The Fiesta look is most apparent at the front.  Picture: QUICKPIC
The Ford Fiesta. Picture: QUICKPIC

Ford to exit all operations in Japan and Indonesia

BEIJING — Ford Motor will close all operations in Japan and Indonesia this year as it sees "no reasonable path to profitability" there, according to an internal document reviewed by Reuters on Monday.

Ford will exit all areas of business, including shuttering dealerships and stopping sales and imports of Ford and Lincoln vehicles, according to an e-mail from Asia Pacific President Dave Schoch to all employees in the region. Product development done in Japan will shift elsewhere.

A Ford spokeswoman confirmed that an e-mail regarding the decision was sent to employees on Monday.


Google faces grilling by UK MPs over tax deal

LONDON — A UK parliamentary committee will invite Google to testify about a back-tax deal under which it will pay £130m to settle claims covering a 10-year period — an amount the opposition Labour party has described as derisory.

Meg Hillier, the Labour party chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee, tweeted at the weekend that she would call Google, now part of holding company Alphabet, and the UK tax authority to explain the "cosy deal".

Google and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs were not immediately available for comment.

Google’s tax deal brings its total UK tax bill over the period to about £200m.

Over the period, its UK revenue of about £24bn would have generated a tax bill of almost $2bn, if the UK unit reported taxable profits in line with group margins of about 30%, according to Reuters calculations based on Google filings.

Google’s tax bill is reduced because its European profits are channelled to Bermuda.


VW labour leader rejects efficiency drive

BERLIN — Volkswagen’s labour leader has rejected a push by management for a big rise in productivity at the core autos division and said planned structural changes were causing "unease" among workers, according to an interview published on Monday.

A goal from VW brand CEO Herbert Diess to increase productivity by 10% this year was "unrealistic" and could result in job cuts among salaried employees, works council chief Bernd Osterloh said in an interview with online platform IG Metall bei Volkswagen.

"We will not support a further drive towards performance," Mr Osterloh said. "We principally view productivity in a positive way…. But we expect that VW at the same time guarantees the security of employment."

Europe’s largest car maker, faced with multibillion-euro costs from its emissions-cheating scandal, is overhauling its troubled namesake brand where margins are pinched by high labour outlays and costly in-house production of components.


Foxconn says no fallout from fire at Apple plant

SHANGHAI — A small fire broke out on Sunday night on the roof of a factory complex where iPhones are assembled in China, but Taiwan-based tech giant Foxconn Technology, which runs the factory, said nobody was hurt and manufacturing was unaffected.

Foxconn’s listed unit Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, which assembles the bulk of Apple’s latest smartphones, has said December revenue slumped by a fifth and full-year sales missed expectations.

There is growing concern about slowing shipments of Apple’s latest iPhone 6S models. Apple is expected on Tuesday to report first-quarter revenue slightly below estimates for the first time in six quarters, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.