Detroit:Auto maker General Motors Corp.’s chief executive Rick Wagoner says the US is in an automotive recession. It’s not likely to end this year, and Wagoner and his fellow CEOs are looking abroad for help. After falling 2.5% to the lowest in a decade last year, US vehicle sales will drop further in 2008, industry officials and analysts said at the Detroit auto show this week. The domestic auto market may shrink for the third straight year, battered by the worst housing slump in 16 years and the highest unemployment since late 2005. With sales stagnating in Europe and down in Japan as well, auto makers are banking on developing markets such as China and India to ease the pain. “It’s not just the United States that’s going down, it’s western Europe,” said Maryann Keller, an independent auto consultant based in Greenwich, Connecticut. “Everybody is aiming at Russia, China and India.” Ford Motor Co., the world’s third largest auto maker, illustrates the diverging outlooks. Mark Fields, the company’s president for the Americas, said the first half of 2008 “will be challenging”.
Boeing logged 72 more orders in 2007: Airbus
Toulouse, France: European aircraft manufacturer Airbus SAS said on Wednesday it trailed Boeing Co. in logging new orders in 2007, by a total of 72 civilian jets, but beat its US rival in terms of deliveries. Airbus reported 1,341 net orders compared with 1,413 for Boeing. Airbus also projected that its 2008 orders will exceed deliveries, of which it has scheduled more than 470. The company, which has been through a rough patch in recent years, also said it beat its internal targets for costs savings in 2007.
Great Offshore to buy rig-building company
Mumbai: Offshore oilfield services provider Great Offshore Ltd has agreed to buy an overseas builder of oil rigs, gaining two vessels under construction, at a time when a global shortage is pushing up rental rates. The unidentified acquired company is building two semi-submersible rigs worth a combined $1.4 billion (Rs5,502 crore) when completed, Great Offshore said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The takeover offer was accepted, the company said.