6at4 Business Report: GM drops pension plan

February 15, 2012 2:28:42 PM PST
GM drops its pension plans; Apple takes cell phone crown; Kellogg takes over Pringles.

Gas prices continue climb
Gas prices are up again, climbing 6¢ in the last week alone in our area. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is now at $3.63 in the Philadelphia metro area. AAA reports in south New Jersey the average is $3.46 and it's $3.57 in the state of Delaware. The national average is $3.52.

GM gets rid of pension plan
General Motors is the latest company to do away with its pension plan. The automaker moved about 3/4 of its salaried workers from a pension plan to a 401k. The automaker said roughly 19,000 salaried workers who were hired before 2001 will be making the move to a contribution plan. Employees hired after 2001 were already in a 401k. Many companies including bankrupt AMR have been doing away with pension plans to keep future costs under control.

Kellogg's buys Pringles
Kellogg's agreed to buy the potato chip brand Pringles from Procter and Gamble for $2.7 billion in cash. The purchase will boosts Kellogg's snack offerings because Pringles has sales of $1.5 billion. That deal will be completed this summer and 1,700 jobs will be going to Kellogg.

Apple: Largest smartphone vendor
Guess who the world's biggest smartphone vendor now is? It is Apple. Apple has now passed Samsung, thanks to surging iPhone sales. Research firm Gartner says almost 1/4 of smartphones sold in the last quarter were iPhones, as Apple's market share grew. Gartner, by the way, is forecasting mobile phone growth to slow this year. but is saying that sales for Apple in Chinga could explode if Apple clinches a deal with China Telecom or China Mobile.