Business

Honda moving jobs to Alabama

AUTOMAKERS

Honda will meet growing U.S. demand for small cars while maintaining North American jobs by moving production of two bigger models from Canada to Alabama, chief executive Takeo Fukui said Thursday.

Honda Motor Co.'s Pilot sport utility vehicle and Ridgeline pickup, now rolling off its plant in Alliston, Ontario, will be produced in Lincoln, Ala., allowing the production of the Civic sedan to be raised in Canada, he said.

“Gas prices continue to rise, and the demand for cars with good mileage is growing,” Fukui told reporters at a Tokyo hotel. “Efforts are under way to increase the local production of the Civic.”

Even the usually booming Japanese automakers are sensing the pinch from a U.S. economic slowdown and soaring material costs, including steel. But the Japanese are holding up better than their American rivals because of their reputation for fuel-efficient offerings. Associated Press

AIRLINES

A federal judge Thursday blocked Delta Air Lines Inc. from terminating a regional flying contract with a subsidiary of Mesa Air Group Inc.

Mesa shares shot up almost 40 percent on the news.

Phoenix-based Mesa had warned that it would file for bankruptcy protection by July 20 and cut 700 jobs — 14 percent of its work force — if Delta's termination of the contract with Freedom Airlines stuck and Mesa was unable to redeploy unused aircraft.

A spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Delta said the airline was disappointed with U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper's ruling approving an injunction, and it planned to appeal.

Mesa said the contract amounts to $20 million in monthly revenue for the parent company, or about 20 percent of its total sales for 2007. Mesa has 5,000 employees overall. Associated Press

WALL STREET

JPMorgan Chase & Co. won approval of its purchase of Bear Stearns Cos., shuttering an 85-year-old firm whose collapse ranks along with Drexel Burnham Lambert as one of the biggest in Wall Street history.

Bear Stearns shareholders endorsed the sale during a 10-minute meeting Thursday on the second floor of the firm's Madison Avenue headquarters. The gathering was chaired by former Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Cayne, who was replaced by Alan Schwartz in January.

“I personally apologize for what has happened,” Cayne, 74, told shareholders, according to a person who attended the meeting. “It's a sad day.” Bloomberg News

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