Scrapping Mexico The Plant Is a Business Decision: Bill Ford

Ford Chairman Bill Ford discusses the Detroit auto industry, Donald Trump’s trade policies, the president-elect’s nomination of Elaine Chao for Transportation secretary and the company’s decision to scrap plans for a new plant in Mexico. He speaks with David Westin on “Bloomberg Markets” from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan

Interior design and technology of the Toyota Concept-i

Toyota CALTY designer lead Ian Cartabiano walks through the interior design and technology of the Concept-i concept at CES 2017. With scissor-doors, autonomous driving, and an innovative artificial intelligence co-driver, it's a preview of the sort of technology that Toyota believes could be in the emotionally-engaged cars of tomorrow.

Maqui Berry the new super food coming to juice cleanses near you

There’s a new super food coming to juice cleanses near you, and it’s called the Maqui Berry. Like its predecessors, the Maqui Berry has ridiculous amounts of antioxidants and lots of the accompanying claims about its body-healing properties. Ashlee Vance, the host of Hello World, took a recent trip to the wine country outside of Santiago to see how the Maqui Berry is being processed by SouthAm Freeze Dry.

Toyota could be imposed with heavy border tax if it builds factory in Mexico: President-elect Trump

( via – – Fri, 6 Jan, 2017) London, UK – –

Shares of Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) fell more than 3 percent on Friday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump threatened to impose heavy taxes on the automaker if it builds its Corolla cars for the U.S. market at a plant in Mexico.

Toyota dropped as much as 3.1 percent to 6,830 yen ($59.06) in early trade before paring losses, after Trump's tweet on Thursday – “Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.”

The tweet was Trump's first broadside against a foreign automaker. He has slammed automakers in the United States for building cars in lower-cost factories south of the border, which he said costs American jobs.

This week Ford Motor Co (F.N) scrapped plans to build a $1.6 billion assembly plant in Mexico after Trump criticized the investment.

Trump's tweet confused Toyota's existing Baja plant with the planned $1 billion plant in Guanajuato, where construction got under way in November.

Baja produces around 100,000 pickup trucks and truck beds annually, including the Tacoma pick-up truck. In September, Toyota said it would increase output of pick-up trucks by more than 60,000 units annually.

The Guanajuato plant will build Corollas and have an annual capacity of 200,000 when it comes online in 2019, shifting production of the small car from Canada.

Other Japanese automakers too have plants in Mexico. Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) has two facilities, producing 830,000 units in the year to March.

Honda Motor Co (7267.T) operates two assembly and engine plants in Mexico with a total annual capacity of 263,000 vehicles. It also operates a transmission plant with an annual capacity of 350,000 units.

Other Japanese carmakers also fell in early trade, with a stronger yen dragging on prices too. Honda fell more than 2 percent before paring losses, while Nissan also shed 2 percent, underperforming the broad Topix .TOPX index.


By Thomas Wilson

British Airways cabin crew to stage 48-hour strike after rejecting pay deal

The British Airways cabin crews are set to stage a walkout over payments after rejecting a deal proposed by the airline in December.
Trade union, Unite, announced that up to 2700 British Airways cabin crew members will leave work for 48 hours from January 10. The strike was initially planned for Christmas Day and December 26 but it was postponed after the airline made the offer. However, later 70 percent of the union members voted the offer down. Unite says low salaries have forced some of its members to find a second job. British Airways have called the walkout completely unjustified. The people involved in the strike account for 15 percent of the airline’s cabin crew.

Car prices to rise within weeks due to weak pound, industry’s trade body warns

( via – Thur, 5 Jan, 2017) London, Uk – –

Sterling's weakness will see new car costs climb within weeks, adding to the list of products predicted to grow in price in 2017.

Car prices will start rising within weeks following the slump in the pound, the industry's trade body has warned.

The comments, by the head of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in an interview with Sky News, add to fears of growing pressure on household budgets already facing rising fuel and retail costs.

Next used a Christmas trading statement to warn on Wednesday that its prices were on course to rise by 5%.

Meanwhile, Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane said rising prices may see consumers “throttle back” on spending – a key component of economic growth, which has partly been fuelled by rising household debt.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said new car customers would see increases in the first quarter of the year, with rises of 2-3% over coming months.

It would mean a hike of up to about £400 on a new Ford Fiesta Zetec, which currently sells for just over £13,500.

That is in addition to an earlier warning that motorists face paying £1,500 more for imported cars when the UK leaves the EU if the divorce deal results in new tariffs.

Mr Hawes made the latest comments about an imminent price hike as the SMMT published new car registration figures showing a record number vehicles, almost 2.7 million, left showrooms in 2016.

That was 2.2% up on 2015 and the fifth consecutive year of growth, though 2017 is expected to see a fall in sales.

Mr Hawes said that the private market for new cars had declined over 2016 but the market had been bolstered by strong fleet demand.

