Business World

THE JOURNAL RECORD, November 5, 1997 | Go to article overview

Business World


Fewer Peppers

DALLAS (AP) -- Dr Pepper/Seven Up will begin immediately eliminating about 10 percent of its work force in an attempt to streamline its operations. About 110 corporate and administrative positions will be cut, mostly from the Dallas headquarters. However, workers also will be laid off in St. Louis, Connecticut and Canada as well as from national field sales offices scattered throughout the country, said company spokesman Michael Martin. Martin estimated the cuts would result in savings in the "millions of dollars," but refused to be more specific.

Dr Pepper/Seven Up said the restructuring, which will continue through 1998, resulted from parent company Cadbury Schweppes' global effort to improve shareholder return. Officials said some jobs are being eliminated because technology has made them obsolete. Martin said the soft drink company has not undergone a major restructuring review in the past decade. Martin said rival soft drink companies are providing higher shareholder returns Dr Pepper/Seven Up has been. Dr Pepper/Seven Up is the third-biggest U.S. soft drink company. The trade newsletter Beverage Digest estimated the company had 14.8 percent of the market in 1996. Its Dr Pepper was the fifth best-selling soft drink brand in 1996 with 5.8 percent of the market, while 7Up was eighth at 2.4 percent, according to the Beverage Digest estimates. Building car washes MANGUM (AP) -- Greer County officials have signed a contract they say will bring a car wash manufacturing plant to the southwest Oklahoma area along with 200 jobs. Hanna-Sherman International of Portland, Ore., is expected to break ground next year on the plant. The company has 45 percent of the world's market for conveyorized car wash equipment. It has more than 150 patents, 40 trademarks and 90 distributors worldwide. More than 20,000 of their car washes are installed in 83 countries. "This has been a lengthy process and it's not over yet," said Phil Paxton, chairman of the Greer County Industrial Trust. "It just takes time." The agreement signed with the company will allow Hanna-Sherman to complete contracts with the state Commerce Department for the Quality Jobs Program and with the state vo-tech system for training employees. The county began collecting a one-cent sales tax in July as an incentive for the company expansion. Evolution of a BMW TOKYO (JR) -- It was born a legend. The BMW 507 roadster, considered one of the most beautiful cars ever built, made its debut at the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show. Easily converting to a coupe, production amounted to a mere 252 units through 1959. At the Tokyo Motor Show, which ends today, BMW now is displaying the Z07 design study, a prototype of what the 507 might look like now. Modernized with an aluminum space frame, 8-cylinder engine and all-new suspension, the Z07 retains the distinctive double-kidney grille and round zenon headlights typical of every BMW, while the fin behind the driver's seat and simple instrument cluster revive driving pleasures from a simpler era. BMW is considering whether to develop the car for production. AT&T simplifies rates WASHINGTON (AP) -- AT&T will simplify rates for residential long- distance callers not enrolled in a discount plan by pricing calls at a single rate depending on the time, regardless of the distance. AT&T asserted that the changes, effective Saturday, will mean "many customers will see lower prices depending on when they make their calls. For example, calls placed Sunday evening will be priced up to 25 percent lower than the current rate." But Geoff Mordock, a research associate who monitors long-distance rates for the Telecommunications Research & Action Center, a nonprofit consumer group based in Washington, disagreed. "I think it is negligible. It is not really a reduction regardless of calling patterns," he said. For years, the telephone industry has used distance to price calls, but it has been trying to move away from it as part of a larger trend to simplify rates, he said. …

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