General Motors reported a 31 percent decline in second-quarter net profit on Thursday, in large part because of falling vehicle sales in North America coupled with a price war that continues to escalate. \nGM's results were also hurt by US$168 million in costs from a May tornado that shut down the company's Oklahoma City assembly plant for nearly two months. The plant makes midsize sport utility vehicles like the Chevrolet Trailblazer. \nBut the company was upbeat about the outlook for the second half of the year, in contrast to a gloomier picture offered by the Ford Motor Co, which reported lower earnings on Wednesday. \n"We're looking at the market over the last 60 to 90 days and feeling better," John Devine, GM's chief financial officer, said on a conference call. He added that the company expected the economy to recover in the second half of the year and increase industry sales. \n"We're not feeling wonderful, but it's an improvement from what we saw in the first quarter," he said. \nIn the quarter, GM reported net income of US$901 million, or US$1.58 a share, compared with US$1.3 billion, or US$2.43 a share, in the period a year earlier. Revenue was flat at US$48.3 billion. \nThe results handily beat Wall Street's estimates of US$1.19 a share, according to Thomson First Call. But analysts expressed concern about the company's diminishing profits in the crucial North American market. \nThe report came as contract talks opened between GM and the UAW here. Big Three labor talks are being closely watched because crucial foreign competitors like Toyota and Honda have much lower labor costs. \nOn GM's earnings outlook, Devine said the company now expected a profit of US$4.50 to US$5 a share for the full year after earning US$3.39 a share in the first half. Earlier in the year, the company had backed away from a goal of earning US$5 a share, but Devine said on Thursday that the goal was in reach. \nShares of GM fell US$0.18, or 0.5 percent, to US$35.74.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
‘BASELESS ACCUSATIONS’: Ker Chien-ming said it was not possible to drop Chen Chu’s nomination, while KMT lawmakers accused their DPP rivals of ‘homicidal behavior’ The Legislative Yuan is to vote on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for the Control Yuan on July 17 after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators regained access to the legislative chamber yesterday after it was occupied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for about 19 hours. The Legislative Yuan had been scheduled to meet yesterday morning to discuss its planned extraordinary session, but more than 20 KMT lawmakers on Sunday afternoon broke into the main chamber and occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest Tsai’s nomination of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) to be Control Yuan president. The KMT caucus