Originally created 07/01/03

Business briefs



Goodyear in talks to avert strike

AKRON, Ohio - Shares of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plunged more than 6 percent Monday after members of the Steelworkers union rejected a contract offer and broke off talks over the weekend.

Still, analysts say a strike at the world's largest tiremaker remains remote.

"The incentive not to strike is you want to keep this company out of Chapter 11," said Rod Lache, an analyst at Deutsche Bank. "With a strike, you could push them right over the edge."

Goodyear reported a record $1.1 billion loss for the last fiscal year.

Maytag sells Chinese venture to Elco

NEWTON, Iowa - Maytag Corp. has signed an agreement to sell its interest in a joint venture in China to a French company. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Maytag, which builds Dixie-Narco refrigerators in Williston, S.C., on Monday announced the agreement to sell the company's 50.5 percent interest in a joint venture to make laundry equipment and refrigerators in Hefei, China, to a subsidiary of Elco Holdings Ltd. of France.

Elco signed a separate agreement with Hefei Rongshida Group Co. to purchase an additional 25 percent in the venture.

Analysts say auto sales about even

DETROIT - New car and truck sales in June likely will top May's tally as automakers continue to pour on record levels of incentives, but a strong industry surge has yet to materialize, analysts say.

Automakers will report U.S. sales for June today.

Credit Suisse First Boston predicts a seasonally adjusted annual selling rate of between 16.2 million and 16.5 million vehicles for June - a modest increase from May's 16.1 million pace and in line with the total a year ago.

Judge extends time for Enron plans

NEW YORK - A federal judge on Monday gave bankrupt Enron Corp. until July 11 to file its reorganization plan, granting the former energy trader's request for an 11-day extension.

The plan had been due Monday, but last week Enron asked for more time, saying it had reached a tentative agreement with creditors but still needed to work out details.

The plan will spell out how Enron will partly pay back creditors.