GM’s Third Commercial Vehicle Factory in China, Amazon Kindle Smartphone Rumor: Consumer Business Recap

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General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and its Chinese joint-venture partners will construct a third commercial vehicle factory in southwest China to satisfy growing demand, along with defending GM’s status as the biggest auto maker by volume in that country. A spokesperson for SAIC-GM-Wuling announced that work on the $1 billion plant in Chongqing (formerly Chungking) will begin in 2013, with the first phase opening in 2015. Further, upon completion, the factory would be capable of making 400,000 vehicles and engines annually.

Activist investor Carl Icahn gets a response from Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) in regards to his offer for the company. A Thursday press release concerning the matter reads in part: “We encourage Oshkosh shareholders to ignore Carl Icahn’s last-minute plea to support his highly conditional, inadequate and opportunistic offer. Mr. Icahn continues to pursue flawed and ever-changing platforms, devoid of credible ideas or analysis. ”

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Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos discussed his company’s development of a Kindle smartphone in an interview with Charlie Rose, answering a question about the matter by saying, “Here’s one where…you know, we’re very reluctant to discuss our future roadmap. I will have to decline to answer that question.” Some observers think that Amazon does indeed have such a project ongoing, but it remains unclear exactly when the product would be ready for launch. Some chatter has it that the phone could be introduced in the spring or possibly during its annual Kindle Fire event later in the year. However, should Amazon elect to follow Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) example and upgrade the Kindle Fire biannually, it could launch a new tablet as early as May.

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