Tag Archive | "earthquakes"

May Auto Sales Took a Dip

Auto sales took a huge dip in May; much lower than what analysts expected. The May auto sales are a reflection of consumers’ hesitance to purchase higher priced vehicles amidst the weakening economy.

Because the supply of cars has tightened after the Tsunami and a series of earthquakes hit Japan, a lot of companies raised their car and truck prices. Many investors and analysts have now concluded that the strategy of many motor companies, Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda Motor Company Ltd included, backfired.

Automotive makers based in the United States General Motors Company and Ford Motor Company released their sales report on Wednesday. Both companies experience their lowest sales in eight months.

Gary Bradshaw, a manager from Hodges Capital Management, said that the car companies may have increased their prices a little too early, especially because the consumers are not yet ready and are just recovering from the economic crisis.

Don Johnson, General Motors sales chief, said that car sales in general would probably be below 13 million for the next several months. However, both Ford and GM are steadfast in their forecast that the 2011 sales will be between 13 and 13.5 million annual sales.

Johnson added that a lot of people are asking if they are actually on track for their 3 million annual sales goals, and he honestly said that as of the moment, they are not. However, they remain hopeful as the end of the fiscal year comes to a close.

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Apple iPhone 5 Release May Be Delayed

Reports say that the much anticipated release of the celebrated iPhone 5 will be pushed back. Apple’s regular schedule of releasing new gadgets at the beginning of summer may be upset by the release of iPhone 4 under Verizon Wireless February of this year.

The company is facing a possible production problem due to shortages in the parts and components Apple imports from Japan. Several industries have been affected by the series of earthquakes and the huge tsunami that struck Japan barely two months ago. Traditionally, new iPhones are announced during the Apple’s June Worldwide Developers Conference.

On Wednesday, MacRumors published a statement allegedly from an employee of AT&T saying that Apple has informed them that they are not planning to release the new iPhone in June but a new version should be expected soon. Unfortunately, AT&T, as supposedly mentioned by one of their employees, was not given a fixed date.

AT&T refused to deny and neither confirm this rumor. David Siegel, AT&T spokesperson, said that the company will not comment on the issue as Apples’s policies prohibit them from commenting on any issue regarding their upcoming products and release dates.

Reuters has already cited three people who have “direct knowledge” of Apple and said that the iPhone 5 release will be pushed back to September in time for the new operating system – iOS 5.

However, Craig Mathias of the Farpoint Group refuses to believe all these rumors. He also said that Apple has since been extremely consistent with their release dates and will only believe the rumors when it actually happened.

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Despite Their Own Troubles, Japan Helps Tornado Victims in the US

Japan announced on Tuesday that they would send blankets for the victims of the successive tornadoes that swept the southern part of the United States. They said that this is their way of repaying the gratitude for the help U.S. gave them when they too suffered from tsunami and earthquake just months ago.

An official from the Japanese embassy said that Japan will give 125,000 US dollars worth of plastic sheets and blankets for the people who were left distraught by the tornadoes. The same calamity killed an average of 350 people. Jim Steinberg, US Deputy Secretary, expresses his appreciation on behalf of the U.S. government.

It has been reported that the US military conducted a 24-hour relief effort after earthquakes and a tsunami struck Japan on March 11. The US forces helped search for bodies, airlifted supplies to places inaccessible by land, and more importantly assisted in the repair of Sendai airport.

Foreign Minister of Japan Takeaki Matsumoto said that the damages the tornado left made him recall the earthquake that struck his country. When he visited Washington on Friday, he told State Secretary Hilary Clinton that Japan is prepared to offer aid to the best of their abilities.

Japan mentioned that the blankets and plastic sheets for the victims of the tornadoes will be shipped from a warehouse in Miami. That is where the Japan International Cooperation Agency keeps their supplies for the aid they usually send to Latin America during disasters.

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