Detroit’s three automakers and the top Japanese manufacturers — Honda Motor Co. Nissan Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. — all saw sharp sales declines in 2009. Sales of smaller, cheaper vehicles, however, helped drive gains for some manufacturers. Hyundai continued its surge with an 8 percent yearly gain, while its low-cost Kia brand reported 2009 sales gains of nearly 10 percent and a 44 percent gain in December. For the year, GM sales were off 33 percent from 2008, while December sales fell 9 percent. Chrysler sold only 931,000 vehicles for the year, its worst performance since 1962. Ford Motor Co. said full-year sales declined 15 percent, but the company said it posted its first full-year gain in U.S. market share since 1995. It also reported a 33 percent increase in December sales.
Intermec hires new sales chief
Jim McDonnell is the new senior vice president of global sales for Everett-based Intermec Inc., the company reported Tuesday. McDonnell will oversee sales and business operations worldwide and will report to company Chief Executive Pat Byrne. He comes from Hewlett-Packard, where he has held a variety of leadership roles in several divisions during his 26 years with the company. “Intermec’s innovative technology, business solutions pipeline, solid customer base and new sales opportunities provide a strong foundation upon which the company will continue to drive innovative and robust growth,” McDonnell said.
Apple to buy mobile advertising company
Apple Inc. is buying the mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless, a bet on the future of cell phone ads that steps up competition with rival Silicon Valley powerhouse Google Inc. Apple Inc. already has a strong edge in the high-end cell phone market with its iPhone. In buying Quattro, it is getting into the business of selling the ads that appear on the device and other smart phones. That market is still relatively small, but some forecasters expect big growth as consumers switch to phones with Web browsing and other advanced features. Among others looking to tap that market is Google, which is seeking to expand its dominance in ads with the $750 million acquisition of rival mobile ad network AdMob.
Microsoft to sell four versions of Office ’10
Microsoft Corp. will sell four versions of the forthcoming Office 2010 software, due out in June, for prices ranging from $99 to $499. The company said Tuesday it will sell Office Home and Student edition, which comes with four core programs, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, for $149 as boxed software that can be used on three computers in the home. A “Product Key Card,” which has a code to unlock one copy of Office 2010 pre-loaded on new PCs, costs $119. Microsoft will sell an education-only version, Office Professional Academic, for $99.
From Herald news services