Toyota plant’s future unclearNEW YORK — Toyota Motor Corp. has decided to liquidate its stake in a California manufacturing plant that it jointly operated with General Motors, a Japanese news agency reported Thursday. The Japanese carmaker will begin negotiating with the "Old GM” about the plant’s future starting next week, Kyodo News reported, citing unnamed company officials. Toyota spokesman Mike Goss would not confirm that the Japanese automaker had made a final decision on the fate of New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. Goss said Toyota will begin negotiations with the GM officials about the plant and added that the company is conducting an "extensive review” of its production needs.
3M’s results fall 17 percentST. PAUL, Minn. — Manufacturing conglomerate 3M Co. said Thursday its second-quarter profit fell 17 percent as the global recession cut sales to carmakers, but results still beat analyst estimates. The Dow Jones industrial average component, which makes products ranging from Scotch tape to Post-it Notes, raised its full-year sales and earnings forecasts, and shares rose in Thursday trading. Strong TV purchases in Asia boosted demand for 3M’s LCD television films, and swine flu lifted sales of its respiratory products. Also during the quarter, retailers started restocking for back-to-school sales.
Xerox says profits tumbleNEW YORK — Xerox Corp. said Thursday its second-quarter profit tumbled 35 percent but topped Wall Street forecasts, as cost cutting helped offset another weak period for sales. The company also projected third-quarter earnings below expectations, however. The worldwide slowdown in business is leading companies to spend less on printer and copier supplies. WORLD
Meat packer suspendedTOKYO — A Kansas meat packer that fought U.S. authorities to test its entire herd for mad cow disease was hit with a suspension by Japan this week for shipping banned animal parts. The decision came after Japanese inspectors Tuesday found bovine spinal columns — prohibited under a bilateral trade agreement — in two of 810 boxes sent by Creekstone Farms Premium Beef. No problems were detected in the remaining 808 boxes, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Under the terms of the trade agreement, U.S. beef shipped to Japan can come only from cattle age 20 months and younger, which are thought to pose less of a risk of the mad cow disease. U.S. exporters also must remove spinal columns, brain tissue and other parts considered "risk materials.”
Swiss bank posts earningsZURICH — Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group on Thursday reported a 29 percent increase in second-quarter net profit after a strong performance in its investment banking unit drove up core revenues. The net profit of 1.57 billion Swiss francs ($1.41 billion) compared with 1.22 billion francs in the same quarter last year and matched most analysts’ expectations.
Porsche brand may stay sameSTUTTGART, Germany — The best thing Volkswagen AG can do when it carries through its proposed merger with Porsche is this: Leave Porsche alone and reap the revenue from a glossy brand with loyal, rich customers, ana-lysts say. Volkswagen emerged Thursday atop a power struggle among members of the Piech and Porsche families, who control Porsche Autombil Holding SE, that cost Wendelin Wiedeking his job as Porsche chief executive. The automaker is left to gather the spoils, namely the marquee Porsche name that will soon be counted with Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini, already among its stable of luxury brands. "I don’t think Volkswagen will change it much, Porsche is such a brand,” Howard Wheeldon, senior strategist at BGC Partners told The Associated Press. "There’s huge value in just the brand, it’d be best to leave it alone.”
Qualcomm to fight fineSEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s fair trade regulator said Thursday it was slapping U.S. chip maker Qualcomm Inc. with a record fine over what it called abuse of market dominance. The company vowed to fight the decision. The Korea Fair Trade Commission said in a statement that it was fining the San Diego-based company 260 billion won ($208 million), the largest such levy ever in South Korea. The commission, which had been investigating Qualcomm since 2006, said the company abused its dominant position in CDMA mobile phone chips by charging higher royalties for companies that used rival chipsets. It also said that Qualcomm favored customers who used its products by offering rebates.
Hyundai says profits risingSEOUL, South Korea — Hyundai Motor Co. said second-quarter net profit rose 48 percent to a record high as robust sales in China and India helped it ride out the global auto slump. Hyundai Motor, which along with affiliate Kia Motors Corp. forms the world’s fifth-biggest automotive group, said in a regulatory filing Thursday it earned 811.85 billion won ($650 million) in the three months ended June 30. It posted net profit of 546.9 billion won a year earlier. Company spokesman Ki Jin-ho said the profit was the biggest ever for a single quarter. From Wire Reports