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Best of the Blogs, Transportation: American Airlines Opens Up to US Airways Merger


Plus, GM's Europe chief resigns over continued decline in sales.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful financial commentary on transportation from around the Web every Thursday.

Link: Should American Airlines Merge With US Airways?

"This week, American Airlines said that it would formally begin reaching out to potential merger partners, reportedly including competitor U.S. Airways (LCC), which has been relentlessly pursuing a merger for months.

"The announcement from parent company AMR Corp. (AAMRQ) marks an about-face for CEO Tom Horton, who has long insisted that the company first emerge from bankruptcy proceedings, which it began in November, before considering a merger. However, Horton has been under pressure from AMR unions and creditors to team up with U.S. Airways, which would create the country's largest airline and a formidable competitor for United (UAL), which recently merged with Continental, and Delta (DAL which combined with Northwest."

Link: GM Says Girsky Replaces Stracke as Chief of Europe Unit

"General Motors Co. (GM), struggling to stem losses in Europe, said the head of operations there stepped down and that Vice Chairman Steve Girsky will be interim chief.

"GM's leadership had lost patience with Karl-Friedrich Stracke, head of GM Europe since Jan. 1, because the company needed faster changes as the European market is heading for a fifth straight year of declining sales, two people familiar with the situation said. The people asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations."

Seeking Alpha
Link: Buy Priceline: A True Growth Gem

"Priceline's (PCLN) consistent financial performance to date, coupled with significant growth potential, and its outperformance of the competition, are why we recommend that investors buy the company's stock."

Link: Ford's 'Open Platform' Car: How Open Is 'Open'?

"In becoming a part of the technology world, Ford Motor Company (F) has learned how to talk the talk and use all the right jargon. One of the concepts that it has especially embraced and likes to wave like a banner is the idea of the open platform.

"From Chairman Bill Ford -- the great grandson of Henry Ford -- down to the average professional at the company's headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, the Ford team will be happy to tell you that Ford vehicles now represent an open platform that supports the latest mobile devices and allows developers to embrace it and make it even better."

CBS MoneyWatch
Link: Icahn Boosts Stake in Navistar to 13.2 PCT
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn recently boosted his stake in Navistar (NAV), taking advantage of the recent steep drop in the struggling heavy truck and engine maker's stock price, according to a regulatory filing.

"Icahn now owns about 13.2 percent of the Lisle, Ill.-based company's common stock, up from his previous 11.9 percent stake, Navistar said Thursday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission."

The Wall Street Journal: Driver's Seat
Link: Hyundai and Kia Unions Vote to Strike

"Unionized workers at Hyundai Motor Co. (HYMTF) and Kia Motors Corp. (KIMTF) voted for their first strike actions in years, though the threatened stoppages would be brief and wouldn't significantly reduce output at South Korea's biggest auto group.

"The actions are scheduled for eight hours on Friday and on July 20 at Kia's plants in South Korea and for eight hours on Friday at Hyundai's plants. Talks with management will continue. The unions are seeking higher wages, bonuses and a change in work-shift systems."
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