Business News - part 8

Fiat Chrysler Unveils Strategy to Increase Sales by 2018

Fiat Chrysler Unveils Strategy to Increase Sales by 2018

BUSINESS

  • Fiat Chrysler unveiled ambitious sales targets and product strategies to achieve a 60% sales increase through 2018 at recent meeting.
  • Plan to boost global competitiveness includes updating Chrysler’s Town and Country minivan and dropping Dodge sedans to focus on a sportier Dodge model.
  • Investors showing doubt about plan’s achievability by withdrawing funds.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently announced an aggressive $77 billion plan to boost Maserati, Jeep and Alfa-Romeo sales and refresh its Chrysler line.

Five years ago US-based Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA of Italy entered a partnership but only officially joined forces in January, when Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler was complete; at a day-long conference held at Chrysler’s Auburn Hills, MI headquarters, Chrysler and Fiat together revealed their product strategies and prospective sales targets for the next five years.

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Coach Sales Fall 7% in Third Quarter

Coach Sales Fall 7% in Third Quarter

BUSINESS

  • Sales falling sharpest in handbag division
  • North American sales weak compared to rest of world
  • Coach facing fierce completion from rivals

 

Luxury handbag manufacturer, Coach, saw sales decline 7% and profit fall 20% in the third quarter, thanks to weak North American sales and increased competition. Revenue dropped to $1.1 billion, below analysts’ expectations.

In North America, Coach operates nearly 600 retail stores and plans to open 20 more.

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Toyota’s US Headquarters Moving to Texas from California

Toyota’s US Headquarters Moving to Texas from California

BUSINESS

  • Move affects thousands of employees
  • California home to numerous foreign auto headquarters
  • Texas has been attempting to lure businesses

The world’s largest automaker, Toyota Motor Corp., has plans to move its U.S. sales headquarters from Torrance, CA, where it has been since 1957 to Plano TX, a Dallas suburb, to save money.

The move would put manufacturing and quality, service, marketing, advertising and sales all in one location and affect 5,300 employees.  Three subsidiaries, Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Toyota Financial Services and Toyota Motor Sales USA, also would make the move, affecting more than 9,400 employees.

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Artificial Hip, Knee Manufacturer Zimmer Buys Rival Biomet For $13.4 Billion

Artificial Hip, Knee Manufacturer Zimmer Buys Rival Biomet For $13.4 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Combined company to become second largest in market
  • Number of medical procedures increasing in rebounding economy
  • Biomet had started IPO process

American artificial hip and knee manufacturer Zimmer Holdings Inc. has agreed to purchase rival Biomet Inc. for $13.4 billion in cash and shares. The combined company will become the second largest in the orthopedic and muscle injuries market.

In the rebounding economy, patients who had put off elective procedures are having surgeries. The acquisition of Biomet will allow Zimmer to expand into sports medicine, treating injuries such as torn ligaments, extremities, products for the hands and wrists, and trauma, screws and nails used after accidents.

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UK Retailer Primark To Enter US Market

UK Retailer Primark To Enter US Market

BUSINESS

  • Primark to open in Boston in 2015
  • Eight more Primark stores in Northeast to open in 2016
  • Primark hopes to succeed where other UK companies failed

British discount retailer Primark, which is owned by conglomerate Associated British Foods, plans to enter the US market, making it a global company.

Primark will open a 70,000-square-foot store downtown Boston near the end of 2015; an additional eight stores may be opened in the Northeast in 2016.

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Pepsi Reports Strong First Quarter Thanks To Snacks

Pepsi Reports Strong First Quarter Thanks To Snacks

BUSINESS

  • Pepsi snack volume grew 2%
  • Pepsi looking for new ways to market beverages
  • Price increases help boost profit

American multinational food and beverage corporation Pepsi Co. posted a stronger than expected first quarter profit due in part to its snack business.

The company made $12.62 billion in revenue, beating the $12.43 billion analysts forecast, and an increase of 4% from a year earlier; net income was $1.22 billion. 

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Swiss Pharma Giant Novartis Makes Animal Health, Vaccine Deals

Swiss Pharma Giant Novartis Makes Animal Health, Vaccine Deals

BUSINESS

  • Novartis vaccine business sold to GlaxoSmithKline for $7.1 billion
  • Novartis animal-health business sold to Lilly for $5.4 billion
  • Novartis and Glaxo to enter joint venture

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG made two deals; the first, selling its vaccine business to Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline Plc for $7.1 billion; and the second, selling its animal-health business to American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co. for $5.4 billion.

“This is about getting us into fighting shape for the next 10 years,” says Novartis chief executive Joseph Jimenez.

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Starbucks Moving European Headquarters To London

Starbucks Moving European Headquarters To London

BUSINESS

  • Starbucks senior executives to move from Amsterdam to London
  • UK tax burden to increase
  • Starbucks accused of UK tax evasion

Starbucks Corp., the world’s biggest coffee chain, is moving its European, Middle East and Africa headquarters to London from Amsterdam by the end of the year, increasing its tax burden in the UK, the company’s largest and fastest-growing European market.

A number of senior executives will be moved to London, Starbucks said, to better oversee its business in the UK; London also will become the base of company intellectual property rights.

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French Auto Giant Peugeot Citroen Announces Profitability Plan

French Auto Giant Peugeot Citroen Announces Profitability Plan

BUSINESS

  • Plan aimed at stopping two years of losses
  • Manufacturer aims to be profitable by 2018
  • Number of car models to be cut in half by 2020

French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-largest carmaker, has announced a recovery plan, called ‘Back in the Race’, aimed at stopping losses and returning the company to profitability by 2018.

Over the past two years, Peugeot has recorded $10.4 billion in losses, hit hard by the recession in Europe, dependence on the home market and by over capacity. Its market share fell to 10.9% last year.

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Diageo To Purchase Additional 26% Stake in United Spirits

Diageo To Purchase Additional 26% Stake in United Spirits

BUSINESS

  • Deal one of industry’s largest
  • 2012 attempt to takeover United Spirits failed
  • Diageo expanding into emerging markets to offset slow growth

UK-based Diageo Plc, the world's largest producer of spirits, has offered $1.9 billion to purchase an additional stake in United Spirits Ltd., India’s largest spirits company and the world’s second-largest spirits company by volume.

Diageo wants to purchase up to 26% stake; and it already holds 28.8% and maintains management control.

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