Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM): Toyota is taking a new approach to in-car entertainment and features, piloting a test in Europe that will charge customers $60 per year for navigation and entertainment apps for its 2014 Corolla. Customers will get one year free as a trial before having to pay the annual fee. Toyota Europe has added the Street View and Panoramio Google Maps features, in addition to a package of apps that includes real-time traffic powered by TomTom, local search, fuel prices, parking information, and weather.
Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE): Sony’s PlayStation 4 won’t hit the domestic Japanese market until early next year, indicating the next-generation gaming console will miss the year-end holiday shopping season in the nation. Instead, the company will be bringing the PSVita TV in time for the shopping rush, a $90 unit that attaches to a TV set and allows users to enjoy music, TV shows, movies, and karaoke. Hiroshi Kawano, Sony’s chief of the game business in Japan and Asia, said that the company wants a strong arsenal of games ready at release.
Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG): Citing improvements to its diapers, P&G will be reducing the number of diapers in each package in a bid to boost profits, though it will not be lowering the price — resulting in what could be (on average) a 6 percent cost increase per unit. The company’s Pampers line has about $10 billion in annual sales. Of its roughly 250 diapers packs, the shifts could result in a $5 or so per package advantage for the company.
PetroChina Company (NYSE:PTR): A China Business News report charging that more of its executives are being investigated by Chinese authorities has been denied by PetroChina. The report alleged that five executives, including vice president Sun Longde and director Wang Guoliang, had been detained, though the company says that both men continue to work as usual.
Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS): The announcement of a strategic collaboration with Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) to develop treatments for neurological disorders using Isis’ antisense technology has led to an 11 percent share jump. The six-year agreement give Biogen exclusive rights to the antisense assets in exchange for a $100 million upfront payment and up to $220 million in milestone payments.