By Harro Ten Wolde and Eric Auchard BARCELONA (Reuters) – The merger of NXP and Freescale will bring together two highly diversified chipmakers to create a more focused, leading player in two high-growth markets – automotive electronics and security, NXP’s top executive said on Wednesday. The cash and stock deal, announced on Monday, valued Freescale at $11.8 billion, excluding debt, and is expected to close in the second half of the year, subject to regulatory approvals. Chief Executive Rick Clemmer said the merger would position the combined company to play a leading role in markets with some of the greatest growth potential — connected cars, wearable devices, healthcare monitors and mobile payments. Together, NXP and Freescale will become the world’s seventh largest semiconductor maker, based on a global ranking of the industry’s top 20 players published by market research firm IHS Technology, and then combining the two companies’ 2014 revenues.
Embattled Japanese auto supplier Takata said Monday it will double its production of replacement airbags in the next six months in response to a massive global safety recall. Takata, under fire from safety regulators over defective airbags linked to at least five fatalities, said it increased production of airbag replacement kits from 350,000 per month in December to 450,000 per month currently. "Takata has dramatically increased the production of airbag replacement kits in support of automotive recalls and safety campaigns," the company said. "Takata also is working with other suppliers to further increase the availability of replacement kits for its automotive customers." About 20 million vehicles produced by some of the world's biggest automakers are being recalled due to the risk their Takata-made airbags could deploy with excessive explosive power, spraying potentially fatal shrapnel into the vehicle.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – ElringKlinger may try to terminate a contract to supply a major customer with components for electric cars to halt continued losses at its E-Mobility business, the automotive supplier’s chief executive said on Monday. “If there is no improvement we are going to terminate the contract and they will just have to see whether they get the stuff somewhere else,” Stefan Wolf told analysts during a conference call after the group reported disappointing 2014 financial results. …
Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors N.V. said Sunday it had agreed to buy its smaller rival Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. for $11.8 billion in a deal that will make it the biggest supplier of microchips to the automotive industry.
By Laurence Frost PARIS (Reuters) – The mass-market convertible car emits its last gasp this week at a Geneva motor show bristling with sport utility vehicles and low-cost models — more evidence of the pragmatism of European consumers marked by years of austerity. Mainstream brands from Peugeot to Volkswagen are quietly axing cabriolets, as customers with cash to spend increasingly plump for a crossover, or choose to buy a low-cost car and keep the change. Outside the luxury market, “today’s buyers want either a safe family car or something a bit more rugged,” he said. Global production of convertibles and roadsters has fallen by 59 percent since 2007, the eve of the financial crisis, according to industry data from IHS Automotive.
Greece used “creative ambiguity” to win a loan lifeline from its international partners, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said, provoking anger in Germany’s parliament which approved the deal on Friday. “We’re proud of the degree of ambiguity – I’m using a term here, creative ambiguity,” Varoufakis told Antenna TV. Varoufakis said in one “particular discussion” at a euro zone finance ministers’ meeting in Brussels this month he had been encouraged to keep the language of his country’s promises vague. “I want to be the first finance minister who doesn’t refer to numbers unless he is certain he can achieve them.