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Wall Street Journal (July 18)

2018/ 07/ 20 by jd in Global News

To “counter U.S. protectionism, the EU and China are drawing closer together.” While the EU remains at odds with China on certain trade issues, Trump’s tariffs have helped to paint China in a better light globally. “China has increasingly used the mounting trade spats to portray itself as a protector of the rules-based international order, while chastising the U.S. for disrupting global commerce…. China’s engagement with the EU is driven by its desire to keep open world markets that its manufacturers need to thrive.”


Wall Street Journal (March 18)

2018/ 03/ 20 by jd in Global News

“The batteries that power our modern world—from phones to drones to electric cars—will soon experience something not heard of in years: Their capacity to store electricity will jump by double-digit percentages, according to researchers, developers and manufacturers.”


Financial Times (November 23)

2017/ 11/ 24 by jd in Global News

“Mitsubishi Materials has admitted its subsidiaries falsified data about products used in crucial parts of aircraft and cars, dragging another of Japan’s largest manufacturers into the data falsification scandal at Kobe Steel…. The disclosure will raise the pressure on Japan’s manufacturing sector, which has been struck in the past two months by certification scandals at carmakers Nissan and Subaru, as well as Kobe Steel, Japan’s third-largest steelmaker.”


Bloomberg (October 10)

2017/ 10/ 11 by jd in Global News

“Kobe Steel Ltd. unleashed an industrial scandal that reverberated across Asia’s second-largest economy after saying it falsified data related to strength and durability of some aluminum and copper products used in aircraft, cars and maybe even a space rocket.” Following on the heels of the Takata scandal and Nissan Motor’s unauthorized vehicle inspections, “Kobe Steel’s admission raises fresh concern about the integrity of Japanese manufacturers.”


The Week (April 9)

2017/ 04/ 12 by jd in Global News

“Corporate America almost uniformly craves tax reform. But businesses are deeply split over whether to support the…20 percent tax on imports coming into the U.S….. Major U.S. manufacturers like Boeing and Caterpillar are behind the idea. But retailers like Target and Ikea, as well as other companies that import most of their goods, are lobbying furiously against it.”


Financial Times (November 8)

2016/ 11/ 09 by jd in Global News

Stung by the strong yen, over 100 TOPIX-listed manufacturers have issued profit warnings. Conventional cost cutting is no longer doing the trick. “After decades of building plants overseas and trying to make production leaner and more efficient to address the currency vulnerability, analysts say Japanese companies are facing a sobering reality: the urgency to sell underperforming businesses and join hands with rivals to survive brutal market conditions.”


Wall Street Journal (March 18)

2015/ 03/ 18 by jd in Global News

“Major Japanese manufacturers lined up Wednesday to give their employees bigger pay raises starting in April.” This could provide a boost to Abenomics, but “the diverging fortunes of Japan’s big and small firms suggest that Mr. Abe may have more work to make wage growth spread.”


Financial Times (July 8)

2014/ 07/ 09 by jd in Global News

“Japan has too many banks in the same way as it has too many manufacturers of televisions, fridges and microwave ovens. Yet while chronic oversupply has been one of the main forces depressing prices for consumer electronics over the past couple of decades, the influence of the merger-wary banks has been–arguably–more malign.” It would benefit everyone if the reluctant banks were to “find a partner, and get on with it.”


Los Angeles Times (May 1)

2014/ 05/ 02 by jd in Global News

California “continues to attract more manufacturers and create more jobs than almost any other. The numbers don’t lie.” Toyota and Occidental Petroleum both announced plans to move their headquarters from California to Texas. Nevertheless, California’s business environment remains vibrant given the state’s unique “ability to incubate new companies and tech innovators, putting its businesses in the vanguard of new industries.”


Financial Times (October 25)

2013/ 10/ 26 by jd in Global News

“A painful and protracted hangover from the financial crisis has slashed demand for cars in Europe, forcing mainstream manufacturers to close factories, lay off workers and fill their financial statements with red ink.” Despite these measures, however, the industry is still struggling with overcapacity, compelling many global automakers to subsidize European losses with sales elsewhere. Providing a glimmer of optimism for Europe, however, Ford “called the bottom of the disastrous market slump on Thursday, the first carmaker confident enough to turn tentative hopes into official profit guidance and draw a financial line under six years of falling sales.”