Africa could be the next growth location for car makers and annual vehicle sales could jump to as much as two million within the next two years, according to GM Africa (NYSE:GM) managing director Mario Spangenberg, who was speaking at the Reuters Africa Investment Summit in Johannesburg. The continent’s rapidly expanding middle class could be the key driver here as it transitions from two-wheelers and old cars to new vehicles introduced by international automakers. Last year GM sold 180,000 vehicles in Africa while rival Toyota (NYSE:TM) sold 237,000. ”The next big market growth will be in Nigeria, where we have no presence. It will take a while,” Spangenberg said. “We need to do a better job there.”
Back in the hot seat at J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), chief executive Mike Ullman lost no time in dealing with the legal mess that his predecessor Ron Johnson bought for $38.5 million along with a 17 percent stake in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE:MSO). According to the New York Post, Ullman made contact with ex-colleague and current chief of Macy’s (NYSE:M) Terry Lundgren, to thrash out a settlement. The deal: JCP would can the agreement with MSO, but would be allowed to sell its JCP Everyday line of inventory immediately, and thereafter clear the stores of Stewart designed goods within six months.
Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) reported net sales in March 2013 of $9.67 billion, up seven percent from the year ago period. Comparable sales in the month were up 5 percent in the US, higher by 2 percent internationally, and up 4 percent across the company.
Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ:LMCA) follows up its acquisition of a majority stake in Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) with top level appointments in the latter to further enhance its control. Liberty Chief Executive Greg Maffei becomes Sirius Chairman, effective immediately. Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav and Evan Malone, the son of Liberty Chairman John Malone, get nominated to the Sirius Board, the appointments taking effect after clearance by shareholders at an annual meeting in May.
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