The Americas

OnStar Service to be available in Mexico starting in 2013

OnStar is expanding to offer its integrated safety, security and navigation services in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles sold in Mexico sometime in 2013, joining the United States, Canada and China as countries where the services will be available. - Credit GM PR

(Best Syndication News) - General Motor’s OnStar service will be available in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles sold in Mexico starting in 2013. Currently OnStar is available in the United States, Canada, and China.

GM estimates that around 5.5 million subscribers are in the United States since the service was launched in 1996. Two years later, OnStar was launched in Canada, and there are around 428,000 subscribers. In 2009, OnStar was launched in China and there are around 450,000 subscribers there.

Mary Chan, president of Global Connected Consumer, said “OnStar’s expansion into Mexico will make OnStar the preeminent provider of automobile safety and security services in Latin America. This is an important step as we will continue to grow GM’s connected vehicle solutions in other regions of the world in the coming months and years.”

SuperValu will close around 60 Stores - Includes 27 Albertsons and 22 Save-A-Lot Locations

Shopping cart in parking lot - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - SuperValu Inc. (NYSE: SVU) announced that they will close around 60 grocery stores that are either underperforming or are non-strategic stores. The closures will include Save-A-Lot stores, Albertson’s stores, ACME stores, and more. The store closures will occur for most locations before December 1, 2012. A few store locations will still to be announced and all stores closures are expected to be completed by February 23, 2013.

SuperValu expects that closing the stores should create $35 million in cash within a year. Over the next 3 years, the company anticipates $80-90 million more in cash (pre-tax). The sale of the company’s assets is expected to be around $10 million for their fiscal 2013 year.

Angeles National Forest Wildfire burns 4,000 Acres near San Gabriel Valley

Wildfire - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - A wildfire in the San Gabriel Mountains of the Angeles National Forest started on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at around 5:52 pm. On Labor Day, the fire has burned an estimated 4,000 acres, according to the Angeles National Forest - U.S. Forest Service. The Williams Fire is currently only 5 percent contained and it is traveling north towards the Sheep Mountain Wilderness area.

The Camp Williams structures are threatened from this wildfire. Evacuations have been announced for the entire San Gabriel Canyon, which includes recreation along Highway 39, Crystal Lake, East and West Fork, OHV Area, Camp Williams, Camp Follows, and Oaks picnic area. A holiday weekend such as Labor Day can bring around 10,000 to 12,000 visitors to the San Gabriel Mountains. Due to the wildfire, San Gabriel Canyon will be closed on Labor Day.

Obama Administration's July 2012 Housing Scorecard - Homeowners helped with Home Loan Modifications

High Rise Homes- BSN

(Best Syndication News) - The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), along with the US Department of the Treasury, released the July 2012 edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard. The July Housing Scorecard found hints of recovery with foreclosure rates declining in June. The existing home inventories on the market were at low levels again.

The turnaround time to sell the existing houses for sale was reported to be at 6.6 months and new homes on the market was at 4.9 months. The report explained that market experts suggest that a six-month supply of homes is a sign of a balanced market.

US Postal Service reports $5.2 Billion Loss for Third Fiscal Quarter

credit: USPS

(Best Syndication News) - The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced a net loss of $5.2 billion in their third fiscal quarter results (April 1 – June 30). The USPS also showed a net loss $3.1 billion for the same time period last year.

The USPS attributes the sizeable increase in losses to the mandated prefunding of retiree health benefits. A financial shortfall has caused the USPS to be unable to pay the required $5.5 billion prefunding payment for retiree health benefits that was due on Aug. 1.

Another problem was the reduction in First Class Mail. There was a reduction of 4.4 percent in First Class revenue for the last quarter. There was a 9 percent growth in revenue from Shipping Services and package delivery, but the decline in First Class mail volume offset the growth. Total mail volume this quarter was 38.5 billion pieces, which was a decrease of 1.4 billion pieces compared to the same time last year.

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