Business & Finance

General Motors announced a third-quarter loss of $1.6 billion, extending its longest unprofitable streak since 1992. But it also said it had won tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers Union on a means to cut into the huge cost of healthcare benefits for its 1.1 million employees and retirees. The new flow of red ink was GM's fourth in a row and comes despite a popular promotion in which its cars, trucks, and sport/utility vehicles were offered to customers at the same prices that employees pay. It included a $805 million charge for restructuring and other "asset impairments" at GM facilities in North America and Europe. Chief executive Rick Wagoner said the deal with the UAW should result in an annual cash saving of about $1 billion in healthcare expenses.

The chief executive of bankrupt auto parts giant Delphi Corp. said he'll take a pay cut of $1.49 million, effective Jan. 1, until the company no longer needs protection from its creditors. Robert (Steve) Miller's move will leave him with a token $1 in salary per year. Other senior Delphi officers said they'll waive up to 20 percent of their salaries.

Boeing Co. will build 20 of its new 787 "Dreamliner" jets for International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC), The Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper said the contract is valued at $2.4 billion and was agreed to last week - but with a request that the buyer not be identified until "later." ILFC is the world's largest lessor of passenger jets to commercial airlines.

Airbus, Boeing's No. 1 rival, has decided to outsource up to 40 percent of its production to suppliers as far away as China and India, two business journals reported. The German edition of the Financial Times and the newspaper Handelsblatt cited Airbus's chief executive as saying the move would help achieve greater growth in markets from which future orders are likely to come. Airbus is based in Toulouse, France.

St. Jude Medical Inc. said it will pay $1.3 billion for Advanced Neuromodulation Systems Inc. St. Jude, based in St. Paul, Minn., manufactures pacemakers and other implantable devices for treating heart conditions. ANS, of Plano, Texas, does comparable work in spinal cord stimulation for various disorders of the nervous system.

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