Competition is fierce in the European airline industry. Air France recently announced a new brand, Joon, with lower costs and a distinctive style. Joon's fares tend to be lower than those of flag carriers such as Air France but higher than low-cost, no-frills carriers like Ryanair and Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Chinese consumers' preferences for foreign brands over domestic brands has dropped from 85 percent to 40 percent in the past six years. In terms of actual product sales, multinational firms have seen their market share slip in all sorts of products: coffee in Indonesia, laundry detergent in Vietnam, and toothpaste in India. Local brands have been coming on strong, many times offering lower prices and products that better meet local market expectations.
When campaigning through steel country, Donald Trump promised to bring back jobs to the American steel industry. He also indicated that "we're going to be make pipeline in the United States" with American steel. However, tariffs or trade restrictions on "cheap" foreign steel have not been forthcoming, and a big winner in some recent pipeline contracts is a Russian steel company with close family ties to the Trump family.
The UK’s impending divorce from Europe could clog ports across the country. Acknowledging the chaos that such a scenario could create in ports like Dover, the government proposed that shipments could be “pre-notified to customs.”
Canada's Bombardier received a couple pieces of bad news this week. In the rail business, Germany's Siemens decided to pursue a merger with France's Alstom, which at least for now leaves Bombardier as a much smaller player in the worldwide rail market. Its aircraft unit also learned that the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a preliminary ruling in favor of Boeing that Bombardier received significant subsidies from the Canadian government and, as a result, imported Bombardier aircraft will be subject to duties.
Costco thrived operating brick-and-mortar warehouse clubs using a treasure-hunt assortment of its jumbo-size items. The company’s laissez-faire approach to online retailing has not hurt it — yet. However, half of its members also subscribe to Amazon Prime, leaving the company vulnerable to online poaching.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s the handbags — driven by star-studded runway shows and social media — that drive revenue at Louis Vuitton, not the fashion. Brands tied to apparel or those focused on ready-to-wear are struggling to sustain profits.
Several U.S. refineries have been specifically calibrated to work with Venezuela's sludgy high-density, high-sulphur crude oil. Last year, $10 billion of Venezuelan crude oil was imported and refined, helping keep gas prices low. But with the political and economic turmoil in Venezuela, as well as the possibility of sanctions against Venezuela's government, U.S. consumers and refiners could face adverse consequences.
Carlos Ghosn has assembled an alliance of auto manufacturers that has a global reach. He successfully turned around the struggling French auto company Renault, and later was successful with Nissan. The alliance now includes Mitsubishi, AvtoVaz, and Dongfeng.
As chairman and CEO of a global alliance of auto companies, Carlos Ghosn has had success with helping struggling companies become more profitable. He believes in cutting marginal operations so that he can invest in the more profitable ones and help them thrive. He is an advocate of globalization.
The past decade has seen a significant buildup of mobile phone networks across Africa, with countries auctioning spectrum to multinational bidders that hoped to cash in on the projected growth of subscribers on the continent. The costs involved, along with new regulatory hurdles, have caused some multinational telecom firms to scale back on their investments. One new wrinkle is requiring mobile phone operators to at least partially list their shares on local exchanges and make stock ownership available to local investors.
The future of nuclear energy is at risk. A lack of funding could delay the project for years.
Virtual reality is not a hit at home, so Imax tries arcades. Imax is piloting VR centers, since the cost of equipment has been a drag on consumers’ embrace of virtual reality. Tech and entertainment companies are racing for a slice of the virtual reality business, which Goldman estimates could generate $80 billion in revenue by 2025.
The proposed uniform tax rate across beer classes in Japan is intended to simplify the labeling of beers and promote beer exports. Craft beers in Japan, which make up a slim share of the market, may see increased popularity in their beer recipes as a result of tax revisions. Kanpai (Cheers)!
Kering, the corporate parent of many famous fashion brands, including Yves Saint Laurent, Puma, and Gucci, has taken steps to improve the business practices of its suppliers down the supply chain. Francois-Henri Pinault has followed in his father's footsteps in developing a corporate culture that tries to make the world a better place while also making money. Each year the company produces a corporate sustainability report that outlines steps it takes to make the world a better place while also making high-end luxury products.
Cosmetics makers are stepping up production of halal makeup, a fast-growing market worth $27 billion globally. But not every company wants the public to know.
In the coming 12 months, four of Europe’s five largest economies have major referendums or elections. During these European elections, anti-immigrant parties are likely to score substantial gains and further weaken the European political establishment.
Amazon’s tax strategy draws the scrutiny of regulators in the United States and Europe. What is Amazon’s core tech worth? It depends on which taxman asks.
In an attempt to cope with oversupply of standard shipping containers and low transport prices, some large shipping and freight companies have turned their attention toward developing very special containers for the transport of specialized goods. These companies are hoping that the superior product can help them fetch higher transport prices and higher profits.
In order to attract European customers, an increasing number of content distribution companies like Netflix and Amazon are developing exclusive programs and series. Whereas the exclusive programming that Amazon and Netflix have developed in the U.S. to attract customers has some level of international appeal, in order to gain market share in European countries these firms are investing in original content tailored to each country's language and culture.
Deepening concern over the global economy has made sub-zero interest rates the norm in most European Union countries as well as Japan. The willingness of debt investors to effectively pay governments to borrow reflects increasing skepticism of central bank policies and concern that those policies may ultimately do more harm than good to the global economy.
