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BANNOCKBURN, IL – North American circuit board shipments fell 5.4% year-over-year in December, while orders rose 5.5%. For the year, shipments were down 8.7%, while bookings fell 6.3%, IPC said.
 
For the month, rigid shipments were down 5.9% and bookings were up 6.8% compared to 2006. For the year, shipments were down 8.9% and bookings were down 7%. Sequentially, shipments increased 8% and bookings increased 3.1%. The book-to-bill ratio was 1.01. 
 
Flex circuit shipments were up 1% in December, while bookings were down 9.7% year-over-year. For the year, flex circuit shipments were down 5.7% and bookings were up 4%. Sequentially, flex shipments were up 5.6% and bookings rose 2.2%. The book-to-bill was 1.0.
 
Compared to November, all shipments were up 7.8% and bookings were up 3.1%. The book-to-bill ratio fell to 1.01.
LOS ALTOS, CA – Ongoing fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis and the predicted retrenchment of consumer spending has put a dent in the prospects for light vehicle demand, Henderson Ventures reports, with unit output is forecast to grow 2.5% this year, after a 5.4% burst in 2007, the research firm says.
 
The softening demand for vehicles will slow automotive electronics growth from 8.1% in 2007 to 5.6% in 2008. The pace will then accelerate to 7.9% in 2009 and 10.5% in 2010, when global automotive electronics production is forecast to reach $140 billion.
 
This year’s unit slowdown will be felt all over. For example, Chinese output growth will slow from 25.8% in 2007 to 15.5% this year.
 
Potential car buyers increasingly want onboard access to all entertainment electronics and gadgets they have at home, as evidenced by the profusion of video displays, MP3 player ports and power outlets. In short, increasing electronics content will help offset meager vehicle growth this year, Henderson reports. 
 
ESPOO, FINLANDNokia is in negotiations to sell its automotive business to the former head of Nokia's enhancements unit and automotive business, Razvan Olosu, and Equity Partners GmbH.
 
If finalized, personnel will transfer from the current automotive business to the new company.
 
The parties anticipate the deal to close during the first half of the year, pending negotiations and approval. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
 
The announcement comes as Nokia faces sharp criticism from labor groups in Germany over its plans to close the plant.

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