Toyota is once again the world's top automaker. It reported 2012 global vehicle sales of 9.748 million vehicles a bigger number than the estimated 9.7 million vehicles it gave last month. GM had held the top title for more than 70 years before losing it to Toyota in 2008. The latter retook the sales crown in 2011 after Toyota's production was hurt by the quake and tsunami in northeast Japan. GM sold 9.29 million vehicles last year.
pact to develop
Ford, Daimler and Renault-Nissan plan to collaborate on the development of cars and trucks that run on hydrogen. The auto giants say they can share costs and expertise, so they can get the vehicles to market faster. They hope to launch hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as early as 2017. Such fuel cell vehicles use a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity. The only byproducts are water vapor and heat.
Japan is relaxing restrictions on U.S. beef imports that had been in place due to fears of mad-cow disease. Japan's Foreign Ministry and the United States have agreed imports of beef from cows up to 30 months old will be allowed, up from the current 20-month age limit. The change, effective Feb. 1, matches international standards and is expected to cover 90 percent of beef processed in the U.S.
Yahoo reported its international investments helped end a three-year revenue slump. The company said its fourth-quarter revenue rose 2 percent from the previous year, to $1.35 billion. It left Yahoo with its first annual revenue gain since 2008. Fourth-quarter earnings fell 8 percent from the previous year, to $272 million, or 23 cents per share. Earnings would have been higher than the previous year if not for one-time accounting charges.