Name change official
The Summit County Port Authority has completed its name change to the Development Finance Authority. Officials said that with the name change, the role of the organization as a leader in economic development will be better understood by potential clients, partners and the public.
“The new name describes how we have now evolved,’’ said Patricia McKay, chairwoman of the authority.
Its new website is www. DevelopmentFinanceAuthority.org.
Avalanche to end
General Motors will stop selling the Chevrolet Avalanche, a combination of a sport utility vehicle and pickup, after the summer of 2013.
GM sold 580,000 of the short-bed, five-seat vehicles since rolling them out in 2001. Sales peaked at just more than 93,000 in 2003 but fell as buyers went for full-size “crew cab” pickups.
BMW model investigated
U.S. safety regulators have found 16 crashes and five injuries in an eight-month investigation of transmission control problems with BMW 7-Series luxury cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began the probe in August and has upgraded it to an engineering analysis, which is a step closer to a recall.
The investigation covers nearly 122,000 BMWs from the 2002 through 2008 model years.
The cars have push-button start and electronic transmission controls. In some cases, the owners may think the cars are in park when they actually are in neutral. The safety agency said in documents on its website that the cars can roll away unexpectedly and crash.
Messages seeking comment from BMW were not returned on Monday.
NHTSA said in the documents that BMW and investigators have received 50 complaints about the problem.
Drivers of electric vehicles such as General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf may save as much as $1,200 a year compared with operating a new gasoline-powered compact car, scientists studying improved fuel economy found.
With gasoline at $3.50 a gallon, drivers who plug cars into electrical outlets would save $750 to $1,200 a year instead of buying gas for a new car that gets 27 miles a gallon when driving 11,000 miles a year, the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a study released Monday.
“While in this early electric vehicle market these products have higher upfront costs, knowing how much one can save by using electricity instead of gasoline is an important factor for consumers,” the study by the Cambridge, Mass., group said.
The study, which also evaluated emission benefits of electric vehicles based on the owners’ locations, didn’t compare the total costs of ownership of electric and conventional vehicles.
Ford Motor Co., maker of a Focus electric car already available for fleets, said last month the price will start at $39,995 before a $7,500 U.S. tax credit. Nissan’s Leaf starts at $35,200. A Ford spokesman said the plug-in Focus will go on sale at dealers “in the coming few weeks.”
Mattel earnings fall
Mattel said first-quarter net income dropped 53 percent, pulled down by costs tied to an acquisition and declining sales for Barbie and Hot Wheels.
The toy maker earned $7.8 million, or 2 cents per share. That’s down from $16.6 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding costs related to the HIT Entertainment acquisition, earnings were 6 cents per share.
Revenue fell 3 percent to $928.4 million as the currency exchange rate dragged on the company. Analysts, who typically exclude one-time costs, forecast earnings of 7 cents per share on revenue of $986 million.
Mattel Inc., based in El Segundo, Calif., and a competitor of Little Tikes Co. based in Hudson, declared a second-quarter dividend of 31 cents a share.
Google exec tapped for board
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. nominated Google Inc.’s Marissa Mayer for election to the board of the world’s largest retailer. Mayer, 36, would stand for election at the annual shareholders meeting on June 1, Wal-Mart said.
Mayer, who would become the 16th member of the board, has been vice president of the “Local” and “Maps” units for Google since 2010. She began her career at Mountain View, Calif.-based Google in 1999 as its first female engineer and serves on the boards of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the San Francisco Ballet, according to the statement.
Compiled from staff and wire reports