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Fri, May 07, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ VideogamesNew consoles coming

Makers of video-game consoles, including Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp, are rolling-out new hand-held players and games based on Hollywood movies in an attempt to boost lagging sales, the Wall Street Journal said. Both com-panies will each introduce new hand-held systems next year as they vie for control of a worldwide market worth about US$3.7 billion, the paper said. At next week's E3 trade show in Los Angeles, video-game makers will debut games based on movies like Spider-Man as well as some sequels to big-sellers, the newspaper reported. Video-game industry sales fell 1 percent during the first quarter of this year as the sale of consoles slowed, the Journal reported. This may be because Sony and Microsoft will soon replace their machines with newer, more powerful versions, it said.

■ Aviation

Airbus on schedule

Airbus foresees deliveries this year of slightly more than 300 planes this year, chairman Noel Forgeard said in an interview to appear yesterday in the newspaper La Tribune. "At the start of the year we had planned to deliver fewer than 300 planes but we are today looking at slightly more than 300, as in 2003," he said. "If current trends are confirmed, I do not rule out the possibility of step-ping up the pace in 2005." Airbus currently accounts for 57 percent of worldwide civilian aircraft orders, Forgeard said, adding that Airbus and US rival Boeing should deliver around 590 planes this year, as they did last year. He said Airbus had received 129 firm orders for its wide-bodied A380 jumbo jet, adding that "we are in discussions with with four companies, including some in China."

■ Automobiles

Schrempp affirms strategy

DaimlerChrysler boss Juergen Schrempp insisted in an interview released on Wednesday that his com-pany's Asian strategy is "on the right track" despite its decision to cut funding to troubled partner Mitsubishi Motors Corp. That decision raised questions about the future of Schrempp's stra-tegy of turning Daimler-Chrysler into a global auto powerhouse and specu-lation about the chief executive's future. But Schrempp told the Stutt-garter Zeitung daily that he remains committed to seeing through his contract, which will keep him at the German-US automaker until 2008. He renewed assur-ances that DaimlerChrysler will keep its 37 percent stake in Mitsubishi -- although that could be diluted if Mitsubishi's other shareholders go ahead with a capital increase.

■ Automobiles

Mitsubishi ex-officials nabbed

Mitsubishi Motors Corp faced a new scandal yesterday after police arrested seven former executives on suspicion they falsified a report over a fatal accident in which a wheel flew off one of its trucks. Police raided the Tokyo headquarters of Mitsubishi's truck-making affiliate, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp yester-day in connection with the case. The Tokyo-based automaker has been strug-gling to restore confidence in its brand name since it was hit by a scandal four years ago after concealing thousands of owner com-plaints to avoid having to order a recall. Media reports said those arrested include the former chairman of Mitsubishi Fuso and a man who was a Mitsubishi Motors vice president when the accident occurred.

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