Meanwhile, diesel cars saw a record number of new car registrations – climbing to almost 1.3 million – despite the fall-out from the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

The SMMT figures showed VW new car sales in the UK fell 7.5% last year on 2015's total.

UK car manufacturing has also been strong, with 2016 figures to be published later this month as the industry aims to hit the 1972 record for number of cars produced.

But it now faces a “double-edged sword” from the collapse in the pound – which has fallen by about 18% against the dollar since June's Brexit vote.

There is a benefit because 80% of cars produced in the UK are exported and the fall in sterling makes them cheaper for overseas buyers.

But 60% of parts that go into cars come from abroad, so the cost of these has gone up.

Meanwhile, more than 80% of cars sold in the UK are imported.

“Ultimately, a fall in sterling is going to flow through to an increase in pricing, probably of the magnitude of two or three per cent over the coming months,” Mr Hawes said.

“I think we will see increasing prices certainly in the first quarter.”

Mr Hawes said it was too difficult to pencil in forecasts after that.

He added that the industry wanted to remain in the customs union, which would mean tariff-free trade as well as other “clear benefits” such as moving cars and parts quickly.

Additional costs would make it much harder to compete with other plants in Europe.

The SMMT warned in November that new tariffs, should the UK go for a “hard Brexit” split from the single market, could add billions to both import and export costs resulting in rising prices.

By John-Paul Ford Rojas

Amazon and Forever 21 considering an acquisition offer of American Apparel LLC

Amazon and Forever 21 are two of the companies considering an acquisition of American Apparel LLC. The Los Angeles-based “Made in the U.S.A.” company is set for a bankruptcy auction that “will determine the future” of the company's manufacturing plant in California. An acquisition offer made by a company would have to top Canadian apparel maker Gildan Activewear Inc, which has already placed a $66 million bid. Gildan would keep some production in California but would probably move some manufacturing to low-cost countries.

Next shares fell more than 10pc after ‘difficult’ Christmas trading

( via – – Wed, 4 Jan, 2017) London, Uk – –

Next shares fell more than 10pc in early trading after it warned that its profits would be at the lower end of its guidance after “difficult” Christmas trading.

The high street retailer added that it expected 2017 to be another challenging year due to a squeeze on consumer spending and the fall in the value of the pound, which will hit its costs.

Next shares immediately tumbled to £42.31 following the gloomy update, in which it reported a further decline in sales in the fourth quarter of 2016. It said a difficult trading session meant its end-of-season sale was down 7pc on the same period in 2015.

The FTSE 100 company had previously said its profit before tax for the year to January would be between £785m and £825m, but this morning revealed a revised central guidance of £792m.

Total sales in the year to December 24, including markdown sales, were up 0.4pc on the previous year. But full-price sales fell 1.1pc on last year.

The group had enjoyed better-than-expected sales in the summer but now anticipates the “cyclical slow-down in spending on clothing and footwear” to continue into 2017.

The prices for garments it sources are set to increase following the devaluation of the pound, Next said, adding: “We may see a further squeeze in general spending as inflation begins to erode real earnings growth.”

Sales for the year to December 24 were down 4.3pc in Next retail but directory sales were up 3.6pc.

“Next is well placed to weather a downturn in consumer demand,” it said. “Our balance sheet remains robust and our net debt is forecast to close the current year at around £850m, this is more than covered by the value of our Directory debtor book, which will be approximately £1bn at the end of January 2017.”

Analysts at Jefferies said: “Next's disappointing Christmas trading leads to an even more downbeat outlook for 2017/18.

“Offering negative earnings growth and a lower special dividend, it is difficult to see any near-term upside here.”

By Sam Dean

Business rates in London could be up an extra £4bn over the next five years

( via – – Sat, 31 Dec  2016) London, Uk – –

UK public finances
London Skyline/Megan Trace/

London properties should be uncoupled from the national business rates system to prevent companies in the capital being treated as a cash cow, say the capital’s businesses.

Businesses in London could be forced to stump up an extra £4bn over the next five years under an upcoming revaluation, which has led the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry to call for the capital to have a separate business rates system or risk a “profound” impact on the capital’s economy.

The extra rates burden could force small, independent shops, bars and restaurants, which are already reeling from rocketing rents, to close down or move to cheaper locations, the LCCI has warned.

Property values in London have soared since the last revaluation in 2008, meaning that many businesses will be hit with rocketing bills under the new regime.

Business rates are often the third largest outgoing for companies after salaries and rents.

In total, the extra burden for London could be as much as £885m a year because of an upcoming revaluation, due in April, as companies across the city face an average rise of 11pc.

Few other places have seen values rise so significantly, with the result that businesses in the capital will pay disproportionately more than elsewhere in the UK. St Pancras Station will face the biggest jump in rates, paying £10.1m a year, an increase of £21.5m, or 73pc, over the next five years, exclusive analysis for The Telegraph by CVS, the business rates specialist, has found.

