepared to ramp up capacity at factories in the country, 22 of which had resumed… Read More »VW: Sales picking up across industry after blow

Penske Automotive to cut executive pay, furlough employees, postpone capital expenditures

Penske Automotive Group said it is slashing executive pay, furloughing employees, postponing $150 million in capital expenditures and taking a range of other steps to “to help mitigate the financial and operational impact of COVID-19.” CEO Roger Penske and President Robert Kurnick will accept no salary for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak, while executives and managers across the company also are taking pay cuts, Penske spokesman Anthony Pordon said Monday. Pordon said Penske was not disclosing how many employees would be furloughed, nor how many would see reductions in… Read More »Penske Automotive to cut executive pay, furlough employees, postpone capital expenditures