Peugeot cuts 8,000 jobs
French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen announced 8,000 job cuts and the closure of an assembly plant as it struggles with mounting losses, in a move that could hasten a wave of restructuring in western Europe. The Aulnay plant near Paris, which employs more than 3,000 workers, will halt in 2014 as part of a drive to reorganize Peugeot’s under-used domestic production capacity, the company said yesterday. It will be the first car plant to cease production in France for 20 years, posing a challenge to new Socialist French President Francois Hollande’s objective of reviving industrial production. The government said in a statement it would present a plan to support the car industry on July 25, and would ensure that Peugeot finds an alternative solution for all workers who lose their jobs at Aulnay.
iPad to sell in China
Apple will start selling the iPad in China on July 20 after paying US$60 million to settle a dispute over the ownership of the tablet computer’s name. Apple Inc said it would begin selling its latest iPad starting at US$499 and the older iPad 2 starting at US$399. The tablet computers will be sold online, at Apple stores and through approved resellers. Apple often brings products to China later than in other countries. The iPad model coming to China this month went on sale in the US and several other countries in March. It features a sharper screen and a faster processing chip than the previous two iPad models.
San Francisco boycotts Apple
Apple’s withdrawal from an environmental ratings registry has prompted at least one city — San Francisco — to stop buying its computers. The decision does not apply to iPads or iPhones. However, Francis Tsang, spokesman for Mayor Edwin Lee’s office, says the city’s rules require that laptops, computers and monitors comply with the registry’s requirements. Late last month, Apple Inc told the non-profit Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), to remove its products from its registry. It also plans to stop submitting its products to EPEAT for environmental ratings. EPEAT is an industry standard that seeks to make it easier for customers to buy environmentally friendly electronics.
US computer sales drop
US personal computer sales sagged during the spring as shifting technology trends, upcoming product releases and a shaky economy dampened demand for the machines currently on the market. The second-quarter decline in the US ranged between 6 and 11 percent, compared with the same time last year, according to separate reports released on Wednesday by Gartner Inc and International Data Corp (IDC). Gartner came up with the lower of the two figures in the research firms’ quarterly look at shipments of desktop and laptop computers. Worldwide PC shipments held up better during the quarter, dipping by just 0.1 percent from last year. This marks the seventh consecutive quarter in which global PC shipments have either decreased or edged up only slightly from the previous year, according to Gartner’s calculations. Consumers and businesses have been buying fewer PCs during the past two years amid the growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers, such as Apple Inc’s iPad. PC makers have tried to adapt by releasing sleeker laptops known as Ultrabooks, but IDC said many of those devices remained too expensive for many households at time of high unemployment and fears of another downturn.