Afternoon Coffee: Pugeot, Ford, VW Cuts in Europe, iPad Mini Supply, Nintendo and Foxconn

Scaling down in Europe.
Europe Car Makers Cut Back -- Europe's struggling car makers Wednesday took a series of long-awaited measures to take more costs and capacity out of the bloated European industry, with Ford MotorCo. confirming plans to close a factory in Belgium as auto makers warned demand has further to fall. Peugeot, the European car maker in deepest trouble, announced a government bailout of its financing arm and said it would share the cost of making four new vehicles with General Motors Co.'s struggling Opel unit as part of its wide-ranging cost-sharing pact with the U.S. auto maker.

Another survey to take.
New Research Project: The State of Sales and Purchasing 2012 -- ES Research and BayGroup International are conducting a research project on topics of interest to all purchasing, contract management, and sales professionals, including: How do buy-side and sell-side negotiators see each other? What are the most significant challenges they face to successful negotiation? Which negotiation strategies do they see most frequently from the other side...and which ones do they believe work best? The research survey is open for participation through the November 2. Participants will receive a copy of the final report of findings when available in late November. To participate in the survey, click the link above.

"Better to stand in line for hours than wait for days or weeks to get a new Apple gadget."
With New iPad, Apple Has Supply Chain Problem -- Apple's new product invention machine may have slowed. Increasingly, Apple releases product upgrades rather than entirely new ones. This, in turn, may dampen demand as the "attraction of the new" wears away. Apple currently counts on buyers to look at its new mini iPad as a new product and not a small evolution of its larger stable mate. Apple may have hit a period of low demand for the mini iPad coupled with low supply. A product that may not be readily available will have competition from those that are - the Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Kindle and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)Nexus 7. Potential Apple buyers for once can buy products very like Apple's newest and best.

For once it's not Apple?
The Result of Nintendo's Investigation into Underage Foxconn Workers -- From the sound of it, kids as young as 14could have assembled the Wii U. Last week, Nintendo issued a statement to Kotaku, saying it was looking into the matter. Today, Nintendo offered Kotaku an update on the results of its investigation. According to Charlie Scibetta, Nintendo of America's senior director of Corporate Communications, "Nintendo was concerned to learn that underage individuals had been working at a Foxconn facility in China where components for some Nintendo products are produced. Nintendo investigated the incident and determined that this was a violation of the Nintendo Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Procurement Guidelines that all Nintendo production partners are required to follow, based on relevant laws, international standards and guidelines."

- Sheena Moore

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