Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on December 3, 1994 · Page 29
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 29

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Detroit, Michigan
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Saturday, December 3, 1994
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Saturday, December 3, 1994 THE DOW f The market ' staged a technical rebound from earlier losses. YOUR S) ft I 2 Detroit Jfxcc Vtcsz Come back Tuesday for the latest information on mutual funds. U AW bristles at talk of sale of glass plant Page 9B Call Business, 1-313-222-8765 (!S8sssass-.,, - I : t V.' ft Associated Press Auto writer Greg Gardner and Mazda engineer Ken Schoenfelder take a spin in a converted Mazda Miata on a course in Anaheim, Calif. OWER PLAY Test drive finds ears need work as practical option By Greg Gardner Free Press Automotive Writer ANAHEIM, Calif. GM's Impact is the most fun to drive. Ford's Ecostar van is adequate, but unexciting. Chrysler's TEVan puts out an irritating whirring noise when you hit the accelerator or brake. In short, the budding electric car industry has a long way to go in its quest to build the pollution-free dream car. Even the Japanese automakers, who showed off four new prototypes Friday at the 12th International Electric Vehicle Symposium at Disneyland, seem to be struggling. Yet California's electric car mandate is only three years away. In 1998, 2 percent of all vehicles an automaker sells in the state must emit no pollution. Electric vehicles now are the only technology that achieves that. The debate rages over whether anyone will want electric cars, especially at prices that even the most optimistic manufacturers say will be about $20,000 more than a comparable gasoline-burning alternative. After driving nine cars around a hotel parking lot maze across from the Magic Kingdom, here are some quick impressions. ' "it i i " ftv-. ;:: im .jiuhi, , 1 1 kr. ,mmm--. The Toyota EV-50 goes through its paces on the obstacle course near Disneyland. It looks a lot like the new RAV4 sport-utility expected to be sold in the United States next year. Look out for pedestrians: Electric cars are so quiet that people tend to walk out in front of them. They can't hear you coming. You feel the bumps: Electric cars are heavy, 500 to 1,500 pounds heavier than their gas-burning counterparts. It takes so many batteries to deliver the necessary power. So suspensions produce a bumpier ride. Limited staying power: Despite recent claims of battery breakthroughs, the cars I drove don't go much more than 50-60 miles between charges when they're driven in the start-and-stop traffic common in southern California. Part of the problem we had was the confining course we used. Imagine driving through a shopping mall parking lot two weeks before Christ mas with STf1 hiimns every 50 yards. Jon Bereisa, chief engineer for the GM Electric Vehicle program, let me take the Impact on a real-world cruise around Anaheim at speeds up to 60 m.p.h. The acceleration was better than what you get from most cars with four-cylinder Sep ELECTRIC, Page 10B Family ties at breaking point at Keego Harbor bistro By molly Abraham Free Press Staff Writer All seemed to be sweetness and light at Sweetwaters Bistro in Keego Harbor. When the doors opened on Sept. 13, the 100 seats were immediately filled and it stayed that way. The sweet potato fries, seven-pepper chili and grilled swordfish prepared by chef Bradley Kimelman were major hits. And Sweetwaters was, he believed, his own place, with his wife, Patricia, as bookkeeper, brother-in-law Klaus Holl-bacher as manager, and parents, Cheryl and Joel Kimelman, providing Sweetwaters ' chef and manager are out the financing. Just one big happy family. Until the parents fired Hollbacher. The same day, Nov. 20, chef Kimelman quit in protest. So did most of the staff, and the eatery has been open and shut sporadically ever since. This weekend it's closed; it will reopen Tuesday, says Cheryl Kimelman. Although young Kimelman and Hollbacher believed they were partners, not employees, thev had neglect ed to get that on paper. "We had verbal promises," says the chef. Cheryl Kimelman defends the firing, saying that she and her husband felt they had to think about business, not family ties. "He really did not have the management experience needed, so we terminated Klaus," she said. "Business is business." The Kimelmans closed Sweetwaters for a few days and re opened Nov. 25 with a new chef who quit the next night, saying he couldn't work in such a small kitchen. Sweetwaters is now "closed for remodeling." Meanwhile, Bradley Kimelman and Hollbacher, who are married to sisters, are looking for new backers. Hollbacher says, by the way, that he does too have management experience, at such resorts as St. Johann near Salzburg, Austria, and Guthea in New South Wales, Australia. "Bradley and I built the whole business," he said. Adds the chef, "They killed the goose that laid the golden egg." Chrysler is studying future of McGraw By Alan l. adler Free Press Automotive Writer Chrysler Corp. has told the UAW it wants to get out of the glass business and is studying whether to sell its McGraw Glass plant. Such a move would be consistent with the automaker's retreat from making auto parts, but the UAW is boiling at the mere suggestion. "If they try to sell that plant or anything else covered under the national contract, they won't have to worry about windshields," UAW Vice President Stan Marshall said Friday. "They won't be building any vehicles." Marshall said Chrysler vice president of labor relations Tom Gallagher told him two weeks ago that Chrysler wanted out of the glass