A Quick Look at World Affairs – Taipei Times

CAR MANUFACTURERS

War cuts Volvo’s income

Volvo AB said Russia’s war in Ukraine forced it to make provisions in the first quarter totaling 4 billion crowns ($422.4 million) and could negatively affect operating profit. All sales, service and production of the Swedish automaker in Russia have been suspended since the start of the war and sanctions have been imposed, the company announced yesterday. About 3% of Volvo’s net sales last year came from Russia, with the provision tied to expected credit losses from customers there. Volvo has about 9 billion crowns in Russia-related assets, of which 6 billion crowns are classified as cash items, he said. The assets relate to its leasing business, which is funded through the bond market.

CAR MANUFACTURERS

Nissan makes new batteries

Nissan Motor Co is betting the experience gained more than a decade ago in pioneering lithium-ion batteries could give it an edge in producing a new, still relatively unproven battery that some say could unleash the potential of electric vehicles (EV). Nissan is producing prototype solid-state battery cells, which would replace the electrically conductive liquid found in conventional batteries with a solid substance. Nissan manufactures the batteries in a pop-up lab inside the research grounds near its Yokohama headquarters. The Japanese automaker plans to bring the batteries to market by 2028, using a pilot plant expected to be ready by 2024. Solid-state batteries could potentially unlock cheaper, safer and faster-charging electric vehicles , said auto executives and battery experts.

WORK

Wages are soaring in the UK

UK companies are raising starting wages at a record pace, and some of the country’s biggest grocery chains are already raising wages as labor shortages give workers unprecedented bargaining power. The latest signs of wage pressure could add to concerns for the Bank of England, which has raised interest rates three times since December to curb inflation, and is expected to make further hikes this year. Officials worry about the possibility of a wage-price spiral, where demands for higher wages lead companies to keep raising prices to protect their profit margins. The Confederation of Recruitment and Employment said yesterday that the average pay of new permanent staff rose last month more than at any time since its survey began in 1997. Tesco PLS, the biggest grocer in the country, said Thursday it was raising wages by nearly 6%.

METALS

The Toho Fills the Titanium Shortage

Toho Titanium Co is ramping up production of the metal used to make planes amid a shortfall caused by Boeing Co and Airbus SE avoiding purchases from Russia, the world’s biggest supplier said. The Japanese company has won orders from US aviation customers looking for alternatives to Russian supply, said Hiromu Tomeba, director of the business planning division. Toho has been asked to ship 2,000 to 3,000 tons of titanium sponge to new customers by the end of the year, he said. “Customers have been asking us to increase supplies because they seem concerned about future purchases and wanted to stockpile inventory,” Tomeba said, adding that they wanted to prepare for a threat to business continuity after Boeing shut down. to buy from Russia. Toho and its larger counterpart, Osaka Titanium Technologies Co, are among the few non-Russian metal suppliers buyers can turn to.

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