- - Monday, November 21, 2011

TENNESSEE

GM to make Equinox in former Saturn plant

SPRING HILL — General Motors announced Monday it will start building the Chevrolet Equinox at its idled Tennessee plant and will also make midsized vehicles there in the future.

Monday’s announcement of a total $244 million investment over two phases is projected to create nearly 1,900 jobs at the former Saturn plant outside Nashville.

The automaker said it initially will invest $61 million and create nearly about 700 jobs to begin making the Equinox by the second half of 2012. Sales of the crossover are up 45 percent this year to more than 162,000, according to Autodata Corp.

An additional $183 million to make unspecified midsized vehicles for the 2015 model year is projected to create another 1,200 jobs.

FRAUD

Probe into online scam widens

SAN FRANCISCO — A criminal investigation into mortgage swindlers who lured their victims with deceptive online ads is widening.

The probe is expanding beyond ads placed alongside Google’s search results to include similar links sold by Microsoft and Yahoo. A U.S. government agency overseeing the investigation said Monday that 125 alleged scams have been shut down. That’s up from 85 closures last week when the crackdown was announced.

Like Google Inc., Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search engine agreed to stop accepting ads from hundreds of Internet advertisers and agencies tied to scams that made bogus promises to homeowners hoping to avoid foreclosure by modifying their mortgages. The ban also applies to Yahoo Inc., because it depends on Microsoft to sell its search advertising in the U.S.

CHRYSLER

New Fiat head for U.S. named

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Chrysler named a new head of its Fiat brand for the United States on Monday, nearly a year after the small Italian cars made their return to the United States.

Chrysler Group LLC said that Laura Soave, who was named as the Fiat brand’s U.S. chief last year before the North American launch of the Fiat 500, has left the company. It did not give a reason for her departure.

Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler Group, which is now run by Italy’s Fiat SpA, named Timothy Kuniskis as her replacement.

Mr. Kuniskis has served as the product marketing director for both the Chrysler and Fiat brands. He joined Chrysler Group LLC in 1992 and has since held a variety of jobs in its business and marketing operations.

EUROPE

European panel chief: Tackle crisis with eurobonds

BRUSSELS — The European Commission chief said Monday he wants to introduce eurobonds issued jointly by the 17 euro nations as an effective way to tackle the financial crisis, an idea that puts him on a collision course with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Jose Manuel Barroso said a eurobonds plan makes sense if linked to fiscal rigor among the member states sufficiently stringent to make it impossible for profligate nations to live on the backs of budget-conscious countries.

Germany has opposed the principle of eurobonds since it would expose its taxpayers to the bad debt of weaker countries. As Europe’s largest economy, Germany already funds the bulk of the existing bailouts.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports