After a very public war of words and threats with General Electric Co. over a 10% increase in plastics prices, General Motors Corp. very quietly reaches price increase agreements with Dow Plastics and steelmakers such as USX's U.S. Steel Group. Dow officials won't divulge the amount of its increase. We're making good progress," says R.E. Sosville, vice president of sales and marketing of Dow North America, of the negotiations that will result in Dow's price hike. "We're going to be able to achieve our revenue targets." Reports out of Pittsburgh say GM agreed to a 16% steel price hike from U.S. Steel. Others say the average is more like 12% over two years. Michael Gambardella, managing director at J.P Morgan Securities, says GM was the last of the major automakers to sign a contract for steel. When you're the last guy to sign, and you've been looking around the world for product and coming up with nothing, you're going to pay a little bit." The increasing demand, dwindling supply and price increases are a good indication for steel companies," he adds. How's that for an understatement.