Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest automaker, is seeking to build a 10 billion yuan factory (US$1.6 billion) in China that may boost the company’s production capacity by more than 10 percent, state-affiliated bodies said. The Hunan Research Academy of Environmental Sciences is seeking public feedback on the plant, which will be located in the southeastern Chinese city of Changsha and have a capacity to build 300,000 passenger vehicles a year, the state-backed organization said on its Web site. Investments in the factory may total 10 billion yuan, the Changsha National Economic & Technical Development Zone said on its Web site.
Toyota cuts output target
Toyota Motor is cutting its target of producing more than 10 million vehicles this year after suffering a sales drop in key market China amid strained Sino-Japanese ties, a report said yesterday. Japan’s biggest automaker had aimed to top the 10 million mark in what would have been a first for the company, saying earlier this year that it expected global output to hit 10.05 million vehicles this year. Toyota’s annual global production was now likely to be between 9.8 and 9.9 million units this year, the leading Nikkei business daily reported, citing unnamed company officials.
Industrial sentiment falls
Industrial sentiment fell to a three-year low this month as order books thinned and manufacturers’ outlook for the future darkened, the national statistics institute INSEE said yesterday. The composite industrial sentiment index dropped five points from last month to 85 points this month, moving further from its long-term average of 100 points. The composite business sentiment indicator, which also includes services, construction and wholesale and retail sales, dropped by one point over the month to also hit 85 points.
Esprit plans share sale
Clothing retailer Esprit plans to raise up to US$677 million in a new share sale to rebuild its brand as part of a multibillion-dollar four-year transformation drive, a report said yesterday. Up to 655.8 million shares will be sold at a price of HK$8 (US$1.03) each, a 36 percent discount from Monday’s close of HK$12.44, Dow Jones Newswires said.
FedEx to hire workers
FedEx Corp said on Monday it would hire 20,000 temporary workers to help handle surging shipments during the year-end holiday season. FedEx predicted its biggest day of the year would be Dec. 10, when they expect to handle a record 19 million shipments, up 10 percent from a year ago, driven by online orders. For the overall holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, FedEx forecasted it would handle more than 280 million shipments worldwide, 13 percent more than in the same period last year.
Dagong to form group
Chinese ratings agency Dagong (大公) said yesterday it was tying up with US and Russian partners to form a new “independent” group to rival US-based agencies it claims have “proven inadequate.” The firm will set up the joint venture, called Universal Credit Rating Group, with Egan-Jones Ratings Co, based in Pennsylvania, and Russia’s RusRating JSC, it said in an invitation for a press conference today to unveil the new company.