Business Briefs – March 30, 2017

Haier Boss Looks Far Beyond Appliances

QINGDAO, China (AP) — Haier Group paid $5.4 billion for GE Appliances, but the Chinese company’s chairman says the legendary American brand’s managers will be left alone to run it. The approach is part of Haier’s effort to transform itself from a manufacturer of refrigerators and other major appliances into a nimble seller of consumer services by breaking itself into a group of business units with almost total autonomy.

VW to Pay Over $157M to Settle Emissions Claims by 10 States

DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen is paying more than $157 million to 10 states to settle environmental lawsuits due to the company’s diesel emissions-cheating scandal. The settlement covers 3-liter six-cylinder diesel engines and is separate from a $603 million agreement reached last year with 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico that covered 2-liter engines. Volkswagen has admitted to programming its diesel engines to activate pollution controls during government treadmill tests and turning them off for roadway driving.

Ford to Invest $900m in Canadian Plants, Research Center

WINDSOR, Ontario (Detroit Free Press/TNS) – Ford said Thursday it will invest $900 million ($1.2 billion Canadian) in its Canadian plants and a new research and engineering center in Ottawa, where it has hired about 300 former BlackBerry engineers to work on connected car development.

The automaker said it has also hired another 100 former BlackBerry engineers based throughout the U.S.

Ford said its investments include $526 million for plants and $376 million for the engineering center. The investments are backed by a $154 million commitment from the Canadian and Ontario governments.

The plant commitments were made to Unifor, Canada’s major auto workers union, during contract talks in November. Thursday’s announcement came after a tense year in which union and government officials worried that the future of the entire Canadian automotive industry was at stake because of declining production and decisions by a number of automakers to forgo new plant investments.