Toyota sales up 28 percent
Toyota sold 7.4 million vehicles around the world in the first nine months of this year, up 28 percent from a year earlier. However, anti-Japanese sentiment that has flared in China over a territorial dispute could unseat it as the world’s top automaker. Last month Toyota’s vehicle sales in China dropped to 44,100 from 86,000 the year before. In August, Toyota sold 75,280 vehicles in China, down 15 percent. Toyota reclaimed its crown as the world’s top automaker from General Motors Co in the first half, selling 4.97 million vehicles globally.
Ford ends UK manufacturing
Ford Motor Co told British unions on Thursday that it would scrap its Southampton van factory and an associated stamping facility in Dagenham in the middle of next year, slashing 1,400 jobs and ending vehicle manufacturing by Ford in Britain. The move comes a day after Ford announced it would close a major car plant in Genk, Belgium, in late 2014. In all, Ford has cut 6,200 jobs and reduced European production capacity by 18 percent to save US$450 million to US$$500 million a year.
NEC books profit
Japanese IT giant NEC yesterday booked a US$100 million profit in its fiscal first half, reversing a year-ago loss, thanks to a boost in sales and cost-cutting. The company said it earned ￥8 billion (US$100 million) in the three months to the end of September, compared with an ￥11 billion loss in the same period last year, while sales edged up 0.3 percent to ￥1.45 trillion. The company left its full-year forecast unchanged, projecting a net profit of ￥20 billion on sales of ￥3.15 trillion for the year to March next year.
LG Display returns to profit
LG Display Co returned to profit for the first time in more than a year as strong demand for the iPhone 5 and tablet computers increased sales of its display panels. The South Korean company earned 158 billion won (US$144 million) in the July-September quarter, turning around from a loss of 688 billion won a year earlier. It was its first quarterly profit since last year’s April-June quarter. LG Display’s third-quarter operating profit of 253 billion won was its first operating profit in two years. Revenue totaled 7.6 trillion won.
Dairy giant to launch fund
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra is launching a fund on the New Zealand and Australian stock markets worth at least NZ$500 million (US$410 million). However, the cooperative owned by farmers is not offering shares in itself. Rather, it is allowing investors to buy into a fund that will give them dividends. It is the first time non-farmers will be able to invest in Fonterra. The Fonterra fund is expected to begin trading on Nov. 30.
FedEx to open Shanghai hub
Global delivery company FedEx has announced plans to open a US$100 million air cargo hub in Shanghai. US-based FedEx Corp on Thursday signed an agreement with Shanghai’s airport operator to set up the international express and cargo hub to be completed in early 2017. The new FedEx hub at Shanghai’s main international airport, Pudong, will triple the capacity of its current facility, by processing up to 36,000 items an hour, a statement said.