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UAW retirement fund now majority owner of Chrysler

Chrysler and Fiat announced June 10 that the two automakers have finalized their strategic alliance, forming  Chrysler Group LLC to be headed by Fiat's CEO Sergio Marchionne.  Marchionne is a lawyer with both Canadian and Italian citizenship. Robert Kidder, an engineer and a former CEO of battery maker Duracell and consultant to Ford,  is to be named chairman.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed House Bill 2751, The Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Act, sponsored by Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio. This “Cash for Clunkers” bill, which passed with a margin of 298-119, aims to accelerate motor fuel savings nationwide and provide incentives to registered owners of high-polluting automobiles to replace such automobiles with new fuel efficient and less polluting automobiles. Advocates argue that this bill aims to spur new car sales in a relatively short period of time.

The US Supreme court rejected appeals filed by three Indiana pension funds, a coalition of consumer groups, and a few individuals, to block Chrysler's sale on June 9.

The U.S. General Services Administration is one step closer to fulfilling its responsibilities outlined in President Obama’s economic recovery legislation.  On June 1, 2009, the agency ordered 14,105 fuel efficient vehicles for the Federal fleet using $210 million of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). 

GM is near agreements to sell its Saturn division and to help finance the buyout of bankrupt auto-parts supplier Delphi Corp., according to reports Friday in The Wall Street Journal. Reports say GM has inked a preliminary deal to sell off Saturn to major auto dealer and racing icon Roger Penske.

Automakers Make Case for Closings

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing to review “GM and Chrysler Closures: Protecting Dealers and Consumers.” Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman, opened the hearing defending automobile dealers against the dealership closures by automakers.