Shares of a number of solar companies sank Monday after JA Solar Holdings Co.'s fourth-quarter loss widened because of weak global demand for solar products. Solar panel prices have tumbled since the Chinese government pushed hundreds of small players into the industry.
Slovakia's Prime Minister met with U.S. Steel executives in Pittsburgh on Monday to discuss the future of a steel mill in Kosice, but no final agreement was announced. Prime Minister Robert Fico said the purpose of his visit was "to motivate U.S. Steel to stay in Slovakia." Fico said he felt Monday's discussions went well and that a written agreement between the country and U.S. Steel may be signed as soon as Wednesday.
Japan and the European Union agreed Monday to start negotiations for a free-trade pact encompassing nations that account for nearly a third of the world economy. A Japan-EU summit set to begin Monday in Tokyo was shelved because of the financial crisis in Cyprus.
The president of struggling Renesas Electronics Corp. said Thursday that the chipmaker is in talks with overseas companies on selling its loss-making mobile device chip operations as part of efforts to streamline its business. Tetsuya Tsurumaru added, however, that the company has not ruled out the possibility of negotiations with domestic firms over the sale of the operations of wholly owned subsidiary Renesas Mobile Corp.
Reuters' Hayley Platt reports from a UK factory which has had to find new markets to thrive. Since the start of the financial crisis, exports have been crucial. They now account for 25 percent of francino's business, up from just 2 percent in 2008. But the Eurozone has been a struggle.
Volkswagen AG announced a recall Wednesday of more than 384,000 vehicles in China to fix gearboxes following a report last week by state TV that criticized the quality of the German automaker's cars. Volkswagen said that problems with direct-shift gearboxes might cause a power interruption, but it said drivers could remain in control and maneuver to a stop.
Premium automotive brands appear to be the only ones doing well these days amid the turmoil in Europe's car market, says Reuters' Julian Satterthwaite. Bentley says it can post higher sales again this year, but a green light for the company's key SUV project remains elusive.
Ford Motor Co. will pay $750 million in separation benefits to hourly workers at a Belgian factory it plans to close next year. Ford revealed the cost in a government filing Tuesday. Ford employs 4,000 hourly workers at the Genk plant. Most approved the separation plan last week.
Swedish wireless equipment maker Ericsson and Switzerland's STMicroelectronics say they will lay off up to 1,600 workers globally as part of a plan for splitting up their unprofitable joint venture. STMicroelectronics, one of Europe's largest chipmakers, announced in December that it wanted out of ST-Ericsson as it struggled with a downturn in global demand.
The U.S. and China began to re-engage Tuesday on knotty issues ranging from economic frictions to North Korea's nuclear program following a months-long hiatus during President Barack Obama's re-election and China's installation of new leaders.
The president of Mitsubishi Electric Corp. said Tuesday the company is aiming to strengthen its business in emerging markets to boost its ratio of overseas sales by 5 percentage points from the current level to 40 percent in fiscal 2015.
Lego is building its first factory in China as part of a plan to move production closer to Asia, its fastest growing market. The Danish maker of colorful plastic building blocks for children said it's investing at least 100 million euros ($130 million) in the new plant. Construction will start in 2014 and it will be fully operational by 2017.
A manufacturer that once worked around the clock — trying not to wake its rural neighbors with evening test track runs — barely has enough work to sustain a second shift. And things are about to get worse. "When I said some areas are dark," Alice Conner said, "I meant it."
Airbus signed its biggest deal ever on Monday, an order from Indonesian's Lion Air worth €18.4 billion ($24 billion) that President Francois Hollande said should inspire the struggling French economy and all of Europe. The CEOs of both companies signed the contract for 234 planes in a ceremony at the French presidential palace, a sign of its importance to the government.
With its long vacations, short hours and myriad workers' rights, France has a reputation for being a hard place to do business. Now add this to the mix: A law working its way through parliament would grant amnesty to workers who have ransacked their company's offices or threatened their bosses during a labor dispute.
Toyota Motor Corp. held a ceremony Friday to mark the opening of its second plant in Karawang, Indonesia, to produce the Etios Valco compact hatchback for sale in the country. Built with an investment of about 33 billion yen, Plant 2 Karawang is creating about 1,100 new jobs and will have an annual production capacity of about 70,000 vehicles initially.
Volkswagen's chief executive Martin Winterkorn said Thursday the company faces a challenging year particularly in Europe where many countries are in recession. Winterkorn told the company's annual news and analyst conference that "Volkswagen is feeling the headwinds — especially in Europe."
Thousands of workers protested in Brussels on Thursday to demand that EU leaders gathering for a summit bring an end to austerity measures and instead focus on boosting growth and reducing unemployment. The demonstration vented frustration over years of austerity imposed by EU leaders that unions and many economists say is worsening the recession and driving ever more people into unemployment and poverty.
Recent trends suggest a reason for optimism for the U.S. economy and its manufacturing sector, according to the quarterly Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation U.S. Industrial Outlook (EO-121), a report that analyzes 27 major industries.
French carmaker Renault SA reached a potentially groundbreaking deal with leading unions Wednesday that allows it to reduce its workforce and cut costs in exchange for keeping jobs and production in France. Renault and other European carmakers have been struggling to stay competitive globally as Europe's car market flails.
China's auto sales accelerated in the first two months of this year, rising 19.5 percent over the same period of 2012 in a possible positive sign for an economic recovery. Automakers sold 2.8 million cars in January and February, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported Monday. Total sales, including trucks and buses, rose 14.7 percent to 3.4 million vehicles.
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.