News In Brief
General Motors will phase out its Oldsmobile division over the next several years, although it still will sell cars under that name, the company announced. The world's largest automaker also said it would reduce its salaried employment by 10 percent in North America and Europe next year. Sales of the 103-year-old Oldsmobile line are on track to be the worst since at least 1961, despite hefty consumer incentives and a $3 billion investment in new models in the past year. GM had denied repeated rumors about plans to discontinue the Oldsmobile brand, but in the past several months chief executive Rick Wagoner said each division would have to prove itself.
A deep round of layoffs - 3,300 - was announced by Miami-based Panamerican Beverages Inc., the No. 1 soft-drink bottler in Latin America. The cuts represent 8 percent of the company's workforce. Panamerican said it will book a fourth-quarter charge of $37.7 million for the layoffs, plus $350 million related to the write-off of its operating unit in Venezuela. The company, also known as Panamco, is a key bottler for Coca-Cola Co.
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