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Business News - part 43

Automaker Chrysler Recalls Jeep Sport-Utility Vehicles Worldwide

Automaker Chrysler Recalls Jeep Sport-Utility Vehicles Worldwide

BUSINESS

  • Chrysler recalling nearly 630,000 Jeep sport-utility vehicles worldwide due to airbag, seatbelt and transmission cooler line problems
  • Recall affects Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot SUV models from 2010 to 2012; and Wrangler SUVs
  • Chrysler Automaker refuses to recall older Jeep vehicles despite government request

American automaker Chrysler Group LLC is recalling close to 630,000 Jeep sport-utility vehicles worldwide because of mechanical problems and transmission leaks.

The recall affects 409,000 Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot SUV models sold from 2010 to 2012 as well as 221,000 Wrangler SUVs. The Compass and Patriot models are recalled because of airbag and seat-belt problems, while the Wranglers have reported transmission cooler line leaks. 

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IBM Plans To Purchase Cloud Computing Company SoftLayer Technologies

IBM Plans To Purchase Cloud Computing Company SoftLayer Technologies

BUSINESS

  • IBM aims to better compete in cloud services arena with SoftLayer acquisition
  • IBM to combine existing offer with SoftLayer to form global platform division called Cloud Services
  • IBM cloud business up 70% in 2013 

Technology giant IBM plans to purchase cloud computing company SoftLayer Technologies for an undisclosed amount to better compete in the cloud services market against rivals Amazon Inc. and Rackspace Hosting Inc.

A number of companies, including IBM, have been in talks with SoftLayer since March, and the deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

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Salesforce Acquires Marketing Software Maker ExactTarget For $2.5 Billion

Salesforce Acquires Marketing Software Maker ExactTarget For $2.5 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Salesforce buys ExactTarget to better capitalize on social media marketing demand
  • ExactTarget marks Salesforce’s largest acquisition to date
  • Salesforce anticipates annual revenue of over $100 million from ExactTarget and other online-marketing acquisitions

Customer relationship management software and cloud computing giant Salesforce.com is set to purchase marketing software producer ExactTarget for $2.5 billion in a major push to capitalize on the demand for social media marketing.

With an expected end of July approval, the acquisition is Salesforce’s largest to date.

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Singapore Airlines Spends $17 Billion On Aircraft From Airbus, Boeing

Singapore Airlines Spends $17 Billion On Aircraft From Airbus, Boeing

BUSINESS

  • Singapore Airlines buys 60 new jets to better compete against regional airlines
  • New aircraft should help save fuel and modernize fleet
  • Competitor airlines have placed large orders for jets 

Singapore Airlines Ltd., with the third-highest cash reserves of any airline globally, has purchased 60 new airplanes from Airbus and Boeing for $17 billion in an attempt to compete against other regional airlines.

The order is one of the largest ever for the airline, and includes 30 Boeing 787-10X variants, the redesigned Dreamliner, and 30 Airbus A350-900s. The airline also has an option to purchase 20 Airbus aircraft.

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China Moves To Takeover Top US Pork Producer Smithfield Foods

China Moves To Takeover Top US Pork Producer Smithfield Foods

BUSINESS

  • China’s largest pork firm Shuanghui International bids $4.7 billion for Smithfield Foods in the US; deal could be largest Chinese takeover of a US company
  • Deal fuelled by 10-fold increase in demand for American meat among growing middle class in China
  • Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to investigate food safety concerns

China’s largest pork firm Shuanghui International has bid $4.7 billion to purchase Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, the biggest US producer of pork. The deal is fuelled by a 10-fold increase in demand for American meat, particularly protein-rich pork, among the growing middle class in China.

If successful, this deal would be the most significant buyout of an American company by a Chinese competitor, valued at slightly more than $7 billion, including debt.

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TUI Travel Buys 60 Boeing Aircraft For $6 Billion

TUI Travel Buys 60 Boeing Aircraft For $6 Billion

BUSINESS

  • TUI Travel buys Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to modernize its fleet
  • TUI Travel previously purchased Dreamliners, but problems have postponed flying
  • TUI Travel operates six European airlines: Corsair, Arkefly, TUIfly, TUIfly Nordic, Jetairfly and Thomson Airways

Global travel leader TUI Travel is buying 60 narrow-body Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for $6.1 billion in an effort to begin modernizing its fleet.

TUI Travel also has the option to purchase an additional 60 737 MAX planes on the same terms.

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Tablets Expected To Outship PCs by 2015

Tablets Expected To Outship PCs by 2015

BUSINESS

  • Tablet computer shipments predicted to grow 59% in 2013
  • Customers choosing smaller, cheaper tablets
  • PC market shrinking faster than expected

Tablet computers are forecast to outsell the entire personal computer market by 2015, according to market research firm IDC reports.

This year alone tablet shipments are expected to reach 229.3 million units, marking a 59% increase. The figure beats the number of laptops predicted to be shipped by end 2013.

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Compact Luxury A-Class Vehicle From Mercedes-Benz Introduced in India

Compact Luxury A-Class Vehicle From Mercedes-Benz Introduced in India

BUSINESS

High-end carmaker Mercedes-Benz has launched its smallest and most affordable offering in India, the A-Class luxury hatchback.

The new A-Class series is designed to target primarily young, first-time luxury car buyers in India. Still considered an untapped market, the introduction of the A-Class is part of the company's plans to offer new products in India this year, focusing on the compact luxury-car segment.

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Chinese Regulators Consent to Use of Boeing 787s For Airlines In China

Chinese Regulators Consent to Use of Boeing 787s For Airlines In China

BUSINESS

  • Chinese aviation regulators approve Boeing 787s for country’s airlines just four months after worldwide grounding of 787s for battery overheating
  • Boeing reveals 90% of battery retrofits complete
  • Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) resumed flights several days in advance of June 1 schedule 

Chinese aviation authorities have officially cleared the way for the Boeing 787 to be used by the country’s airlines. Among the international carriers that have ordered 787s are China Southern Airlines and the smaller Hainan Airlines, with 10 each, and Air China, with 15.

This approval will open up promising new business opportunities for the US aircraft carrier following two different cases of batteries overheating on airplanes operated by Japanese airlines Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways (ANA) Holdings in January that caused all 787 models (50 in use) to be grounded worldwide.

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Automotive Manufacturer Renault Ends Partnership With Better Place

Automotive Manufacturer Renault Ends Partnership With Better Place

BUSINESS

  • Electric-vehicle charging station operator Better Place failed to attract customers; files for liquidation
  • End of partnership with Better Place has little impact on Renault
  • Renault and Nissan investing $5.2 billion in electric-vehicle projects before 2015

France’s second-largest automaker Renault SA has ended its five-year partnership with electric-vehicle charging station operator Better Place LLC after the Israeli company filed a motion for liquidation in court.

Better Place experienced financial problems after failing to attract customers to its few electric car charging stations.

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