PONTIAC, MICH.-General Motors Corp.'s automotive component supplier units have a new name, reflecting their focus on customers other than GM. The new name, Delphi Automotive Systems, replaces GM's Automotive Components Group Worldwide.
As a result of the change, several of GM's plastics processing units also have new names. Packard Electric becomes Delphi Packard Electric Systems, and Inland Fisher Guide becomes Delphi Interior and Lighting Systems.
J.T. Battenberg III, president of Delphi Automotive, announced the changes Feb. 13.
``We have streamlined our portfolio of businesses, made some painful decisions to exit nonstrategic operations, and have grown our sales significantly. In June of 1994, we earned the right to be made a separate sector of General Motors, and today, we've earned our way to another important milestone, a new identity,'' he said.
Delphi, based in Pontiac, reported 1994 sales of $26.1 billion.
Fire guts Hobson blow molding operation
SHELL ROCK, IOWA - A fire Feb. 9 destroyed the foundry and blow molding operations of Hobson Bros. Aluminum Foundry and Mould Works Inc. in Shell Rock, causing an estimated $3 million to $4 million in damage.
President Gerald Hobson said the fire started at 4 a.m. in an office waste can at the 47,300-square-foot plant, and that Shell Rock fire officials have ruled out arson. Fire officials could not be reached for comment.
No one was injured.
A fire wall separated the firm's mold-making area from the other operations. That area sustained only smoke and water damage, Hobson said. A crew of 100 employees cleaned and repaired equipment. He expected production to resume Feb. 17.
The firm is rebuilding 10,500 square feet that was lost to the fire; its completion is slated for April 15. Meanwhile, Hobson Bros. has leased space nearby where it will set up new blow molding equipment purchased to replace that lost in the fire. It includes a two-axis blow molding machine, one 150-pound accumulator-head machine and an 8-pound accumlator machine.
Congress seeks risk assessment rules
WASHINGTON -The House Commerce and Science committees have approved an amendment to legislation that requires new cost/benefit analysis and risk assessment procedures.
The Senate Government Affairs Committee last week held hearings on similar risk assessment bills, sponsored by Sens. William V. Roth, R-Del., and Robert Dole, R-Kan.
An amendment to HR 9, backed by the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. of Washington, was introduced by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, a member of both House committees.
``I've never witnessed such a team effort, with such a degree of common purpose, in the passage of risk assessment by these committees,'' said Lewis R. Freeman Jr., SPI vice president of government affairs. ``But this is the first mountain in a big range.''
The risk assessment tenets of the House bill require 11 government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, to show the specific risk to human health, safety and the environment before approving new regulation. A key point of the committees' action would require the agencies to apply the new risk assessment rules to existing laws.
Rubbermaid tops list of admired firms
WOOSTER, OHIO - Fortune magazine announced Feb. 15 that Rubbermaid Inc. has been named ``America's Most Admired Corporation'' for the second year in a row. The rating is based on a survey of more than 10,000 senior executives, outside directors and financial analysts.
Rubbermaid of Wooster has finished in the top 10 in the annual poll for 10 consecutive years. The firm makes and buys a variety of plastic components.
Hexcel offers $41 million in stock rights
PLEASANTON, CALIF. - Hexcel Corp. of Pleasanton emerged from bankruptcy protection Feb. 9 with a $41 million refinancing plan. The publicly held structural material supplier offered rights, at $4.625 per share, which will expire March 27. Depending on how many rights are exercised, existing shareholders will retain ownership of 40-89 percent in the reorganized firm.