Fiat-Chrysler to Produce Iconic Jeep in China From 2015
Shanghai. Automaker Fiat-Chrysler said on Saturday that it would begin producing the iconic American brand Jeep in China from 2015 to meet demand in the world's largest car market.
Fiat-Chrysler ? created by Italy's Fiat acquiring Chrysler of the United States ? will produce three Jeep sport utility vehicle (SUV) models in China, including one specifically designed for the Chinese market, the company said in a statement.
The announcement came ahead of the Beijing auto show, which opens to the public on Monday, as global automakers flock to China to show off their latest models.
Jeeps are currently available to Chinese consumers as imports, the statement said, adding nearly 60,000 Jeeps were sold in China last year, making the country the largest market for the brand outside of the United States.
Fiat-Chrysler will produce Jeep vehicles through its existing joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) but at a new manufacturing branch in the southern city of Guangzhou, it said.
Plans to produce Jeeps in China set off a political storm during the 2012 US presidential election campaign, after Republican candidate Mitt Romney ran an attack ad implying that it would export American jobs.
But Fiat has previously said plans to build Jeep vehicles in China were an expansion, not a transfer, of operations.
Fiat-Chrysler and GAC already produce other vehicles, including the Viaggio sedan, at a factory in the central city of Changsha. GAC was China's sixth largest domestic automaker by sales in 2013, according to an industry group.
China has become critical to foreign automakers as the world's biggest auto market, but Fiat was conspicuous by its absence with local production until it began selling domestically-produced cars in 2012.
Last year, China's auto sales surged 13.9 percent to 21.98 million vehicles, according to a Chinese industry group, as a recovery in Japanese brands previously hurt by a diplomatic row offset the impact of slowing economic growth.
Asus Eyeing Mass Market in Indonesia for Its Smartphones
Jakarta. Taipei-based ASUSTeK Computer, one of the biggest producers of notebooks and motherboards, has released its Intel-based ZenFone smartphones to Indonesia, betting that consumers will seek alternatives to popular brands such as Samsung and Sony.
?We are pleased to bring this device into Southeast Asia. We believe the best technology is the one used by the masses. When we began our journey ?in search of incredible? [products] we came up with this handset with the hopes it can be enjoyed by many,? company chairman Jonney Shih said in a press gathering on Wednesday.
Shih was accompanied by Asus chief executive Jerry Shen as he explained the company?s plan to focus more on smartphones over laptops and desktops starting this year. Shih said the Indonesian market is full of potential for products aimed at targeting the mass market segment.
?Indonesia is a great market. The population is huge. Our products have performed quite well,? said Shih, who is often dubbed as one of the most influential people in technology.
ZenFone, powered by the Intel Atom processor, comes in three series for Indonesian consumers: the 10-centimeter, ZenFone 4 tagged at Rp 1 million ($87); the 12.7-centimeter ZenFone 5 for Rp 2 million; and the 15-centimeter ZenFone 6 for Rp 3 million.
The company, commonly referred to its computer brand Asus, experienced a financial downturn in its third-quarter 2013 financial results when profit dropped 26 percent to NT$4.94 billion ($164 million) from the year before.
Meanwhile, revenue declined by 4 percent to NT$107.1 billion. The profit slump was mainly attributed to taxes, of which Asus was required to pay NT$1.52 billion.
Despite its staggering tax bill the company, which was also responsible for the hardware behind Google?s Nexus 7 tablet, is keen to roll out a line of smartphone products into markets worldwide and boost its smartphone shipments.
Based on third-quarter financial results, notebooks and laptops represented 57 percent of Asus?s product portfolio, with tablets making up 20 percent, while 13 percent was made up by motherboards and cards (including video and sound cards).
?We introduced the Eee PC for the mainstream US market, which was a success. We aim to achieve the same for ZenFone,? Shih said.
Shih was the executive behind the Eee PC?s positive reception. Asus was the first PC maker to bring the lightweight netbook, the Eee PC, into the United States in 2007.
Asia-Pacific region made up 43 percent of Asus?s business, with 30 percent in Europe and 20 percent in the United States.
According to data from the International Data Corporation, a total of 11 million smartphones were shipped to Indonesia last year, a bulk of which used the Android operating system. In its latest venture into the smartphone sector, Asus will face a slew of Android-based competitors, including Samsung, Sony and Lenovo.
Correction: A previous version of this article mistaken listed the date of the press gathering as Tuesday. Jonney Shih spoke with reporters on Wednesday. Jakarta Globe regrets the error.
Panin Asset Management Sees Handling Rp 20t This Year on More Clients
Jakarta. Panin Asset Management, an investment unit of brokerage Panin Sekuritas, targets its assets under management to reach Rp 20 trillion ($1.8 billion) this year as the fund manager seeks to attract more clients.
?We aim for 50,000 clients this year, increasing from around 34,000 of the current total clients that we have,? said Ridwan Soetedja, a director at Panin Asset Management.
Panin Asset Management managed Rp 15.1 trillion in assets as of March 31, according to its website. Assets last year totaled Rp 15.7 trillion, BeritaSatu.com reported in February.
Ridwan said that the bullish stock market in the first quarter has encouraged profit taking action by investors recently.
?Our AUM was increasing, but then there was a profit taking [action] of about Rp 1 trillion,? he said.
He said the Jakarta-based company also plans to introduce two new products this year to attract new investors.
The first one is an equity mutual fund called Reksadana Panin Dana Ultima, which will hold at least 80 percent in stocks. Another mutual fund would be part of its Smart Investment Protection Plan (SIPP), which will be linked with life insurance products.
Panin Asset Management launched a SIPP with life insurer Avrist Assurance in 2013. This year the company will partner with its affiliate life insurer Panin Life, Ridwan said.
?We plan to introduce the SIPP on May 7,? said Ridwan without providing more details on the product.
Ridwan said that the company remains optimistic about the country?s capital market prospects, including the mutual fund industry.
He said investors have anticipated that the 2014 elections spending in Indonesia will boost the economy.
While investors in general weren?t happy with the quick-count results from the legislative elections, smooth leadership transition in the country is likely to leave Indonesia with political stability. Foreign investors have put in more than Rp 31.8 trillion in the stock market so far this year.
Panin is upbeat and expects the Jakarta Composite Index to gain 13 percent to 15 percent this year, Ridwan said. The index has risen 14.6 percent so far this year.
Youth voices heard on Kick Butts Day
On Kick Butts Day, March 19, thousands of youth and public health advocates across the country stood up to Big Tobacco. In events in their schools and rallies at state capitols, they spoke out against the industry’s deceptive marketing – and their voices were heard.
Why is Kick Butts Day important? We couldn’t say it better than these supporters, whose messages were amplified in newspapers, on TV and in blogs.
Poisoning Cases Related to E-Cigarettes Skyrocket
Across the United States, poison control centers are reporting a soaring number of accidental poisonings related to the nicotine liquid used in electronic cigarettes. These reports have spurred a growing call for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finally regulate these products, including from newspaper editorials and U.S. senators.
Take the Marlboro Teen Fashion Quiz
As revealed by a report issued today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other international public health groups, Philip Morris International (PMI) is conducting a global marketing campaign for its best-selling Marlboro cigarettes – called “Be Marlboro” – that uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth.
The campaign has spread to more than 50 countries despite being banned by a German court for targeting teens and generating similar complaints in other countries.
“Be Marlboro” ads feature attractive young people partying, falling in love, playing music and engaging in adventure sports such as snowboarding and surfing – in short, things youth around the world aspire to do.
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