Airbus to reduce suppliers
Airbus is to cut the number of its suppliers by more than 80 percent as part of its restructuring program, a spokeswoman confirmed on Monday, but the European aircraft maker gave no further details of the planned cuts. The number of suppliers will be reduced "from 3,000 to 500," Airbus spokeswoman Marcella Muratore said. No further information was available on which suppliers would be dropped or the timetable for the cuts, she said. Airbus' comment confirmed a report in the German Financial Times Deutschland on Monday that Airbus planned to cut procurement costs by 350 million euros (US$445 million) by 2010 and raise the amount of components made in low-wage by 50 percent.
Toyota's profits up 36%
Toyota Motor Corp yesterday said its group net profit for the fiscal half-year surged 36.2 percent, driven by robust sales in North America and Europe. Toyota, on pace to overtake General Motors Corp to become the world's No. 1 automaker, also raised its earnings forecast for the full year through March to ¥1.55 trillion (US$13.14 billion) from an earlier projection of ¥1.31 trillion. Japan's largest automaker said net profit for the April-September period was ¥777.2 billion, up from ¥570.5 billion posted for the same period last year.
■ Mobile devices
NTP sues Palm
NTP, the US firm specializing in licensing patented technology, said on Monday it had filed a patent-infringement suit against Treo-maker Palm. NTP announced that it had filed the complaint in a US court in Virginia and demanded that Palm be stopped from using the technology and be ordered to pay cash damages. NTP claimed it had tried in vain to resolve the situation with Palm to avoid litigation, which it described as a "waste of time and money." In March NTP won a high-profile legal victory over Research In Motion, a Canadian firm it accused of violating its patented technology with its popular BlackBerry handheld devices.
PayPal to offer cash rebates
PayPal, the payment-service company owned by online auction site eBay Inc, said on Monday it would launch an incentive program, allowing customers who subscribe to the service to receive cash rebates of up to US$20 on several thousand merchants' sites in North America. In a release, PayPal said that the cash rebate programs, valued at US$100 million, would be available to consumers from Nov. 23 through May 15. Free shipping promotions will be available beginning Nov. 23. Some of the merchants' sites in addition to eBay that will offer PayPal customers cash rebate offers are cooking.com, starbucks.com, walgreens.com and buy.com, according to Amanda Pires, a PayPal spokeswoman.
Intel's investment approved
Intel Corp, the world's largest chipmaker, has received permission to increase its initial investment in Vietnam from US$300 million to up to US$1 billion, a Vietnamese official said yesterday. Intel is constructing a US$300 million chip assembly and testing plant in Ho Chi Minh City. Its initial investment license, granted in February, gave the firm permission to invest up to US$605 million. The government has amended the license, allowing Intel to invest up to US$1 billion to raise its production capacity, said Nguyen Anh Tuan, director of the Information Technology Industry.