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Toyota to end car manufacturing in Australia PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KRISTEN GELINEAU, Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:25

SYDNEY (AP) — Toyota said Monday it will stop making cars in Australia by the end of 2017, spelling a final blow to auto manufacturing in the country, where car companies say high production costs and tough competition have made the business unviable.

Toyota's announcement, which will result in the loss of around 2,500 jobs, was widely anticipated, coming just two months after General Motors Co. said it would end production in Australia by 2017. Ford Motor Co. announced in May that it would cease Australian production in 2016.

All told, some 6,600 manufacturing jobs will be axed between the three companies. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. stopped manufacturing in Australia in 2008.

Toyota Motor Corp. said its decision was based on a combination of factors including the high Australian dollar, the high cost of manufacturing and competition.

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AOL reverses unpopular retirement plan move PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by The Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:12

AOL Corp. CEO Tim Armstrong has abandoned an unpopular plan to delay company contributions to employee retirement accounts and apologized for citing two high-cost births as part of the impetus for the plan.

"We heard you on this topic," Armstrong wrote in a letter to employees Saturday.

In a move to cut costs, AOL had decided to pay matching 401(k) retirement contributions in one lump sum at the end of the year. Workers who left the company before the end of the year would have received no contributions, and all workers would sacrifice interest or earnings on those contributions throughout the year.

After a worker backlash, Armstrong said the company would return to depositing matching contributions every pay period throughout the year.

In the letter Saturday, Armstrong also apologized for bringing up specific health care examples during a town hall meeting in which the retirement plan was discussed. During the meeting, Armstrong cited higher health care costs in general and mentioned the high cost of health care for two women who gave birth to "distressed babies."

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Nissan profits rise on weaker yen, China sales PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:24

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan says quarterly profit rose 57 percent, driven by a weaker yen and strong sales in China and Japan.

The Japanese automaker reported net profit Monday of 84.3 billion yen ($823 million) for the October-December third quarter. That was up from 53.8 billion yen a year earlier.

It was a sharp improvement from the previous quarter, when profits rose 2 percent. Sales rose 25 percent to 2.5 trillion yen.

"Sales in Japan and North America helped offset emerging market volatility and sluggish conditions in Europe," Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said in a statement.

But operating income fell 87 percent in the highly competitive North American market to just 3.4 billion yen. That was more than made up for by a 405 percent increase in Japan.

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N.Y. to consider four new casinos amid gloomy reports PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press   
Sunday, 09 February 2014 08:34

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York is gearing up to take applications for four new upstate casinos at a time when some gambling operations in the region are in a slump.

A state siting board is scheduled to seek casino applications in March, four months after voters approved a state constitutional amendment to allow Las Vegas-style casinos beyond Indian land.

A number of gambling operations in New York and neighboring states has reported lower revenues since the vote amid the harsh winter. But applicants seem unfazed, saying that, over the long term, their casinos could tap into gambling dollars now going to other states.

"You can't look at a 90-day window. There could be a million reasons you get these short-term ups or downs," said Thomas Wilmot Sr., chairman of Rochester-based developer Wilmorite, citing state figures. "But if you look at the last five years, it's been a very steady increase in play."

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