business. "They are much lower on (parts) content built in house" than Ford or General Motors, Marshall said, "and . we're just not going to put up with them selling off UAW jobs." The McGraw plant, located on the northeast corner of McGraw and Wyoming in Detroit, makes windshields, side glass and rear lights for all Chrysler minivans, Jeep Grand Cherokees tTireman Warren DETROIT , ' wtail 5J:Michigan & MARTHA A. THIERRYDetroit Free Press and Dodge Ram pickups. UAW Local 227 shop chairman Harry Reilly says the plant has won several quality awards in recent years. Chrysler spokeswoman Karen Stewart said the company is still evaluating whether to sell or keep what it calls noncore parts operations anything but engines, transmissions and assembly plants. "We have no specific plans to sell McGraw Glass at this time," she said. But the plant has not been assigned any new products for the late 1990s and was denied a request for $27 million in new technology furnaces that would help keep the plant competitive, Reilly said. On Thursday, Reilly said, plant See GLASS, Page 10B krni civ "W4" ... M PATRICIA BECIVDetroit Free Press Bonnie Moore looks over the lettuce with her 2-year-old son Timothy at the new Kroger Premier store at Maple and Lahser. Kroger revamps 3 stores to create Premier models New spaces offer selection of gourmet foods By Cecilia Deck Free Press Business Writer Kroger Co., unable to find sites in Bloomfield Township big enough to accommodate its larger prototype stores, has instead converted three existing stores into Kroger Premier. The converted stores, at Maple and Lahser, Telegraph and Long Lake, and Telegraph and Maple, will have their official grand openings Monday. But they have been open during the four-month revamping process. The stores are different from the typical Kroger store, with upscale gourmet food offerings and a burgundy and hunter green decor that includes accents of brass throughout. Each converted store is about 20,000 square feet. By comparison, Kroger's new prototype stores one is opening in Westland next week are 60,000 square feet each. "If we couldn't make them bigger, we decided we would make them better," said Michael Heintzman, Kroger's vice president of merchandising. The stores have also added more selections in produce, bakery and meat, while shrinking the size of the departments in the middle of the store. By stocking shelves more frequently, the store can offer a bigger selection. Expanded offerings at the stores include 18 varieties of mushrooms; 10 varieties of peppers; fresh herbs and edible flowers; 60 varieties of gourmet cheese; 170 different wines; upscale sourdough bread; new fresh salads; Silver Palate gourmet dressings and preserves; and live lobster tanks. "It's just so much more pleasant," said Molly Higgins, a Birmingham resident who was shopping at the store. "The aisles are wider, the variety has improved and it's a much nicer place to shop." Stocks make a strong finish Stocks posted strong gains as bonds staged a surprising rally and pushed interest rates lower amid new confidence that inflation is under control. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 44.75 to 3,745.62, reversing a 38-point loss on Thursday and ending the week with a 37-point gain. The 30-year bond shot up 1 316 points, pushing its yield down to 7.90 percent. Bonds rallied despite an unexpectedly strong November employment report, which showed the nation's unemployment rate dropping 0.2-percentage point to 5.6 percent. Executive bonuses growing Annual bonuses paid to chief executive officers of major American industrial companies grew 37 percent this year. A survey of selected multi-billion-dollar industrial companies by Pearl Meyer & Partners Inc. found base salaries grew 10 percent to $950,700 while long-term incentives, including restricted stock, declined four percent and stock option grants increased six percent FINANCIAL HEADLINES Dollar finally goes above 100 yen The dollar surged against the Japanese yen, closing above the key 100-yen level for the first time in seven weeks. The dollar also rose to a three-month high against the German mark. Digital may sell a plant Motorola is interested in purchasing Digital Equipment's semiconductor plant in Scotland. , Some analysts viewed the potential sale of the plant in Queensferry as another belt-tightening step in Digital's third restructuring plan in less than two years. Buying the plant would also benefit Motorola, which needs extra production capacity. VW sales show improvement Volkswagen says worldwide sales rose 7 percent in the first 10 months of this year to 2.75 million vehicles. "We have made about 20 percent of the improvements that we set as our goal," says VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech. "In costs and quality, clear progress has been attained, but there still is a lot of work ahead of us." Japan's economy getting healthier Economic data show Japan's economy is slowly climbing out of its worst post-war recession. Japan's gross domestic product grew by at an annualized rate of 3.7 percent in July, August and September. - ' 1 f ! -r. f -jji- i ATR regional aircraft are safe, federal regulators said Friday, seeking to reassure the public concerning the type of plane that crashed in October near Chicago, killing all 68 aboard. "It's safe to fly these planes," said Deputy FA Administrator Linda Hall Daschle. After the Indiana crash the National Transportation Safety Board recommended restricting use of the French- and Italian-built planes in icing conditions and the FAA has done so. A report that pilots lost control of an ATR-72 landing in Chicago was untrue.

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