Alstom slams Beijing
Alstom Transport, the world’s second-largest train maker, is calling on nations not to buy Chinese-made trains, accusing the country of shutting foreign firms out of domestic bids, a report said yesterday. Alstom chief executive Philippe Mellier told the Financial Times that China is also exporting trains with some foreign technology that was supplied on condition that it not be used outside China. “The [Chinese] market is gradually shutting down to let the Chinese companies prosper,” Mellier said. “We don’t think it’s a good idea for other countries to open their markets to such a technology, because there’s no reciprocity any more.”
Creative posts a loss
Creative Technology Ltd, the Singaporean maker of accessories for Apple Inc’s iPod, eliminated 2,700 jobs, almost half its workforce, last fiscal year after demand for its own music players tumbled. The company had 3,100 full-time workers at the end of June, down 47 percent from a year earlier, Creative said in an annual report filed to Singapore’s stock exchange on Dec. 31. “The markets that Creative targets are highly competitive,” the company said in the report. “Many of Creative’s current and potential competitors have substantially greater financial, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and other resources.” Creative posted a net loss of US$19.7 million on sales of US$736.8 million for the year ended June 30. That’s the lowest revenue in five years as sales of its music players slumped.
Hyundai leads sales decline
Hyundai Motor Co, South Korea’s biggest automaker, led a decline in the country’s automobile sales last month, marking the second straight monthly decline, as a global recession sapped demand for new vehicles. Hyundai, Kia Motors Corp, GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co, Renault Samsung Motors Co and Ssangyong Motor Co sold a combined 406,051 vehicles last month, 13 percent less than a year earlier, Bloomberg calculations based on company data released yesterday showed. Sales last year gained 2.4 percent to 5.35 million units, as sales in emerging markets offset sluggish sales in the US, Europe and at home. “This year, the impact from the global economic crisis is expected to deepen and we’re standing in the middle of cut-throat competition for survival,” Hyundai chairman Chung Mong-koo told employees yesterday in Seoul. Last year, their local sales dropped 5.1 percent to 1.15 million units and overseas sales rose 4.7 percent to 4.2 million, the firms’ data showed.
Subscribers keep shows
Millions of subscribers to the Time Warner Cable television network kept their favorite shows into the new year on Thursday after an agreement in principle on rights fees was reached in a bitter dispute with entertainment giant Viacom Inc. Viacom had threatened to pull Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and 15 other channels from Time Warner and its 13.3 million subscribers at 12:01am on Thursday if a deal had not been reached. The companies said they expect to finalize the agreement details over the next several days.
Pepsi to invest in India
India’s government approved a plan by PepsiCo Inc, the world’s second-biggest beverage maker, to invest an additional US$50 million in its local unit, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said. Sibal was speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting in New Delhi.