- - Sunday, June 3, 2012

PARIS — A Greek exit from the eurozone will be on the agenda if Athens fails to impose austerity measures required in its EU-IMF bailout deal, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said Sunday.

“The question would be raised without a doubt … if the Greeks themselves do not respect their commitments,” Mr. Moscovici said on French television, adding that he hoped Greece would remain in the eurozone.

The French finance chief was responding to questions about comments made by Greece’s radical leftist leader Alexis Tsipras, who said Friday that he would move to scrap the bailout deal if he wins the June 17 election.

Mr. Moscovici said that position would “greatly complicate” the situation and that there were “perhaps reflections here and there” about the possibility of Greece leaving the eurozone.

Mr. Moscovici said he would work to try to avoid that scenario.

The June 17 vote will determine whether Greece will meet the terms of a deal under which the European Union and International Monetary Fund agreed to lend it hundreds of billions of euros in return for economic reforms.


Volkswagen strengthens focus on Chinese market

BERLIN — German automaker Volkswagen moved over the weekend to strengthen its strategic focus on expanding sales in China and reshuffle the leadership of its truck business.

Volkswagen AG’s supervisory board approved the creation of a board of directors position managing all of the group’s China business. The group — which includes car brands such as Volkswagen, Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche Skoda and Bentley — said in a statement that the move “reflects China’s importance as the world’s largest car market.”

The company sold 2.3 million cars in China last year.

The China department will be run by Jochen Heizmann, who leaves his position as the head of the group’s truck business, Volkswagen said after Saturday’s board meeting.

Mr. Heizmann will be succeeded by the chief executive of Sweden-based truck manufacturer Scania AB, Leif Ostling.

Volkswagen only recently overtook majority stakes in Scania and Germany’s MAN, making Mr. Ostling’s main job now to strengthen cooperation between the two companies and Volkswagen’s own utility division to make the business line more profitable.

Scania board member Martin Lundstedt, meanwhile, follows Mr. Ostling as the truck manufacturer’s CEO.

Volkswagen group CEO Martin Winterkorn hailed the internal management reshuffle as a major step in boosting the group’s competitiveness.


Pennsylvania poised to reign over natural gas

PITTSBURGH — Like a runner who gets a big head start in a race, analysts say, Pennsylvania may be set to dominate natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale region for many years.

The state is a cost-effective place to do business because it has billions of dollars invested in leases, wells and related infrastructure. A plunge in wholesale prices has made thrift necessary for some companies. That deals a potential blow to would-be upstart New York.

Oil and gas analyst Fadel Gheit said he expects Pennsylvania to be the center of activity for the next few years, if not longer.

He said there is less risk sticking with a state and with regulations that companies know. He added that New York is generally seen as a more liberal state than Pennsylvania and thus is more prone to imposing stricter rules on drilling.


Fisker widens recall of plug-in hybrid Karma

Fisker Automotive is expanding a recall of its 2012 plug-in hybrid Karma because of potential problems with the electric car’s battery.

The automaker initially recalled 50 of the $100,000 cars in December. It said improperly installed hose clamps in the model’s battery pack could cause coolant to leak, potentially starting a fire.

Fisker has added 19 cars to that recall, 10 of which it believes were delivered to customers.

The Irvine, Calif.-based automaker said customers and retailers have reported no incidents. The company said it will replace the battery pack.

Fisker, founded in 2007, is privately held.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated Chevrolet Volt battery fires earlier this year. It determined that the car was no riskier than vehicles with conventional gasoline engines.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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