GM profit sinks; CEO sees no recall hit to sales
DETROIT - The cost of recalling nearly 7 million cars and trucks sank General Motors' first-quarter profit, but the company's CEO said the much-publicized recalls have yet to cut into sales.
GM this week reported its worst financial results in more than four years, with profit falling 86 percent to $125 million. The biggest contributor was a $1.3 billion charge to cover a series of recalls announced since early February, most notably 2.6 million small cars with defective ignition switches.
The Detroit automaker is facing government investigations and lawsuits over the small-car recall. On a conference call, CEO Mary Barra called the company's handling of the recall unacceptable but said that, so far, bad publicity has not had a "meaningful impact" on sales. She also said GM is offering employee discounts to owners of cars with the faulty ignition switches.
UAW official nominated for seat on GM board
DETROIT - For the first time, General Motors Co. could have an official of the United Auto Workers union on its board of directors.
UAW Vice President Joe Ashton was nominated to a board seat controlled by a UAW trust fund that pays retiree health care bills. He plans to retire from his union post in June.
The move, which would be considered common in Europe, is a first for General Motors, and a sign of how the relationship between the company and the union has changed in the past decade.
Before that, the UAW battled with the company over wages, benefits and work rules, squeezing out as much as it could for members regardless of GM's finances.
Now, the two often work together to boost quality and control costs, with workers getting a slice of company profits every year.
Timken reports increased 1Q sales and income
The Timken Company is reporting first-quarter 2014 sales of $1.1 billion, up 1 percent from the prior-year quarter.
The company, which employs about 40 people at its Niles plant, said stronger demand in the company's Steel and Process Industries segments, higher raw material surcharges and the benefit of acquisitions drove the increase, which was offset largely by lower shipments in the Mobile Industries segment and the impact of currency.
For the first quarter, the company generated net income of $83.5 million, or 90 cents per share, compared with $75.1 million, or about 77 cents per share, during the same period a year ago, the company said.
Oregon leaving online health exchange for U.S. site
DURHAM, Ore. - After months of trying to get its problem-plagued online health exchange to work, Oregon on Friday officially gave up on the state portal and decided to switch to the federal website - the first state in the nation to do so.
An early adapter and early enthusiast of the Affordable Care Act, Oregon was once seen as the national leader in health care reform.
Local bank stocks reported
First Niles Financial held steady in trading again Friday to close at $7.50 per share. Cortland Bancorp jumped by 15 cents to close at $11.05 a share.
Staff, wire reports