Google somehow pays an effective tax rate of about 7 percent on its non-U.S. income. How does it (and other internet companies) keep this rate so low?
You may start getting more spam e-mails now because spammers have found new ways for getting around the filters.
Burger King is relying more heavily on data to make sure its marketing is cost-effective as it reaches customers through digital and social media. Franchisees say the resulting buzz has translated into higher restaurant sales, and the company is doing it for about one fourth of what McDonald’s spends on advertising.
Dairy farms around the world are suffering from declining milk prices. A combination of reduced Chinese demand for imported milk and Russia’s ban on EU, American, and Australian milk has left the global market awash with milk. As a result, global dairy prices are falling with no turnaround in sight.
It used to be complicated and expensive to cultivate and maintain a pipeline of contacts for insider trading with illicit stock tips. Now insider trading is much simpler to coordinate and execute.
France's attempt to make money selling nuclear power plants has fallen flat.
Commercial drones are still mostly illegal in the U.S., but the industry and NASA are working to keep them from colliding.
What kind of liability are major banks facing for being the conduit for money used in terrorist activities?
Though Uber keeps expanding, not all cities are welcoming the car service app with open arms.
How is Renault doing with its low-price Dacia car brand?
After success in Scandinavia and Britain, Netflix sets its sights on Germany and France.
What plans does Netflix have for expansion in Europe?
Lisbon is not Paris. But Portuguese taxes have their allure.
Is Pinterest too American?
DJI’s early lead in the drone industry may put it at the center of the debate over regulation and privacy.
Wal-Mart's everyday low prices aren't so popular in Brazil.
Germany is exploring the possibility of harsh sanctions. Will Europe follow?
Is a global wealth tax a realistic eventuality?
The last French beret maker expects to make almost 200,000 this year. France used to produce millions.
Should boardroom gender diversity be legislated?
Not for women only: Sales of men’s grooming products—from exfoliating scrubs to self-tanning creams—are expected to rise 5 percent this year, building a $17.5 billion industry.
Why is it getting harder to make money in high-frequency trading? Those robots are just too good.
How does America's tax system stack up against the rest of the world? The facts might surprise you.
M.A.C. cosmetics finds sales opportunities for its high-end products in ethnic areas and emerging markets.
Estee Lauder is using its M.A.C. cosmetics line, a hit with ethnic consumers at home, to enter emerging markets.
Gita Gopinath offers a way to mimic a devaluation without a euro bust-up.
A Moody’s downgrade of French debt highlights France’s weakness.
Is it possible to significantly reduce the budget deficit by cutting loopholes?
In an effort to help the ailing French economy, top political leaders are encouraging citizens to make a hard choice.
More than one rich individual is revoking their citizenship in order to reduce their tax burden. Who is the latest to threaten to do this? Why is this happening now?
France's Sanofi is closing R&D facilities in France and shifting research to America amid worker protests.
While French and Italian automakers are feeling the pain of Europe's economic slowdown (and want financial assistance), German automakers that have long emphasized export markets in North America and Asia don't believe they should be asked to help in a bailout.
What's going on in Europe?
Can austerity work in restoring Europe's economy?
Why hasn't Starbucks tried to enter the market that inspired its development?
ArcelorMittal is the world's largest steel company. Heavy debt from acquisitions is forcing the company to cut costs and conserve cash.
Spain's 100 Montaditos intends to open 4,000 stores in the USA at a pace far faster than Starbucks' early growth. Analysts are skeptical.
France's debt woes are less well known but, over the long run, may be no less severe than those of Greece.
What does Europe lose in the IMF chief's downfall?
Tupperware's growing army of culinary advisors have boosted sales in France by 17 percent.
Startup SeaMicro says it can compete with bigger rivals by selling efficient, low-power, made-in-America servers geared for Web work.
Due to a drought in Russia and floods in Canada and Australia, wheat prices have doubled in the past year. Now the French are seeing increases in the price of baguettes.
Japan's Fast Retailing stumbled in a move into fashion at its Uniqlo chain, and faces tough competition from Sweden's H&M and Spain's Zara.
China is starting to build larger commercial aircraft to compete with Boeing and Airbus, with the help of Western suppliers.
Emerging-market telecoms are driving the latest round of buyouts.
Despite a surge of anti-immigrant feeling in some countries, most have stayed put. How can employers use them within the law?
Is Portugal the next Greece? Some bond traders seem to think so.
In Latin America's largest market, Wal-Mart is spending big to overtake Carrefour and a local rival.
Will Greece be the first country in the EU to default?
Mega-retailer Auchan has a powerful patriarch, a secretive culture, and an insatiable urge to expand.
France's Finance Minister says the crisis is easing, but it's far too soon to declare victory.
What happens to temporary workers in a recession?
Quebec is easing commerce and labor barriers with France, which may lead to a broader Canada-EU deal.
Can nuclear plants solve our energy crisis? And if so, at what cost?
Apple's iPhone, a blockbuster in the U.S., has not been as successful in Europe.
The iPhone's high price and strong competition from companies like Nokia have led to shipments that are far below expectations.
Are you ready to shut down the world oil industry? Shai Agassi is.
These are difficult times in the free (advertising-based) newspaper industry. The industry leader has been Metro International, which has expanded to more than 70 cities worldwide but lost $32.7 million on sales of $314 million in the first nine months of 2007.