Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on September 15, 1999 · Page 51
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 51

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Wednesday, September 15, 1999
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SUSAN TORIPOZl DOW X -120.00 NASDAQ d .f"23.t)2 Closing 2868.29 . TELECOM I DIALING FOR DOLLARS The chief of MCI WorldCom says mergers will lower prices and increase service, pace 2e. WEDNESDAY Sept. 15, printouts may inform or not Closing 10,910.33 1 COMING TO mailboxes: An A . official letter t to make you v, feel more se cure about " IM -l Social Security. Beginning Oct. 1, the Social Security Administration will , automatically send four-page ;? statements each year that outline estimated Social Security benefits. You'll find: An estimate of how much N money you might expect each : month if you receive reduced ' benefits at age 62 or full benefits at ages 65 to 67. There's also an estimate of what you'd receive if you retire at age 70. v .A total of how much you have paid in Social Security and Medicare taxes. One line also lists what your employer has paid into the system for you. , Estimates for benefits in case of disability or death. People have been able to request Social Security statements since 1988. In 1995, Social Security began mailing statements automatically to working people age 60 and older. But this is the first mass mailing of its kind. . Thanks to a change in the law, Social Security will automatically mail statements to 125 million workers who are 25 and older and not receiving Social Security benefits. Annual statements will be mailed three months before your birthday. If you were born in January, for example, your statement would be sent in the first batch next month. If you were born in June, you'd get your letter in March. Understand the numbers The trick in reading these statements is to understand that you are looking at estimates. Let me stress, estimates.' , "It's not that the information you'll get isn't accurate. It just may not be very applicable to what your situation may be," said Kenneth Klegon, owner of Financial Management Associates in Okemos. , , "Maybe you're going to retire at 55, and you'll have less.!' ; i Or maybe your benefits will ' be lower if your wages fall in mid-career. Social Security retirement benefits' are based on the best 35 years of employment. If you know you'll opt for an early out at 55, for example, you'd be better off requesting a more personalized statement. - Call 800-772-1213 anytime to order a form. Or go to the , Web site, www.ssa.gov. By filling out your own form, , you'd be able to estimate your future earnings and list the " exact age you plan to stop working. , For the most part, the statements can be useful for understanding the role Social Security might play in your future. Annual statements also should help folks spot any potential mistakes. The uncertain future My only concern with these statements is that it truly is anybody's guess where Social Security is headed in the next 30 years or so. Look at the changes we've already seen: If you retire today at 65, you can receive full benefits. But if you were born in 1960 or later, you'd need to wait to retire at age 67 to receive full benefits. On the other hand, if you were born ,' from 1943 to 1954, you'd get full benefits at age 66. And there is that little debate about when the Social Security system could run out of money. The latest best guess is 2034. That's not exactly great news for me and millions of others. ' That's the year, I hope, I'll turn 74. If you're in your 20s and early 30s, the new statements might not offer much comfort. "It's a false promise," said Michael Tanner, a Social Security expert at the CATO Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. "I'll pay more attention to Ed McMahon's sweepstakes," Tanner said. SUSAN TOMPOR can be reached ,at 813-222-8876 or tomporfreepress.com. 4 . At German show, DaimlerChrysler tells of a new plant to expand sales in the European market J4 '?A l - 'Va '( '"41 ''fi w " - . ... . . FRANK RUMPENHORSTAseoclsxi Press DaimlerChrysler's concept model of the Java, displayed in Frankfurt, Germany, features rear seats that are higher than its front seats, giving rear passengers a better view. DC executives hope runneth By WILLIAM DIEM SPECIAL TO THE FREE PRESS FRANKFURT, Germany -DaimlerChrysler AG is planning a new plant in Europe to make cars like the Java concept shown at the Frankfurt auto show Tuesday. ; "We haven't said where