From today’s Detroit News:
“For the first time in recent memory, Ford Motor Co. fell to No. 4 in U.S. auto sales behind General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., and DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group, demonstrating just how far the automaker has fallen as it battles to stop a decade-long decline in market share.
At the same time, the Detroit automakers’ share of the American auto market fell to just 50.6%in January as they narrowly avoided selling fewer cars and trucks than foreign makers in a month for the first time ever.”
MP: 1.09 million vehicles were sold in January, and 16.55 million vehicles were sold in 2006. At an average price per car of $20,000, U.S. vehicle sales in 2006 were about $330 billion. To put the size of that market in perspective, if the U.S. vehicle market were to be considered as a separate economy, it would be the 21st largest economy in the world, after #20 Sweden (GDP of $354B), and ahead of Saudi Arabia ($310B), Austria ($305B), Poland ($300B), Indonesia ($287B) and Norway ($283B).
From an article in the Chronicle for Higher Education:
“More than a quarter of the black students enrolled at selective American colleges and universities are immigrants or the children of immigrants, according to a new paper by sociologists at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania.
The finding suggests that native-born African-American students are even more underrepresented at selective colleges than is commonly understood. The paper is likely to add fuel to a long-standing debate about the meaning and purpose of affirmative-action programs.
Selective colleges have expanded their enrollments of black students by “increasing the number of immigrant and multiracial black students,” said Camille Z. Charles, an associate professor of sociology at Penn who is one of the study’s authors.
“If you’re a purist” — that is, if you view affirmative action as restitution for the harm done by American slavery and segregation — “then you’ll think that this is not in the spirit of affirmative action,” Ms. Charles continued. “But if you’re a diversity purist, and your idea is to expose everybody to as many different kinds of people as possible, then you’ll think this is great.”
From the IHT article “Corus takeover turns India euphoric”
“India, a former British colony, is discovering that it is far better to take over than be taken over.
India erupted with serves-them-right jubilation this week when Tata Group, an Indian conglomerate, won a bid for the Corus Group — the Anglo-Dutch descendant of British Steel — for more than $12 billion, the largest acquisition ever by an Indian firm. Headlines spoke of empires striking back, while pundits and industrialists said India had at last arrived as a world power.
The takeover of Western companies by Indians has struck many here as evidence of a delicious reversal of fortune: a once-proud civilization, having fallen to the humiliations of colonization, is now buying out the hallowed corporations of the West.”
People in Russia won’t be able to see the movie Borat, not legally anyway. The BBC reports that the Russian Culture Ministry has refused to give the film a distribution license because it could humiliate members of some ethnic groups and religions.
What would Ali G say? Me thinks that’s racialist, innit?
1. A record 728 Starbucks stores opened during the most recent quarter — an average of 8 stores per day! It has 13,168 stores worldwide.
2. The company’s goal remains to have 20,000 stores outside the U.S. It now has 3,767.
3. Starbucks opened a record 223 stores overseas during the quarter (average of 2.5 per day), including the first Starbucks in Brazil and Egypt. Stores in Russia and India will open in 2007.
Read more here.
“The Bush administration yesterday proposed ending farm subsidies for an estimated 80,000 wealthy individuals as part of a broad plan that would close loopholes and cut traditional farm programs by $4.5 billion over the next 10 years.
The plan would close a major loophole highlighted by The Post that in 2005 allowed corn farmers to receive $3.8 billion more than needed to ensure they got the government-guaranteed price.
The plan also proposes changes in a program that since 2000 has enabled some landowners who do not farm to still collect $1.3 billion in farm payments.”
From today’s article “USDA Outlines a Plan To Cut Farm Subsidies” in the Wash Post, as part of its “Harvesting Cash: Working a Farm Subsidy” series.
I’ll put this in my “It’s About Time” file.
Some key points from today’s staff editorial in the WSJ, titled “What Slowdown?”
1. Consumer spending registered a strong 4.4% growth rate in the fourth quarter 2006.
2. Without housing and autos, real GDP rose 5.8% in the fourth quarter (it was 3.5% overall).
3. U.S. exports are booming, rising 10% in the fourth quarter and 9.2% for the year, adding 1.64 percentage points to GDP growth.
4. Exports to China rose by more than 30% in the first 11 months of last year, even without a major change in China’s policy to peg the yuan closely to the U.S. dollar.