Ford’s New Hybrid Battery Test, Starbucks Growth Explodes in China: Consumer Business Recap

By the use of a new lab test that takes under a year for completion, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is putting the equivalent of 10 years and 150,000 miles of wear and tear on hybrid vehicle batteries. The new test, named the Key Life Test, was created solely for Ford’s new lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries, drawing on more than 20 years of extensive data and experience through which to build reliable hybrid vehicles for today.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) intends to grow its staff in China by more than double to 30,000 from the current 12,000 by 2015 as a part of its expansion in the world’s second-biggest economy. John Culver, the company’s chief in China and Asia Pacific, said that, “The Starbucks business here is in its infancy in terms of development and growth.”  Further, the company will also more than double the number of its stores in China to 1,500 by 2015.

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Chief Executive Mike Duke of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) told Bloomberg LP President and Chief Executive Dan Doctoroff that he sees no conflict between buying from suppliers that source merchandise from overseas at low prices and being able to maintain safe conditions at garment factories. However, Duke added that, “We will not buy from an unsafe factory. This is not a price discussion, this is just a case if a factory is not going to operate with high standards then we will not purchase from that factory, and there’s no discussion about price.” Bloomberg LP is the parent company of Bloomberg News.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and BMW (BAMXY.PK) will exchange information in regards to making carbon fiber, an emerging area of competition among auto and plane makers. The latter announced on Wednesday that the firms intend to advance research for carbon fiber recycling and expertise about manufacturing and automation. However, this arrengement intensifies competition between BMW and its competitor Volkswagen, which already works with Boeing through its Italian sportscar division, Lamborghini.

Don’t Miss: Boeing and BMW Join Forces for the Carbon Fiber Revolution.