Briefs: SUVs rule; gun sales soar

Bloomberg Businessweek (Asia) - - Contents - By Kyle Stock

Fu­eled by rel­a­tively cheap gas and low in­ter­est rates, U.S. driv­ers bought more cars and trucks in 2015 than ever be­fore. Au­tomak­ers re­ported bullish sales data for De­cem­ber with an an­nual tally that hit 17.5 mil­lion, top­ping a pre­vi­ous record in 2000. The fastest-grow­ing brands were SUV spe­cial­ists, in­clud­ing Land Rover, Jeep, and Volvo. Shares of Smith & Wesson surged al­most 14 per­cent to a record high af­ter Pres­i­dent Obama an­nounced re­stric­tions on gun sales. Sturm Ruger shares climbed al­most 9 per­cent on the news. Obama’s mea­sures will ex­tend back­ground checks and make it more dif­fi­cult to sell weapons at gun shows and on the In­ter­net. Ac­tivist hedge fund Star­board Value called on Ya­hoo! to make sweep­ing man­age­ment changes and spin off its core In­ter­net busi­ness. Star­board’s let­ter also threat­ened a proxy bat­tle if the Ya­hoo board fails to make sig­nif­i­cant changes. Ya­hoo Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Marissa Mayer has promised to present a de­tailed re­or­ga­ni­za­tion plan later this month. The U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice sued Volk­swa­gen for as much as $48 bil­lion for al­legedly vi­o­lat­ing U.S. en­vi­ron­men­tal laws. The com­plaint said VW in­stalled de­vices to rig emis­sions tests in some 600,000 ve­hi­cles. In ad­di­tion to the civil ac­tion, the Jus­tice Depart­ment is con­sid­er­ing crim­i­nal fraud charges over whether VW mis­led con­sumers. Valeant Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals In­ter­na­tional named as in­terim CEO Howard Schiller, while cur­rent chief Michael Pear­son bat­tles se­vere pneu­mo­nia. Schiller, a Valeant di­rec­tor and for­mer Gold­man Sachs banker, re­signed as CFO last year.

CEO Wis­dom “There is no such thing as ‘free’ any­thing on an air­line.” �Ben Bal­danza, who was abruptly re­placed as CEO of Spirit Air­lines on Jan. 5

Nikon un­veiled a cube­shaped, high-def­i­ni­tion cam­era, the KeyMis­sion 360, with a lens on op­po­site sides to cre­ate 360-de­gree video. It will be avail­able in spring for an undis­closed price.

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