The Journal Gazette
Thursday, June 10, 2021 1:00 am


Solar firm opening 3rd Ohio plant

News services

PERRYSBURG, Ohio – A solar panel maker announced plans Wednesday to build a third factory in Ohio and add 500 jobs near Toledo.

First Solar Inc. said the new plant will double its production capacity. The $680 million plant in Perrysburg is slated to open in 2023, according to the company, which is based in Tempe, Arizona. It already employs about 1,700 people at its operations near Toledo.

The new plant will be next to a 1.1 million-square-foot factory the company built in 2018. It also has another plant and research facility in the area. At full capacity once the new plant opens, the facilities will be able to make solar panels every 2.75 seconds, the company said.

Ex-CEO to pay emissions fine

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has agreed to pay $13.6 million in compensation for what the company called his failure to quickly get to the bottom of the 2015 scandal about diesel engines rigged to cheat on emissions tests, the company said Wednesday.

Winterkorn's payment is his share of a settlement with Volkswagen. Volkswagen said it would get $329 million from liability insurance against loss from the actions of directors and officers. The settlement must be approved by the company's annual shareholder meeting July 22.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency caught Volkswagen using software that let the cars pass emissions tests and then turned off air pollution controls during normal driving. Winterkorn, who has denied wrongdoing, resigned a few days after the Sept. 18, 2015, notice of violation from the EPA. Volkswagen has apologized and paid fines, recall costs and compensation to car owners.

Ferrari taps chip exec as CEO

Luxury sports car maker Ferrari has tapped Benedetto Vigna, an Italian executive at Europe's largest semiconductor chipmaker, as its new CEO, the company announced Wednesday.

Vigna, 52, will join Ferrari in September from Geneva, Switzerland-based STMicroelectronics, where he has worked for 26 years, most recently running its analog, micro-electromechanical systems and sensors group. The appointment signals Ferrari's focus on new technologies. Ferrari has announced its first fully electric super car will be launched in 2025.

Like the rest of the car industry, Ferrari has been hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic, which temporarily shut production in spring 2020. Ferrari announced that it won't hit 2022 financial targets because of the pandemic, despite a strong first-quarter rebound.

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