Business Briefs – April 14, 2019

Southwest Doesn’t Plan to Use Boeing Max Jets Until August

DALLAS (AP) – Southwest is removing flights with the troubled Boeing 737 Max aircraft from its schedule through Aug. 5, a period that includes the peak of the airline’s busy summer travel season. A travel analyst says that the grounding of the Max could mean slightly higher fares, although airlines that don’t own the troubled jet could counter with discounts. Regulators around the world grounded the plane in March after two deadly international crashes.

Chevron Vaults Into New League On $33b Anadarko Acquisition

NEW YORK (AP) – Chevron is buying Anadarko Petroleum for $33 billion, energizing its oil and gas drilling capabilities in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico while vaulting itself into a new league. The combined company will remain far behind Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. in market capitalization, but Chevron will jump from being the world’s fourth biggest energy producer, to second. The cash-and-stock deal announced Friday comes as U.S. crude prices have shot up 40% this year.

As Cashless Stores Grow, So Does the Backlash

NEW YORK (AP) – A small number of restaurants and stores are going cash-free, catering to customers who increasingly pay with a card or smartphone. But a backlash is growing from activists and liberal policymakers who say the practice discriminates against those who don’t have bank accounts or rely on cash for most transactions. Earlier this year, Philadelphia became the first city to ban cashless stores. New Jersey passed a statewide ban soon after, and a similar ban has been proposed for New York City.

Leading Finance Officials Acknowledge Global Slowdown

WASHINGTON (AP) – Finance officials from the world’s major powers are acknowledging that the global economy is in a slowdown. But they forecast that growth will pick up by the second half of this year, thanks to interest-rate policies from the Federal Reserve and other central banks. Officials of the Group of 20 major economies say growth slowed at the end of last year and the beginning of this year due to factors such as turbulent financial markets and heightened tension over trade and interest rates.

Trump Says America Must Win Race to Build 5G

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says the race to build 5G is one America must win. Mr. Trump said Friday at the White House that building high-speed networks across the United States will transform the way Americans work, learn, communicate and travel. 5G will mean faster wireless speeds and has implications for technologies like self-driving cars and augmented reality. The rollout started last week in the U.S. and South Korea but will take years.

China’s Auto Show Highlights Electric Ambitions

BEIJING (AP) – This year’s Shanghai auto show highlights the global industry’s race to make electric cars Chinese drivers want to buy as Beijing winds down subsidies that promoted sales.

Communist leaders are shifting the burden to automakers by imposing mandatory sales targets for electrics, adding to financial pressure on them amid a painful sales slump. Chinese purchases of pure-electric and hybrid sedans and SUVs soared 60% last year to 1.3 million — half the global total — but overall auto sales shrank 4.1% to 23.7 million.

Buyers of electrics were lured with subsidies of up to 50,000 yuan ($7,400) per car, but that support was cut by half in January and ends next year.

Group Asks Gov’t to Probe Nissan Automatic Emergency Braking

DETROIT (AP) – A U.S. auto safety group wants the government to investigate automatic emergency braking on some Nissan Rogue SUVs, alleging that the safety feature makes the vehicles brake even when there’s no emergency.

The nonprofit Center for Auto Safety filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seeking the probe. The group says about 675,000 Rogues from the 2017 and 2018 model years should be recalled.

Mazda Recalls Nearly 190k Cars Due To Failing Wipers

DETROIT (AP) — Mazda is recalling nearly 190,000 Mazda 3 compact cars in the U.S. because the windshield wipers can fail.

The company says in documents posted Saturday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the recall covers cars from the 2016 through 2018 model years.