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The Greenest Car You've Never Heard Of

The greenest car you've likely never heard of will soon be hitting Honda showrooms across the United States as the Japanese automaker expands sales of its compressed natural gas powered Civic.

Honda has been quietly winning green car awards for more than a decade as it cautiously introduced the Civic GX first to government and business fleet owners and then retail customers in a handful of test markets.

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Daimler, Bosch in Electric Car Joint Venture

German car maker Daimler will team up with industrial giant Bosch in a joint venture to produce electric motors to be used in Mercedes and Smart cars next year, both companies said on Tuesday.

The two firms have signed a letter of intent and joint production should start in 2012 at sites in Hildesheim in central Germany and Stuttgart in the south-west.

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France Says Renault 'Dysfunctional' Management Style Must Change

French ministers said Monday it was up to Renault to decide if its chief executive stays on after an industrial espionage scandal but that the car-maker's "dysfunctional" management style had to change.

Their comments came as the partly state-owned firm was about to hold an extraordinary board meeting later Monday to examine an audit committee's report on the scandal that centered on wrongful accusations of spying.

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World Bank Says Unrest Slashing Arab Economic Growth

Unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is putting the brakes on economic growth in the region that had been expected to accelerate this year, the World Bank said Sunday.

Justin Lin, the World Bank's chief economist, said that research by the development lender's economists showed that economic output in the Middle East and North Africa, was paying a heavy price for the recent wave of anti-regime upheaval.

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Safadi Tells Abdullah that Nahr al-Bared Rebuilding is ‘Essential’

Caretaker Minister of Economy and Trade Mohammed Safadi stressed that the rebuilding of the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp was “essential.”

After talks with PLO representative in Lebanon Abdullah Abdullah at his office in Tripoli, Safadi hoped that the new government would take responsibility in this regard.

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Johnson & Johnson Fined for Bribing Doctors

U.S. authorities fined cosmetics and drugs giant Johnson & Johnson $70 million on Friday for bribing doctors in Europe and paying kickbacks for contracts under a U.N. relief program in Iraq.

The Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission said since 1998 the firm had paid doctors and hospital administrators in Greece, Poland and Romania for contracts and to promote its drugs and medical devices.

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Hong Kong Eyes Tourist Windfall Amid Japan Crisis

Hong Kong's travel sector and shopping malls said Friday they were expecting a windfall this Easter with tourists avoiding quake-hit Japan as it battles a nuclear crisis.

Businesses in the glitzy financial hub were upbeat on higher sales, as Japan struggles to recover from the March 11 quake and tsunami which devastated the northeast and crippled a nuclear power plant which has been leaking radiation.

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German Luxury Car Makers Report Strong Sales

German luxury car makers have had a strong first quarter for sales, setting new records on the back of soaring demand in emerging markets, with China in the lead.

BMW, the world's leading premium auto manufacturer, said Friday that first quarter group sales rose an annualized 21.3 percent to 382,758 BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce vehicles, its best result ever for the three-month period.

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Oil Down in Asia on Profit-Taking

World oil prices fell in Asian trade Thursday as investors continued to lock in profits from recent gains and Libyan rebels exported the country's first crude shipment from a region that they control, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for May, pulled back 39 cents to $108.44 per barrel after crossing $109 for the first time in two-and-a-half years in U.S. trade Wednesday.

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Oil Hovers Above $108 Amid Mixed US Supply Report

Oil prices hovered above $108 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a U.S. crude supply report showed mixed signals about demand.

Benchmark crude for May delivery was up 20 cents at $108.54 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 13 cents to settle at $108.34 on Tuesday.

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