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May 15, 1981 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-05-15

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Page 4-Friday, May 15, 1981-The Michigan Daily

Record losses
halted by
Ford Motor Co.

DETROIT (UPI)-Ford Motor Co.
will operate near break-even levels this
spring after posting losses of nearly $2
billion in the last five quarters, Chair-
man Philip A. Caldwell told
shareholders yesterday.
The statement signaled that each of
the Big Three domestic automakers
now has managed to halt the record
flow of red ink that disordered the in-
dustry last year with a combined $4
billion in losses.-
General Motors Corp. returned to
marginal profitability in the fourth
quarter of last year and Chrysler Corp.,
although it lost $298 million in the first
quarter of thia year, said it approached
breakeven levels at the end of the
period.
FORD LOST $439 million in the first,
or January-March, quarter.
"Ford Motor Co. is well along the way
to profit recovery," Caldwell told
shareholders at the company's annual
meeting.
"For the second quarter, we expecta
sharp improvement from recent quar-
ters-to near break-even."
The company, he said, is fundamen-
tally healthy.
AT. THE SAME time, Caldwell told
reporters after the meeting he sees no
major upswing in car sales this year,
partly because of continued high in-
terest rates. But he again raised the
possibility of all-time car and truck
sales records for the industry some
time before 1985.
Combined domestic and imported car
sales this year should reach about 9.5
million, he predicted, an increase of
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only 8 percent from last year's severely
depressed 8.8 million. Earlier predic-
tions were for sales of about 10 million
cars in1981.
Ford's financial improvements have
been achieved by rigid internal cost-
cutting as well as mild sales gains.
NONE OF THE 1,475 shareholders
who attended the meeting rose to
chastise management for the com-
pany's huge losses. Many questions
focused on rumors earlier this year that
Caldwell is being forced out of the com-
pany and on the possible merger with
Chrysler Corp. that Ford directors
rejected last month.
Caldwell repeated that he has no
plans to depart, and that no Chrysler
merger is in the works.
The company's plan to spend an un-
precedented $4 billion a year through
1985 to improve its products is intact,
Caldwell said. It will produce what he
described as a "flood" of new vehicles.
"STARTING WITH the new EXP and
LN7 that were just introduced, we have
10 major vehicle programs and six new
gasoline and diesel engines coming in
the next two and one-half years, with
major introductions every six months,"
Caldwell said.
This fall, the company will introduce
four-door versions of its successful
Escort and Lynx subcompacts, a com-
pact-sized luxury Lincoln Continental
and a V-6 gasoline engine.
A subcompact pickup truck will be of-
fered next spring, and the 1983 model
year will bring a new range of front-
wheel drive cars somewhat larger than
the Escort and a restyled Thunderbird,
Caldwell said.
Y

In Brief
Compiled from Associated Press and
United Presss International reports
Sixth IRA prisoner
goes on hunger strike
BELFAST, Northern Ireland-The outlawed Irish Republican Army kept
up its pressure campaign against the British government yesterday and
another jailed guerrilla joined the ranks of hunger strikers asa replacement
for dead IRA gunman Francis Hughes.
The Northern Ireland Office said Brendan Mcaughlin, 29, serving 12
years for firearms offenses, refused breakfast and became the fourth
hunger striker in the prison, 10 miles south of Belfast following Hughes'
death Tuesday.
In London, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher reiterated her
government's resolve never to give in to demands for political status for
jailed IRA guerrillas.
Responding to a call for more "flexibility" from Sen. Edward Kennedy
and three other American politicans, Mrs. Thatcher said, "yielding to coer-
cion would provoke further coercion and encourage more young people to
follow the path of violence."
Both deaths were followed by nights of street fighting and riots, a con-
tinuation of the sectarian violence that has plagued this British province for
111/2 years.
South Korea's 'worst' train
aeeident leaves 65 dead
SEOUL, South Korea-A passenger train slammed into the rear of a second
train yesterday, killing at least 65 people and injuring nearly 250 others in
South Korea's worst railroad accident.
About half of the 247 people injured were in critical or serious condition
and police feared the death toll of 65 would rise. More than 200 soldiers and
militiamen aided in the rescue operations, which were hampered by narrow
roads.
A reporter surveying the wreckage of twisted metal, bodies, and personal
belongings described it as "just like hell."
Insecticide may have
poisoned dairy cows
LANSING - The state has effectively quarantined a Thumb-area dairy
farm where an insecticide apparently killed 54 cows, but officials said they
believe the mysterious poisoning was an isolated incident.
The cattle - many of them pregnant and not milking - died mysteriously
at the Triple P Dairy Tuesday and Wednesday in an incident which invoked
uncomfortable memories of Michigan's 1973 PBB contamination disaster.
An Agricultural Department scientist said he is relatively confident no
tainted milk or cattle from the Triple P Dairy near Marlette was marketed,
although he said it is not known how the insecticide involved -fonofos
- would affect humans.
Owner James Polen said the poison believed to be involved - an insec-
ticide designed to control corn rootworm - is not used on his farm.
Court rules inmates may
sue jailers for negligence
LANSING - The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that James
Banfield, a prison camp inmate poisoned with lye-tainted cough syrup, has a
legal right to sue his jailers for negligence.
The ruling overturned an Alger County judge decision to dismiss a suit
against two Camp Cusino administrators on grounds that they were immune
from negligence suits filed by inmates injured in their lockup.
According to the appeals court, the poisoning incident occured on Nov. 1,
1975 when Banfield went to the first-aid room at the minimum security camp
and dropped to the floor in pain after drinking the cough syrup he was given.
In a suit filed two years later, he charged someone had sneaked into the
room and laced the syrup with lye or other cleaning fluid chemicals.
His suit accused the camp administrators of negligence in failing to keep
the first-aid room locked as required under camp procedures and
inadequately supervising employees.
Vietnamese fishermen seek
protection from Klan threats
Lawyers representing Vietnamese fishermen in a harassment suit against
the Texas Ku Klux Klan and others asked yesterday for an injunction again-
st the Klansmen as "a message to the Vietnamese people" that they will be
protected against "thugs."
. They also asked that the Klan's paramilitary training camps in Texas be
shut down and that federal marshals be placed in the Galveston Bay area to
protect the Vietnamese.
The Vietnamese, who say they operate 58 boats on Galveston Bay, com-
plained they were told to leave the area by today "or else." The Americans
deny making any such threats.

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