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A temporary shutdown last month at Mercury Marine was done in an effort to preserve the company’s cash and keep an already inflated inventory in check.

“The biggest issue is to preserve cash while we’re in this volatility,” said Ray Atchinson, vice president of human resources for Mercury Marine.

Atchinson said a second reason for the shutdown was to make sure the company isn’t “filling the pipeline” with inventory that will sit and age in dealer showrooms.

Rather than laying people off permanently, the company is utilizing temporary layoffs to preserve its work force so trained workers are in place when the market improves…  More info



Chris Bangle, who as head of design for BMW became one of the most famous — and reviled — auto designers in automotive history, has abruptly resigned after 16 years with the German automaker. Few will mourn his departure. Fewer still will deny his impact on auto design. The 52-year-old American was so widely…  More Info…


FORMULA One teams BMW, Toyota, and Ferrari are all set for testing in Bahrain next week.

Both BMW and Toyota confirmed with the GDN last night that their Grand Prix drivers will be in the cockpit of their 2009 cars at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). Officials at world champions Ferrari could not be reached.

The tests at Sakhir will be held over eight days, divided into two sessions. The first will be between February 10 and 13, followed by the concluding session between the 16th and 19th. BMW stars Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld will be joined by reserve driver Christian Klien in Bahrain.  More info…

If there’s such a thing as crime karma, it came home to roost on an alleged bicycle thief, discovered with a purloined, $1,000 road bike removed from a bike rack in front of the West Napa Street Safeway store.  The caper began…  More Info…

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