Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are among major players in an increasingly confident global car industry unveiling new models for the recovering U.S. market at the annual North American International Auto Show that opened Monday.
Lear Corp. expects its 2012 and 2013 revenue will beat Wall Street's forecasts. The automotive seating and electrical power management systems supplier is also boosting its existing stock buyback program by $800 million to $1.5 billion and replacing a $500 million credit line with a new $1 billion revolving facility.
Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that global sales of its Galaxy S smartphones surpassed 100 million units since the first model in the series was released less than three years ago. Samsung said it has sold more than 25 million Galaxy S smartphones, 40 million Galaxy S II smartphones and 41 million Galaxy S III smartphones.
Toyota has once again dethroned General Motors as the world's top-selling automaker. The Japanese company sold 9.7 million cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, although it's still counting. GM sold 9.29 million. Both companies saw higher sales, but Toyota's growth was far larger as it rolled out new versions of popular models like the Camry.
Industrial output across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro fell in November for the third straight month, official figures showed Monday, raising fears that the recession in the region has continued into the last three months of 2012.
Apple shares fell in premarket trading Monday after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has cut its orders for iPhone 5 components due to weaker than expected demand. The newspaper said two people it did not identify by name told it that Apple's first-quarter orders for iPhone 5 screens have dropped to about half of what the company had planned.
Apple expects China to overtake the United States as its biggest market, CEO Tim Cook told a Chinese government news agency. "China is currently our second largest market. I believe it will become our first. I believe strongly that it will," the Xinhua News Agency quoted Cook as saying in an interview.
A trust fund that pays medical bills for Chrysler blue-collar retirees has asked the company to set up a public sale of Chrysler stock. The United Auto Workers trust, which owns 41.5 percent of Chrysler's shares, on Wednesday asked Chrysler to start the process for an initial public stock offering. The trust wants the company to sell 16.6 percent of the stock owned by the trust, Chrysler said.
Concern is growing that the British economy may be headed back into recession after statistics released Friday showed a surprise drop in manufacturing activity. The Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output fell by 0.3 percent between October and November, far off analysts' expectations for an increase of 0.5 percent.
Ford may get a longer look from curious investors after rolling out a more muscular, souped-up dividend on Thursday. The nation's No. 2 automaker is doubling its quarterly payout to 10 cents, just nine months after paying its first dividend in more than five years.
China's trade growth rebounded strongly in December in a positive sign for the gradual and still uncertain recovery of the world's second-largest economy. Export growth more than quadrupled from the previous month to 14.1 percent while imports — which failed to grow at all in November — rose 6 percent in a sign of increasing domestic demand, data showed Thursday.
World stock markets rose Wednesday after the fourth-quarter earnings season got off to a positive start in the U.S. with aluminum giant Alcoa forecasting higher demand for 2013. Because Alcoa makes aluminum for so many key industries, investors study its results for clues about the health and direction of the overall economy.
Record unemployment and fraying social welfare systems in southern Europe risk creating a new divide in the continent, the EU warned Tuesday, when figures showed joblessness across the 17 EU countries that use the euro hit a new high. Eurozone unemployment rose to 11.8 percent in November, the highest since the euro currency was founded in 1999, according to the statistical agency Eurostat.
Hawaiian Airlines said Monday it plans to buy more than a dozen new Airbus planes to help it meet demand for travel between the West Coast and the islands. The planes — to be delivered four to seven years from now — will allow Hawaiian to open new markets and boost service to cities it already flies to, the airline said. The Honolulu-based airline plans to add 1,000 jobs as part of the expansion.
Schnitzer Steel posted a $2 million loss for the first quarter Tuesday, dragged down by restructuring charges and weak demand. For the quarter ended Nov. 30, the company's loss amounted to 6 cents per share, compared with a profit of $7 million, or 25 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.
Small business owners were slightly more optimistic at the end of 2012 even as they awaited the outcome of negotiations in Congress over the "fiscal cliff." That's the finding of a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, a lobbying group. The NFIB's small-business-optimism index rose half a point from its level in November to 88. The index remains near its lowest readings on record.
Boeing's share price decline after a fire on one of its new 787s may be overdone, Jefferies analyst Howard A. Rubel wrote on Tuesday. Rubel wrote that the decline of over $1 billion in market value "would seem to overstate the worry." He noted that there has been no other similar incident to this one, and the other 787s continue to operate normally.
You finally pushed those price increases through — to reflect the fact that your input costs have been going up — and the market takes another turn. Input costs are now speeding in the opposite direction and your customers are expecting — or rather, demanding — price decreases.
Japan's three biggest automakers — Toyota, Nissan and Honda — say their vehicle sales in China fell last year amid a territorial dispute that prompted Chinese consumers to boycott Japanese products. Toyota Motor Corp. said its sales in China fell 4.9 percent in 2012 to 840,500 vehicles, the first annual decline since at least 2001.
The overall economy continued to grow for the 43rd consecutive month while economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded, moving the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) back over the 50 percent mark in December, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.
U.S. companies boosted their orders in November for manufactured goods that reflect investment plans even though total orders were unchanged for the month. Factory orders were flat in November, compared with October when orders had risen 0.8 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday.
Shares of some steel producers gained for a second day on Thursday as analysts saw better times ahead for the battered industry and investors responded to encouraging economic news. Steelmaker Worthington Industries posted fiscal second quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates, although revenue was below expectations. Its shares rose 15 cents to $27 in afternoon trading. Earlier they hit $27.24, a new high.
U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during the tense negotiations to resolve the fiscal cliff. The solid job growth wasn't enough to push down the unemployment rate, which remained 7.8 percent last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The rate for November was revised up from an initially reported 7.7 percent.
It's not quite boom times for the U.S. auto industry. But it's getting there. Sales of new cars and trucks are likely to reach 14.5 million for 2012. And if they climb much beyond that, they'll be closing in on a high set in 2005. Cheap loans, a host of new cars, and greater confidence in the economy are drawing buyers into showrooms.
Strong U.S. sales in December capped a remarkable year for the auto industry — especially Japanese brands — and 2013 should be even better. Sales of new cars and trucks are expected to total around 14.5 million after all carmakers announce figures on Thursday. That is 13 percent better than 2011 and the best performance in five years.