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Economy Briefs: Chevy offers guarantee of refund on new vehicles
DETROIT — Chevrolet is trying to pull more customers into its dealerships this summer by offering a money-back guarantee on new cars and trucks.
The General Motors brand said Tuesday that buyers can get refunds if they return their 2012 or 2013 vehicles for any reason. The guarantee lasts for up to 60 days from the date of purchase, and the offer ends Sept. 4.
Chevy Marketing Chief Chris Perry says research shows that customers like it when companies show confidence in their cars and trucks.
Customers will get the same discounted price as GM offers to employees of parts-supply companies, plus any other discounts such as rebates or low-interest financing. If customers aren't satisfied with the vehicle, GM will refund the purchase price.
Returned vehicles can't have more than 4,000 miles on them and they can't be damaged.
Also Tuesday, Chrysler Group LLC announced that it will bring back an offer of no payments for 90 days to help clear 2012 models from its dealer lots. The offer, which runs through August, includes the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat brands financed through Ally Financial. The company made the same offer to boost sales in late May.
European fiscal crisis drags down business travel
NEW YORK — U.S. companies are scaling back their travel plans in response to Europe's financial crisis and uncertainty about the economy at home.
American business travelers are now expected to take 437.9 million trips this year, the Global Business Travel Association said Tuesday. That's down 1.2 percent from an estimate made in April by the travel and meetings trade group.
The outlook for next year is even worse, with the trade group lowering its forecast to 435 million trips, down 1.9 percent from April's estimate.
While fewer people will travel, they should spend slightly more as a result of increased airfare, hotel rooms and other travel costs. The trade group expects overall travel spending to rise 2.2 percent this year to $256.5 billion, and then increase another 4.7 percent next year to $268.5 billion.
The European crisis is having a direct impact on U.S. airlines. The three largest carriers serving Europe are seeing fewer passengers flying across the Atlantic. But demand for trips to Latin America and Asia is on the rise.
Source: Google to pay $22.5M fine in privacy case
SAN FRANCISCO — Google has agreed to pay a $22.5 million fine to settle allegations that it broke a privacy promise by secretly tracking the online activities of millions of people who use Apple's Safari web browser.
That's according to a person familiar with Google Inc.'s negotiations to settle a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission. The person who spoke to the Associated Press Tuesday asked not to be identified because the agreement still must be approved by the FTC.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the pending settlement.
If approved, the $22.5 million fine would be the largest penalty ever imposed by the FTC.
J.C. Penney lays off 350 more at headquarters
NEW YORK — J.C. Penney Co. says it is laying off 350 more workers at its headquarters in Plano, Texas, as the department store struggles to transform its business under a new CEO.
The cuts, announced Tuesday, follow the company's move in April to eliminate 600 workers at its headquarters.
Penney is cutting costs amid the difficult task of turning around its business. It is overhauling every aspect of its operations, from a new pricing plan to new brands. The new pricing plan, which cuts hundreds of sales events, has turned off shoppers. The company reported a bigger-than-expected loss and a 20 percent drop in revenue in the first quarter.
Penney now has 3,100 workers at its headquarters, a 29 reduction from the 4,400 employees it had before the layoffs this spring.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
By John R. Bolton
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