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Santa Monica Means Business:

School Employees Credit Union Merged with Kinecta

Kinecta Federal Credit Union announced this month that Santa Monica School Employees Federal Credit Union (SMSEFCU), with assets totaling $10 million, has merged with Kinecta, ($3.7 billion in assets), headquartered in Manhattan Beach, as of May 1, 2007.

“Although SMSEFCU has a rich, 68-year history, we decided that merging with a larger, full-service credit union would be better for our members,” said Bob Suppelsa, president of the SMSEFCU Board of Directors. “Kinecta and its subsidiaries are able to offer members everything from best-in-class savings and loan products to financial planning, investment services and insurance.”

SMSEFCU’s existing branch in Santa Monica will close its doors to its 2,000 members on May 31, and the transfer of all membership and account information will be completed by June 4. Three of the current SMSEFCU employees will join the Kinecta staff, and Suppelsa will become a volunteer associate at Kinecta.  kinecta.org.


Edmunds.com Forecasts Rising Gas Prices Slow Car Sales

May’s new vehicle sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be 1.48 million units, a 4.2 percent decrease from May 2006 (after adjustment for selling days in each month), according to Edmunds.com, the Santa Monica-based online resource for automotive information.

“As gas prices climb, many consumers are taking a conservative approach to car-buying. Additionally, numbers are down because domestics continue to cut production, reducing fleet sales and better matching supply with retail demand. However, these factors are not causing sales to fall as dramatically as one might expect,” said Jesse Toprak, Executive Director of Industry Analysis for Edmunds.com.

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 53.1 percent in May 2007, down from 54.2 percent in May 2006 and 54.2 percent in April 2007.

“As for the major Japanese brands, Honda is about to launch a new Accord and is likely expecting a boost from that introduction. Nissan’s new products are not breaking sales records, which is probably breaking Nissan executives’ hearts. Toyota’s momentum continues, maybe in part because consumers associate its brand with fuel efficiency despite the many SUVs and trucks in its fleet,” remarked Michelle Krebs, Senior Editor of Edmunds’ AutoObserver.com.

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