Gas Pedal Problem Forces Toyota To Halt Sales

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) “is halting sales and production of eight models that the automaker recalled last week to fix gas pedals that could get stuck
Source:chemnet     Time:29 Jan 2010
 Jan 27,2010 - Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) “is halting sales and production of eight models that the automaker recalled last week to fix gas pedals that could get stuck,” according to today's Detroit News. The car company asked dealers to stop sales of the vehicles yesterday. The paper says, “The Japanese automaker's move will be costly, affecting models that account for close to half of its U.S. sales as well as production at five assembly plants and one engine factory in North America for about a week.” The Washington Post leads its business news with this story and lists the affected vehicles as the “RAV4, Highlander and Sequoia sport-utility vehicles; Corolla, Camry and Avalon cars; Matrix hatchbacks; and Tundra pickups.” The WSJ weighs in, calling the decision to halt sales “a stunning and unprecedented move.”

The book-publishing industry may be in for another business model shake-up when Apple (AAPL) introduces its long-awaited tablet device this afternoon. The Wall Street Journal says that, according to details from last-minute discussions that Apple had with publishers, Apple will make the e-books it provides more expensive than those sold on Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle. The paper explains, “Apple's business model for books, which the company has kept under tight wraps, shifts the focus away from the bargain-basement prices Amazon has made popular, according to publishers that have met directly with the company. Apple is asking publishers to set two e-book price points for hardcover best sellers: $12.99 and $14.99, with fewer titles offered at $9.99. In setting their own e-book prices, publishers would avoid the threat of heavy discounting. Apple would take a 30% cut of the book price, with publishers receiving the remaining 70%.”

The New York Times reports that at least two Federal Reserve Board officials were skeptical about payouts that American International Group (AIG) made to its trading partners around the time that it was bailed out. The paper says that in 2008, Fed officials turned down a proposal that would have obligated AIG’s trading partners to give back $30 billion that they had recently received from the insurer. “The Fed chose instead to let the banks keep the cash and to receive additional billions from taxpayers. This decision was made, internal documents show, after two Fed governors expressed concern that such a plan might be ‘a gift’ to the company’s trading partners, including Goldman Sachs (GS) and Société Générale, a major French bank,” the paper says.

GM may have found a new home for Saab. The New York Times explains, “Saab, the Swedish automaker that seemed destined for the junkyard a month ago after its owner, General Motors, said it could not find a buyer, won a new lease on life Tuesday when G.M. agreed to sell Saab to a tiny Dutch maker of high-end sports cars.” Spyker Cars, the prospective buyer, would pay GM $74 million in cash and $326 million in preferred shares under the terms of the agreement.

President Obama will be talking a lot about jobs in tonight’s State of the Union address, says the Wall Street Journal. The paper notes, “He will make small-business hiring the centerpiece of that message, pressing Congress to act on a slate of tax cuts that have languished for months, administration officials said Tuesday. Mr. Obama will call for eliminating capital-gains taxes on investments in small businesses. He will redouble efforts to give small employers a tax credit for new hires. And he will call for extending bigger tax breaks to those that purchase new facilities and equipment.” Today's New York Times discusses the pros and cons of a tax incentive for businesses that make new hires—an idea that Obama endorsed last month and could possibly discuss more seriously in the speech tonight.

And finally, the Financial Times reports that the United Kingdom has at last been able to “crawl” out of its recession. The paper says, “The UK became one of the last big economies to emerge from recession on Tuesday, but growth is so anaemic that strategists from the ruling Labour party fear that the country could contract again before the general election, expected in May.”
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