China's exports surged more than expected in February in a possible sign of stronger global demand. Exports leaped 21.8 percent, well ahead of analysts' expectations of single-digit growth as companies shut down for the Lunar New Year holiday, data showed Friday.
Italy's labor minister is criticizing a decision by the Bridgestone tire company to close a plant in southern Italy as "serious and without reason." Corrado Passera protested in a letter to the Japanese company, released by the labor ministry Thursday, that the company had failed to work with authorities to find another solution.
Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. all announced Monday that their sales of new passenger cars in China in the first two months of the year fell from the same period last year. Toyota Motor Corp. on Friday announced a similar drop in sales in the reporting period.
China is looking to increase its share of the global commercial satellite launching business, targeting a 15 percent share by 2020, a leading space program official said. China hopes to increase its market share by establishing strategic alliances with major launch services providers and satellite manufacturers, the deputy head of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, Liang Xiaohong, said.
Automation GT, an automation design-and-manufacturing firm based out of Escondido, Calif., is at the forefront of the “re-shoring” trend that has been sweeping the American manufacturing landscape. The company, which has deployed automation solutions in a handful of industries has seen some of its largest clients put serious thought into the business case of bringing work back to America.
Industry analysts and manufacturers were eagerly waiting Eaton’s 4Q reporting as the diversified international manufacturer showed the partial results of its $13.2B acquisition of Cooper Industries. Eaton CEO, Alexander M. “Sandy” Cutler, had warned analysts last quarter that the reporting would be “complex” because the results would show only one month’s (December) numbers of Cooper on its 4Q report.
Japanese manufacturing showed a faint sign of recovery in January, with factory production up 1 percent from the month before. Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Thursday that the figures, the second straight monthly increase, suggested the slump in output had "bottomed out."
Ford Motor Co. has signed a deal to distribute vehicles in Myanmar, the head of Ford's local partner said Thursday. Khin Tun, the director of Capital Automotive, said Ford's first showroom, in Yangon, will sell cars and pickup trucks and could open as early as May.
Nissan Motor Co. launched a new model of its high-end sedan Teana in China on Tuesday, a world premiere that underlines the increasing weight of the Chinese market for the Japanese automaker. According to Nissan officials, this is the first time the company launched a new car model in China ahead of all other markets.
Mitsubishi Plastics Inc. said Thursday it will set up a new plant in Germany to produce aluminum and metal composite materials in 2014. The construction of the plant in the city of Wiesbaden marks the Japanese company's first production base in Europe for the materials, which are mainly used in the construction industry for interior and exterior panels.
Yamaha Motor Co. will build a motorcycle plant in Pakistan with the aim of starting production in 2015, in an attempt to expand its business in an untapped emerging market, company President Hiroyuki Yanagi said Friday in an interview with Kyodo News.
Toyoda Gosei Co. said Friday it will build a new plant in Brazil to produce auto components starting in November 2014. Toyota Gosei, an affiliate of Toyota Motor Corp., said it will invest 90 million real (about 4 billion yen) on the plant to produce rubber and plastic automotive components as vehicle production in South America is expected to grow.
Japan posted a record 1.63 trillion yen ($17.4 billion) trade deficit in January as rebounding exports lagged behind surging imports of crude oil and gas due to rising prices and the weakening yen. The provisional data released Wednesday show exports for the world's third-biggest economy rose 6.4 percent to 4.8 trillion yen ($51.2 billion) in January from a year earlier, the first year-on-year increase in eight months.
China has a new status its government doesn't want — world's biggest trader. Official Chinese and American trade data indicates China passed the United States last year in total imports and exports by a margin of $3.866 trillion to $3.822 trillion. That is about $44 billion, or just over 1 percent of China's total.
It was only a matter of time. With many of its debt-ridden euro partners in recession, Germany could only swim against the tide for so long. Figures Thursday showed that output in Germany, Europe's largest economy, contracted by more than anticipated in the last three months of 2012. And it was the German drop that lay behind a deepening of the recession across the economy of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro.
French car maker Renault managed to shore up its cash position in 2012 even though it saw its profits crumble during the year in spite of a big one-off gain from the sale of its shares in Swedish truck maker AB Volvo. Renault said Thursday its net profit fell 15 percent to €1.77 billion ($2.39 billion) in 2012.
Japan's economy shrank in the last three months of 2012, its third straight quarter of contraction, giving the government ammunition to defend its "weak yen" strategy as necessary to getting growth back on track. The 0.4 percent contraction in annualized terms in October-December was worse than expected.
Brazil's patent authority has bitten Apple. The agency says the iPhone name in Brazil belongs to a local company called Gradiente SA, not to the global computer giant. A patent office spokesman says the decision published Wednesday doesn't forbid Apple from using the name in Brazil. It only makes it clear the rights belong to the Brazilian company.
The European Union and the United States announced Wednesday that they have agreed to pursue talks aimed at achieving an overarching trans-Atlantic free trade deal. The 27-country EU said such an agreement, first announced in Tuesday's State of the Union address by President Barack Obama, would be the biggest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated.
China on Tuesday denounced U.S. sanctions against a leading state arms maker and other companies over alleged illicit dealings with North Korea, Syria and Iran. The U.S. State Department on Monday said that Poly Technologies Inc. is among companies barred from dealing with the U.S. government or purchasing U.S. military hardware for two years.
I am not sure how to define it, but what the Italians seem to be stumbling over is a lack of global reach. Outside market understanding entails extensive effort and often requires a presence in that market, in order to identify that market’s unique needs. This does not come cheap.
Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's largest personal computer maker, is vowing to crack down on its Chinese suppliers in an effort to reduce the use of low-paid student interns and other temporary workers. The guidelines unveiled Friday are the latest attempt by a major U.S. technology company to weed out labor abuses at Chinese factories that manufacture the gadgets for an Internet-connected world.
Bombardier Aerospace is making room for production of the CSeries airliner by beginning to transfer component work on its regional jets to a temporary plant in Morocco. The Montreal-based based division of transportation giant Bombardier said that 18 aircraft assemblers in Morocco who graduated from the local aerospace institute started this week to make simple structures for its CRJ regional jets.
German industrial orders increased in December, suggesting business is beginning to pick up in Europe's largest economy. The Economy Ministry said Wednesday orders were up 0.8 percent over November, according to seasonally adjusted figures. That comes after a 1.8 percent decline in November.
Charges related to its ailing European business and a drop in the value of its assets saw ArcelorMittal SA, the world's largest steel maker, post a near $4 billion loss for the fourth quarter. The company, based in Luxembourg, said Wednesday its net loss widened to $3.99 billion (€2.94 billion) from $1 billion in the same period a year ago. Sales fell 14 percent to $19.3 billion, as both prices and volumes declined year on year.