we will build it," DaimlerChrysler Cochairman Robert Eaton said, but "we don't have any excess capacity" in Europe. DaimlerChrysler wants the Chrysler brand "to become a major player in the European market," Eaton said, tripling its current sales over the next five years from 105,255 in 1998. ,s FEDERAL-MOGUL STOCK PRICE Ml $5o.lyji'l 35 30- i 25- Tuesday's I 41 AC A M I $30.38 f Aug. Sept Sept i 1999 Source: Bloomberg r 14 Detroit Free Press :f i VST Viacom can have 2 area stations OperatingWKBD, WWJ-TV will be OK, magazine says Viacom Inc.'will be allowed to own and operate two television stations in Detroit when it buys CBS Inc., the trade journal Inside Radio said Tuesday. WKBD-TV (Channel 50) is already owned by Viacom. WWJ-TV (Channel 62) is controlled by CBS. Owning two stations in the same market had been forbidden by government regulations until last month, when the Federal Communications Commission relaxed those rules. Officials from the FCC met with Viacom and CBS executives to discuss the purchase last week and indicated that the single ownership of six Detroit radio stations and the two TV outlets was not a problem, Inside Radio reported. Viacom would not have to sell 1 I I NJ over DaimlerChrysler wants to compete against Volkswagen's Golf, Europe's top-selling car, but i it doesn't want to do it with the 1 Mercedes-Benz brand. The company has said it won't move the Mercedes brand any closer to high-volume, modestly-priced cars than the compact A-classTit introduced in non-U.S. markets; two years ago. :''.'!$' The Java is a four-seat corn- ; pact minivan in the shape the Europeans call a monobox. The hood and windshield are one smooth line; the rear is sharply vertical. Chrysler's design is unique in that the rear passengers sit higher than the front-seat passengers. ' V, Bad news Soutbfield supplier says 3rd-quarter earnings will not meet forecasts By JOCELYN PARKER FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER Southfield-based Federal-Mo-gul Corp. shares slid as much as 30 percent Tuesday after the engine seals and bearings maker said third-quarter and year-end earnings will be below analysts' expectations. Federal-Mogul made the reve any of the stations to win their approval of the $35.9-billion deal, which was announced last week, x""- The ruling means planning cooperative and complementary operations for the broadcast duopoly can continue apace. It's highly likely that Channel 6U s news department will produce a local newscast for Channel 62, Local broadcast sources say the two stations were discussing ' . such cooperation before the deal, and that Channel 50's news crew did a dress rehearsal using Channel 62's graphics and logo a month ago. - By Free Press staff writer who can be reached at 313 - 223 1IFQQ V i i fin n Hi The Java is powered by an 80-horsepower, 1.4-liter engine with a five-speed manual transmission. It is small by American standards at 147.9 inches from bumper to bumper, but in Europe it would compete against the most popular cars, such as the Golf and Fiat Punto. The Java concept, introduced by DaimlerChrysler vice president Tom Gale; was under way before the merger but speeded up as a result of it. "Java signifies the Chrysler brand's commitment to the compact segment in Europe," Gale said. "Java shows off design cues Please see SHOW, Page 2E y ii ii Vij cup withMt socks Federal-Mogul's stock lation after the markets closed on Monday. On Tuesday, Wall Street analysts reacted by lowering their ratings on the company's stock. They predicted the S,outhfield supplier will take a while to recover. "Given that analysts are giving the company a lower rating, it shows that this isn't going to be a temporary problem," said Charles Hill,.director of research for First Call Corp., a Boston research company. "They even have lower expectations for next year. Analysts surveyed by First Call are forecasting per-share earn Month-old marriage is No. 3 for top MGM Grand investor . Don't bet on the month-old marriage of billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who controls the new MGM Grand Detroit Casino, and Lisa Bonder of Saline. The tennis pro has filed papers in Los Angeles County Superior Court to divorce the 83-year-old casino investor. According to the New York Daily News and Los Angeles Times, they married Aug. 13 and separated Thursday over "irreconcilable differences." Bonder, 33, wants custody of the couple's 18-month-old daughter, Kira Rose, but would allow visits from Dad. It is the third marriage for Kerkorian. A court clerk