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Subcompact cars fare poorly in new crash tests PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writer   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 07:30

DETROIT (AP) — Subcompact cars fared poorly in new crash tests performed by an insurance industry group.

None of the 12 minicars tested got the highest rating of "good" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Chevrolet Spark was the only car that earned the second-highest rating of "acceptable." Six of the cars — including the segment's best-seller, the Nissan Versa — got the lowest rating of "poor."

All of the cars were from the 2013 or 2014 model years.

"Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. That's why it's even more important to choose one with the best occupant protection," said Joe Nolan, IIHS's senior vice president for vehicle research.

The institute's small overlap test, which was introduced in 2012, mimics what happens when a car's front corner collides with another vehicle or an object like a utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver's side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph.

The test differs from the U.S. government's frontal crash test, in which a car strikes a rigid barrier head-on at 35 mph.

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Delta 4Q profit rises after traffic, fare gains PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOSHUA FREED, AP Business Writer   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 14:50

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Higher fares and growing traffic helped Delta Air Lines Inc. post a bigger-than-expected profit on Tuesday.

Delta's yield — a key measure of what each passenger pays to fly one mile — rose 4 percent for the quarter. Airlines tried about a dozen fare increases last year. While most failed after competitors didn't match them, airlines still boosted yields by an average 2 percent last year, according to the Airlines for America trade group.

Delta President Ed Bastian said demand for air travel is "solid," and Delta expects to see "significant margin expansion" in the current quarter.

Bastian also said the airline industry is showing restraint in how much flying it adds. The view on Wall Street has been that reining in growth will give airlines more power to raise fares. Delta expanded flying just 1 percent last year. It said it expects to grow 2 percent to 3 percent in the upcoming quarter.

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Company behind W.Va. chemical spill: gets $4M credit PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JONATHAN MATTISE, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 07:29

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The embattled company behind West Virginia's chemical spill has reached a bankruptcy court deal for up to $4 million in credit from a lender to help continue operations, an attorney said.

The arrangement reached Tuesday will allow the company to continue paying its employees and top vendors and also provide funds to cover environmental cleanup from the spill in the Elk River, said Freedom Industries attorney Mark Freelander.

In bankruptcy court testimony, Freedom Industries President Gary Southern called the 12 days since the company's Jan. 9 chemical spill "completely chaotic."

The spill contaminated water supplies for 300,000 people in West Virginia.

Southern had said the company spent $800,000 last week to remedy environmental damage from the spill.

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Chrysler becomes subsidiary of Fiat PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 14:47

MILAN (AP) — The Italian carmaker Fiat says its acquisition of the final Chrysler stake is complete, making the U.S. car company a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fiat.

Fiat SpA said Tuesday that it closed the deal announced Jan. 1 with the cash payment of $1.75 billion to a union-controlled trust fund. That's on top of an initial $1.9-billion payment, which was arranged through a special distribution from Chrysler. Fiat also made the first installment on an additional $700 million payment.

Fiat has been running Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler since 2009, but lacked full control until Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne won a hard-fought deal with the minority stakeholder. The deal gives Fiat a freer hand to push deeper integration and decide where the joint company will be based and listed, plus its name.


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