GM adds shift in Tennessee
General Motors is adding a shift at a Tennessee factory that makes GMC and Cadillac SUVs, putting about 700 people to work.
But there may not be any new hires in Spring Hill south of Nashville. Some laid-off workers at the factory will be rehired and others furloughed from GM’s Lordstown plant could relocate. GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter said Wednesday the company is still working on a staffing plan for the third shift, which begins in September.
The Spring Hill plant now employs about 2,600 hourly workers on two shifts. They make the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5.
Earlier this month GM said it will eliminate a shift at its Chevy Cruze plant in Northeast Ohio that could cost up to 1,500 jobs. The move is due to slowing compact car sales.
XT5 sales are up 10 percent through March to 14,485. Acadia sales rose 2.7 percent to 29,900, according to Autodata Corp.
ConocoPhillips wins ruling
ConocoPhillips says it won a $2 billion arbitration award against Venezuela’s state oil company over the seizure a decade ago of investments in two projects in the OPEC nation.
The award represents the equivalent of more than 20 percent of the cash-strapped Venezuelan government’s foreign currency reserves.
The Houston-based company said in a statement that the ruling against PDVSA was made by an international tribunal constituted under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce.
It said the award is final and binding and that it intends to seek financial recovery of the award to the full extent of the law.
ConocoPhillips is pursuing a separate legal action against Venezuela’s government under the auspices of the World Bank’s investment dispute mechanism.
Chipotle continues rebound
Chipotle, which has been working to revive its business after past food safety scares, says a key sales figure rose as it increased prices in most of its restaurants.
After the results were released, shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. soared nearly 8 percent in extended trading Wednesday.
The burrito chain says sales rose 2.2 percent at existing locations during the first three months of the year. Analysts expected the figure to rise 1.3 percent, according to FactSet.
Chipotle also reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street expectations.
Louisiana tries to lure plant
State and local governments in Louisiana have offered an estimated $1.5 billion in incentives to persuade a Taiwanese company to locate a $9.4 billion plastics complex along the Mississippi River upstream from New Orleans, Louisiana’s secretary of economic development said.
The package includes about $1.4 billion in local property tax exemptions for the Formosa Petrochemicals Corp. subsidiary that would build and run the plant, Secretary Don Pierson said in a statement emailed Monday night.
Louisiana’s Board of Commerce and Industry approved the property tax break Wednesday without objection.
Amazon unveils Echo for kids
Alexa’s new missions: encourage kids to ask questions more politely, and get them to bed on time.
The voice assistant that lives inside Amazon’s Echo speakers will soon thank kids for shouting out questions “nicely” if they say “please.” The new response is part of a kid-friendly update that’s coming next month, giving parents more control over the voice assistant. Adults can set Alexa to go silent at bedtime, block music with explicit lyrics and call kids down to dinner.
In addition, Amazon will sell an $80 Echo Dot aimed at kids that comes with colorful cases and a 2-year warranty, promising to replace the device if it breaks.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.
Business news briefs, April 26: GM adds shift in Tennessee