Business & Finance

Visionary Vehicles LLC, the company owned by Malcolm Bricklin, an auto industry entrepreneur, importer, and brand builder, announced Monday that it plans to import a full line of Chinese-built affordable passenger vehicles to the North American market beginning in 2007. Chery Automobile Company, one of China's fastest-growing independent car manufacturers, will build the first year's models - a compact sedan, a midsize sedan, a sport and luxury coupe, and a sport utility vehicle - designed by European and Japanese designers. The target price for the vehicles will be about 30 percent lower than comparable models and carry a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty. Bricklin previously founded Subaru of America and Yugo America. Visionary's first-year sales goal is 250,000 vehicles, with 1 million sold by the fifth year.

Delta Air Lines Inc. expects to slash fares next week and remove restrictive rules such as Saturday-night stays, Time magazine reported in its online edition Sunday. Ticket-change fees will be reduced to $50 from $100 and 81 new flights will be added to limit future flight disruptions. The No. 3 US carrier's overhaul of its pricing and scheduling policies is part of restructuring efforts aimed at avoiding a bankruptcy filing.

European antitrust regulators approved Bayer AG's $3.1 billion purchase of Roche Holding AG's nonprescription healthcare unit, Bloomberg.com reported Monday. The Germany-based maker of Alka-Seltzer stomach remedies and inventor of aspirin expects the acquisition will double its sales to $3.23 billion - about 5 percent of the over-the-counter drug market.

KFW, Germany's state development bank, is expected to pay $2.31 billion next week for an additional 12 percent stake in Deutsche Post, the giant German delivery and logistics service, The Financial Times said Monday. The bank already owns a 36 percent stake in the company. The new transaction will allow the government to cover a budget shortfall while KFW "warehouses" shares of Deutsche Post for selling later.

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