Camry holds line
Toyota Motor Corp., facing rising competition from Ford, Honda and Nissan, plans to keep prices steady for its Camry sedan as it defends the bragging rights for top-selling car in the U.S. The Camry, which has held the top spot for 11 years, has seen its lead narrow in 2013, being outsold in April by the Honda Accord and in March by the Nissan Altima.
Layaway fee dropped
Wal-Mart is getting rid of the $5 entry fee for customers wanting to open its interest-free, pay-over-time program for holiday gifts. The holiday layaway program will kick off Sept. 13 and last until Dec. 13. About 35,500 items will be available, 1,000 more than a year ago.
Kia is recalling more than 9,700 SUVs in the U.S. and Canada because the front axle can fail and the vehicles can lose power. The recall affects 2014 Sorento SUVs with 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engines and front-wheel drive. Owners will be notified by letter. Dealers will replace the axle free.
Ready for launch
Sony will start selling the PlayStation 4 in the United States on Nov. 15, ahead of the holiday shopping season, as the company moves to lure consumers away from playing on smartphones and tablet computers. The player will be Sony’s first new console in seven years.
• Google has been holding talks with the National Football League, raising speculation that the Internet monolith is seeking new inroads into television. Apple and other tech companies are reportedly in talks with cable companies to boost access to television through their devices. The NFL on Wednesday confirmed its meetings with Google but declined to discuss the nature of those talks, as did Google.
• ESPN sports network has held “preliminary” talks to offer programming on a Web-based TV service like those proposed by Google Inc., Sony Corp. and Intel Corp. An Internet TV service would have to pay as much as or more than cable and satellite TV providers, ESPN president John Skipper said. He declined to specify which companies ESPN has spoken with.
Walt Disney Co. will close its 10-year-old Toontown Online video game and two other virtual worlds for kids as the company’s interactive unit shifts resources to the larger Club Penguin and to mobile games. Toontown, in which members form teams to fight evil robots, will close Sept. 19.
Ferrari SpA plans to build more hybrid vehicles following the success of the $1.34 million LaFerrari as the manufacturer works to attract environmentally conscious wealthy buyers. “I don’t believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids,” Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo told Bloomberg News.
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