By Sophie Knight and Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics may cut more jobs as it finishes a massive restructuring that is focusing its business on the automotive and industrial sectors and has pulled it back into the black after years of losses. Remaining steps will focus on selling factories and exiting businesses announced in a 2012 restructuring framework, updated a year ago, with about 40 percent of the plan still to be implemented, Renesas Chairman and CEO Hisao Sakuta told a media round table on Tuesday. "If there's a mismatch between what the company is trying to do and what an individual wants to do, people will probably be quitting." Renesas, hit hard when a March 2011 earthquake shut a key chip plant for months and sent customers looking for other suppliers, has already cut more than 10,000 jobs and racked up 350 billion yen ($3.3 billion) in cumulative net losses over the last four financial years. Last week, Renesas unveiled a chip using new technologies that it aims to eventually apply to autonomous driving, which merges together feeds from cameras fitted to the car to create a 3D image and can detect pedestrians within several meters of a vehicle.
South Korea's Hyundai Kia Automotive Group was hit by fresh strikes on Thursday as thousands of workers downed tools to push for wage reforms, with reports that the action would cost it more than $100 million.
By Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha told European investors on Wednesday that he was not a dictator and that his government was seeking to create a Thailand that would be more attractive for their long-term investments. The army chief seized power in a bloodless coup on May 22 following six months of sometimes deadly protests that helped oust elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Prayuth met representatives from the Thai-European Business Association (TEBA), a group representing 80 Thai and European investors including automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical and logistics firms, telling them he was prepared to do "everything" to ensure Thailand remains a hub for foreign investors. Just show me your investment roadmap," he said Prayuth, 60, who is also Thailand's army chief, said the country needs time to deal with its political transition.
India's anti-trust watchdog has fined 14 automakers a total of $420 million for restricting competition in the spare parts market and driving up prices, a official said Tuesday, a few days after Chinese regulators took similar action. The Competition Commission of India found domestic automakers and local units of global vehicle manufacturers guilty of "anti-competitive conduct" by curbing the number of spare parts and ordered them to "immediately cease-and-desist". The body added some automakers behaved responsibly towards consumers in Western markets but failed to replicate such practices in India, which made their actions "even more deplorable". With India's car market now the world's sixth-largest, tighter regulation "is a sign it is maturing," Deepesh Rathore, director of Delhi-based consultancy Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors, told AFP.
China's corruption watchdog said on Tuesday it is investigating one former and one current executive at Volkswagen AG's Chinese venture, FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co Ltd, for "seriously violating the law." The announcement, posted on website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, identified the two as former deputy general manager Li Wu and Zhou Chun, deputy general manager of the joint venture's Audi sales division. Officials at Volkswagen in China, FAW and FAW-Volkswagen could not be reached for comment.
FRANKFURT/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Three German car parts suppliers have been told by China they can no longer manage their Chinese units independently but need to form partnerships with local peers, the chief executive of auto parts maker ElringKlinger told a German paper. "The Chinese state has told several (German car) suppliersthat they are no longer allowed to operate their Chinese subsidiaries on their own but only as part of a joint venture inthe future," Stefan Wolf was quoted as saying by the StuttgarterZeitung. He said he knew of three companies that now needed to look for a Chinese partner, but did not say which, adding ElringKlinger was not affected. "I believe this is an attempt to make up leeway in terms of know how and innovation." German auto parts maker Robert Bosch GmbH's [ROBG.UL] China unit said it has not received any notification from Chinese authorities with regard to changes of foreign investment policies related to the automotive component industry.