- - Monday, July 11, 2011


GM to sell diesel version of Chevy Cruze in U.S.

DETROIT — The Chevrolet Cruze, the most popular car in the U.S. last month, will come in a diesel version that could boost gas mileage to around 50 mpg, two people briefed on General Motors Co. product plans said Monday.

A diesel Cruze would help GM meet more stringent government gas-mileage requirements. It also would rival the efficiency of the popular Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid, which gets 51 mpg in the city and 48 on the highway, according to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The diesel Cruze won’t hit showrooms until at least 2013, according to one of the people, both of whom asked not to be identified because the company hasn’t made a formal announcement.

The sources didn’t know the price of the Cruze. Cars with diesel engines generally cost more than those with gasoline engines because they are more expensive to produce. The base version of the Cruze now starts at $16,525. The diesel Cruze would be built at GM’s factory in Lordstown, Ohio, southeast of Cleveland.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson would not comment on the diesel engine.

GM sold about 25,000 Cruzes last month, vaulting the model past perennial leaders such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord to become the best-selling car in the U.S. Both Toyota and Honda had fewer models to sell because of parts shortages caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

GM has several diesel-powered cars in other parts of the world, including a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel Cruze that’s selling well in Australia.


Casino revenues down just 3.7 percent in June

ATLANTIC CITY — The long casino revenue decline in Atlantic City, N.J., may be drawing to a close.

Casino revenues in the nation’s second-largest gambling market fell just 3.7 percent in June, to $276.2 million. That was the best showing since February, when they declined by 1.4 percent.

Slot revenue was down 3.1 percent, to $200.5 million, while table-games revenue decreased by 5.2 percent, to $75.7 million.

In fact, some industry observers think that had it not been for a lucky table-games player who beat the Tropicana Casino and Resort for about $8 million last month, Atlantic City might have been back into positive territory.

For the first six months of the year, casinos won $1.7 billion, down 7 percent from the same period in 2010.


Chesapeake to spend $1B on gas technology

NEW YORK — Chesapeake Energy, the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas, plans to invest $1 billion over 10 years in technologies designed to spur demand for the fuel.

U.S. natural gas supplies have grown dramatically in recent years as drillers like Chesapeake have learned to tap huge fields of gas trapped in shale formations deep under several states.

Chesapeake, based in Oklahoma City, said Monday that it will invest $150 million in Clean Energy Fuels Corp., based in Seal Beach, Calif., to build natural-gas fueling stations at truck stops.

Chesapeake also agreed to spend $155 million for a 50 percent stake in Sundrop Fuels Inc., based in Louisville, Colo. Sundrop uses natural gas and plant materials to create liquid fuels such as diesel and gasoline.


Agency fines Macy’s $750K for hazard

Macy’s department store chain will pay a $750,000 penalty for failing to report it had sold children’s outerwear that had been recalled because it had drawstrings. Such garments pose strangulation and entanglement hazards.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Monday that the Cincinnati-based retailer agreed to pay the civil penalty. Macy’s denied CPSC allegations that it knowingly violated the law.

The commission alleged that Macy’s failed to report immediately that it had sold children’s sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets with drawstrings at the neck between 2006 and 2010. The clothing also was sold at Macy’s-owned stores including Bloomingdale’s and Robinsons-May. The agency said Macy’s sold some garments after a recall had been issued.

The commission received 28 reports of children who had died since 1985 when drawstrings became entangled with an object.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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