Toyota to raise production
Toyota Motor plans to raise domestic production from next month until September by about 10 percent from its earlier estimate thanks to the recent weak yen, it was reported yesterday. Toyota has already revised up planned output for next month and May by 10 percent to between 13,000 and 13,500 vehicles a day and it now intends to keep production at that level until September, the Nikkei business daily said. The weakening Japanese currency is seen pushing up exports of the Corolla and Prius to North America, as well as vehicles for the Middle Eastern market, the newspaper said. Domestic output for the nine months to September is expected to reach 2.5 million units, topping the earlier plan by some 200,000 units, it said, adding that the firm may revise up its annual estimate of 3.1 million units.
PepsiCo denies acquisition
PepsiCo Inc says it is not interested in any big acquisitions after a report suggested a major snack food deal could bring its Doritos under the same roof as Oreos. The Purchase, New York, company, which dominates the salty snack market with Frito-Lay, issued a short statement on Friday after the Telegraph of London said activist investor Nelson Peltz could push it to merge with Mondelez, which is known for sweets including Cadbury and Nabisco. The report cited unnamed sources as saying Peltz, who is known for making big investments then forcing change, has been building stakes in the two companies in recent weeks. PepsiCo has long been the subject of speculation that it would spin off its underperforming beverage business. CEO Indra Nooyi tried to squash such talk last year with a “Power of One” marketing campaign that featured the company’s sodas alongside its chips.
JPMorgan endorses Dimon
JPMorgan Chase’s board on Friday “strongly” endorsed Jamie Dimon to continue serving as both chairman and chief executive despite last year’s embarrassing US$6.2 billion trading loss in the “London Whale” debacle. JPMorgan had “strong” performance under Dimon “during a time when many other financial institutions with independent chairs experienced great difficulty,” the company said in its annual proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bosch to quit solar sector
German engineering company Bosch on Friday said that it is abandoning its solar energy business, because there is no way to make it economically viable amid overcapacity and huge price pressure in the industry. The solar power industry has been hit by falling subsidies, weaker sales and increasingly stiff price competition, especially by Chinese manufacturers. Robert Bosch GmbH’s move came after German industrial conglomerate Siemens announced in October last year that it would give up its lossmaking solar business. Bosch said that it would stop making products such as solar cells, wafers and modules at the beginning of next year. It is to sell a plant in Venissieux, France, and is abandoning a plan to build a new plant in Malaysia.