The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel also faces a £13.5m jump in its rates bill over the next five years while the demand on the BBC for Broadcasting House in Portland Place will rise by £19.5m.

Harrods, Selfridges and John Lewis will also face steep rises, CVS calculated. Some West End retailers and office occupiers in Shoreditch will see bills more than double as a result of the delayed revaluation, which was held back for two years to prevent the changes from taking effect just before the last general election.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has proposed a relief scheme that would limit increases for business to 42pc in a year. This has been considered as woefully inadequate by critics who have highlighted that in the last business rates revaluation, rises were capped at 12.5pc.

Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the LCC, said: “The Government should consider proposals for London to be ‘uncoupled’ from the national valuation system that gives London’s businesses an unfair deal.

“We are not asking for special treatment for London nor do we seek to implement changes that will see the rest of the country lose out, but at the same time we do not want to risk businesses shutting up shop or moving out of London altogether.

“We need to be wary of potential pitfalls including business being viewed as a ‘cash cow’,” Mr Stanbridge said.

The LCCI says there is a case for “substantive” changes to the rates system, including breaking the link between revaluations and the fixed tax yield it generates. Doing so would prevent what the chamber described as “punitive rises” in the future.

According to the LCCI, the new rates will hit small- and medium-sized businesses particularly hard, as they are less able to find the resources to pay the higher bills.

There has also been criticism of the Government’s plans to reform the business rates appeals process, which will mean that companies have to pay their rates bills for an entire year, even if the bill is incorrect.

Ashley Armstrong and Alan Tovey

Britain to New York flights set to launch costing less than £60

( via via — Thu, 29 Dec, 2016) London, Uk —

Flights between Britain and New York costing less than £60 are set to be introduced in the new year.

Budget airline Norwegian plans to slash the price of flights from Edinburgh to smaller airports in the Big Apple to as little as £56, it was announced last week.

Tickets will be sold on flights to airports other than JFK using six Boeing 737MAX aircraft which burn less fuel than other long-haul planes, the Times reported.

Earlier this month the airline revealed that it would cut US-bound services leaving Gatwick from 34 to 22 flights a week from next year.

British Airways cut flights to the US from the UK earlier this year.

Flights on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft will start at £135.

Fiona Simpson

Billionaire Tilman Fertitta on identifying the next billion-dollar idea

( via — Wed, 28 Dec, 2016) London, Uk —

Imagine coming up with the next Uber, Airbnb, Instagram or Snapchat. How do you know when you have thought of the next billion-dollar idea?

Hospitality mogul and star of CNBC’s “Billion Dollar Buyer” Tilman Fertitta, who meets with entrepreneurs nationwide looking for the most innovative products to add to his portfolio, told Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith in the video above the key characteristics he looks for when identifying the next big business idea.

“Look at edgy products,” said Landry. “There are so many young millennial entrepreneurs out there right now coming up with different products…. You’re looking for somebody that can scale up, that has a unique product that people want. It can be anything. Being in casinos, restaurants, hotels, aquariums and amusement parks, we buy everything, so we’re just looking for that one unique product.”

Fertitta has a proven track record of success over the last four decades. He’s the sole-owner of dining, entertainment, gaming and hospitality group Landry’s, which is comprised of more than 500 properties including the Rainforest Café, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Chart House and McCormick & Schmick’s. Fertitta’s a self-made billionaire with an estimated net worth of $2.8 billion.

Don’t be fooled though, it takes much more than just a “unique” product to turn a billion-dollar idea into a prosperous business. Fertitta says key traits that separate successful entrepreneurs from those that fail include passion, perseverance and effective management.

“It’s really about knowing all facets of your business,” he said. “Know your numbers and never give up. And when you get kicked down, keep picking yourself up.”

Seana Smith

Danny Meyer’s New Union Square Cafe Location

Union Square Cafe is the restaurant that led Danny Meyer to open a slew of hits including Gramercy Tavern, 11 Madison Park and Shake Shack. Meyer opened Union Square Cafe in 1985 and the restaurant thrived until a major rent increase forced him to relocate. Bloomberg Pursuits restaurant editor Kate Krader sat down with Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe's new Manhattan location as he was putting on the finishing touches before opening night.

Amazon Shipped 1 Billion Items Over The Holiday Season

Enlarge ImageEcho devices dominated holiday shopping lists from November 1 to December 19. Amazon Prime is really giving Santa Claus a run for his money. The Seattle-based retailer giant shipped more than 1 billion items around the world for the holiday season, more than five times its sales last holiday season, between November 1 to December 19. The Echo Dot was the most coveted gift out of the hundreds of millions of items shipped from Amazon, which quickly sold out. “Despite our best efforts and ramped-up production, we still had trouble keeping them in stock,” Jeff Wilke, Amazon's CEO of Worldwide Consumers said.