Shell's Pennzoil buyout completed
HOUSTON-Following approval by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Shell Oil Co. completed the $1.8 billion acquisition of Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. late last fall, marking another in oil industry consolidations over the last several years.
Last March, Shell, a wholly owned member of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies, and Pennzoil-Quaker State entered into a merger agreement, which was finalized Oct. 1. Both companies are based in Houston.
The deal closed with Pennzoil-Quaker State shareholders getting $22 in cash per share. As part of the buyout, Shell agreed to assume $1.1 billion of Pennzoil-Quaker State's debt.
The companies said both brands will survive the merger, which gives Shell three of the top five domestic motor oil brands. Shell also produces Havoline brand motor oil.
Pennzoil-Quaker State owns or franchises more than 2,150 Jiffy Lube service centers nationwide. The company had worldwide revenues of about $2.3 billion last fiscal year, while Royal Dutch/Shell Group reported worldwide revenues of approximately $135 billion last fiscal year.
SEMA rolls out intern program
DIAMOND BAR, Calif.-The Specialty Equipment Market Association recently created an internship program to introduce students seeking careers in the automotive industry to SEMA member companies.
SEMA ushered 32 college-age interns from nine different schools around the show floor at last fall's SEMA show in Las Vegas. The association said the program provides an opportunity for companies to recruit capable entry-level employees. ``This new program will benefit all parties,'' said Ken Pyle, director of SEMA's educational services.
The interns got to participate in the largest specialty automotive trade show in the world, he said. While several worked with 13 show exhibitors during the trade show, others helped out at the show's media center, in the market research information area, in the Center for International Commerce and with show registrations.
Participating schools include: Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; Citrus College, Glendora, Calif.; California State University, San Bernardino, Calif.; College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, Calif.; Northwood University locations in West Palm Beach, Fla., Midland, Mich., and Cedar Hill, Texas; San Bernardino Valley College, San Bernardino; and University of Northwestern Ohio, Lima, Ohio.
Fed regulations up for annual review
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its annual report on federal regulations at year-end 2002, and it said several rules were being returned for consideration by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The OMB's report was drafted in response to the Regulatory Right-to-Know Act and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. It named 267 federal regulations and 49 guidance documents it said will be sent back to 26 federal agencies to review, revise or rescind. Those include several automotive safety regulations and environmental regulations.
According to the Automotive Service Association (ASA), those rules include: lower interior front impact protection; passenger vehicle compatibility; roof crush; passenger vehicle brakes; door locks; glazing materials and crash avoidance; lamps, reflective devices and associated equipment; on-board crash recorders; bumper strength; consumer information; and side-impact protection.
The ASA said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-which has the majority of regulations-plans to review regulatory reform for handling refrigerants and motor vehicle emision standards for greenhouse gases.
The Bedford, Texas-based trade group said it ``will monitor closely how NHTSA and the EPA respond to the nominated regulations for review.''
Ford extends Focus bearings program
WASHINGTON-Ford Motor Co. has extended the time and scope of its consumer satisfaction program on 2000-2001 Ford Focuses for allegedly faulty rear wheel bearings that may cause wheel separation and loss of control.
This roughly doubles the number of vehicles involved-to 460,200 from 245,000-and also ends a preliminary evaluation of Ford Focuses at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NHTSA said it knew of 19,008 incidents involving alleged wheel bearing failures in Ford Focuses, and Ford discovered that the forecasted failure rate for the bearings in ``Salt Belt'' states ranged between 44 and 82 percent during the first five years.
The auto maker opened the consumer satisfaction program in November 2001, replacing bearings free of charge in Salt Belt states until Jan. 1, 2003. It will now extend the program throughout the U.S. until Jan. 1, 2004.