said divorce papers would not become public for a week. Kerkorian, who is trying to resuscitate the ailing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio in U3 John Smyntek, - 5169. Cam .keep eye CAI Senate could reject stricter, m.p.g. on trucks By JANET L. FIX FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF WASHINGTON - Americans haven't worried much about gas mileage since they had to wait in lines for hours at the filling station while wondering if gas would soar above $3 a gallon. Now, a quarter-century later, they stand in line for $3 cups of coffee, and a pint of bottled water can sell for more than a gallon of gas. Half of all new car and truck buyers choose big vehicles that get less than 20 miles per gallon. This economic reality is expected to give the U.S Senate the confidence to reject ah effort by ; environmentalists to raise the fed-' i era! fuel economy standard on . light trucks sport-utility vehicles, pickups and vans. Each automaker is supposed to ensure that the average mileage for all the trucks it produces is at least 20.7 m.p.g. Several, including Ford Motor Co., DamilerCh-rysler AG and General Motors Corp., are struggling to meet that and worry that the Clinton administration would like to raise that requirement another 40 percent. - But four years ago Congress froze the requirement for trucks so the White House couldn't do that. If the Senate vote fails balloting could come as soon as today it would almost certainly mean the freeze would continue for another year in the transportation spending bill now being worked on. Environmentalists have ' ings to be $4.83 for 2000,'down from the $5.72 that they expected before the news. : Federal-Mogul closed at $30.38 Tuesday, down $9 from the previous day's closing. It fell as low as $27.75 Tuesday. Wall Street seemed surprised by Federal-Mogul's announcement Monday that it expects to earn $1 to $1.05 a share in the July-September period and $4.20 to $4.30 for the year. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.25 for the quarter and $4.73 per share for the year. The announcement comes af Kerkorians head for divorce 1999 NYSE 3 Nasdaq . '4 Mutuals 5 ON THE WEB www.freep.com phone 313-222-8765 Section E ateers raies TVZL EFFICIENCY Several major automakers failed to meet government ... standards for the average fuel efficiency of all the light trucks - vans, pickups and sport-utilities - they built in 1997 and 1998. The corporate average fuel economy standard for both years was . 20.7 miles per gallon. - CAFE (mpg) ' Automaker 1997 19S8 - Chrysler 20.2 20.5 ? FordMazda (20.0 ,20.1 f General Motors ! 20.2 J 21 .1 Honda 127.1 127.1 Isuzu " ; 1 9.4 j 21.4 Kia 123.8 123.7 Land Rover " 17.2 j 1 7.2 Mercedes-Benz ; 21.3 Mitsubishi" 122.3 ! 22.5 Nissan Suzuki Toyota Total fleet '"average 22.1 j 22.2 '""!27.4 127.2 ; 22.6 i.23. "f 20.4 1J2D.9 ; ...... , ..,, ? SOURCE: AlliarK Automotive MamifKMurer Detroit Free Press worked hard in recent months to drum up a real debate on fuel economy. They hoped to give President Bill Clinton a chance to lorce automakers to redesign the sport-utility vehicles the environmentalists consider gas guzzlers, v, Because these vehicles have become the station wagon of the 1990s and a town car for well-heeled baby boomers, environmentalists say they should meet the same 27.5 m.p.g. average that passenger cars meet. Please see CAFE, Page 6E ter a string of acquisitions by Federal-Mogul, which cost the supplier $6 billion in 1998 and which almost tripled sales from $1.8 billion in 1997 to $4.5 billion in 1998. "I think they've done a fairly good job of handling acquisitions, but when excellence is your goal, good is not good enough," said Charles Brady, an analyst with Credit Lyonnais Securities. "They promised to do an excellent job with their new deals and they abruptly admitted that they would do less than what they promised," Phase see SUPPLIER, Page 2E on Hollywood, is the majority shareholder in MGM Grand Detroit Casino and other resorts in Las Vegas. The reclusive Kerkorian is worth an estimated $7.3 billion and once held more than 14 percent of Chrysler Corp.'s stock, making him its largest share-holder. His unsuccessful attempt to gain control of the automaker in 1995 is ' considered one of the most audacious hostile , takeover attempts ever. He now owns less than 5 percent of Daimler Kirk Kerkorian Chrysler shares. By Free Press auto writer Rachel Konrad. Wall Street analysts are bullish on Detroit's casinos. Page 6E.

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