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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

January Auto Sales Rose Despite 'Snowpocalypse'

February 1, 2011 3:43 am | by Sharon Silke Carty, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Despite snowy weather in the Northeast that kept buyers shoveling driveways and not shopping for cars, January auto sales in the United States are expected to come in higher than a year ago. Sales could rise 15 percent to 17 percent compared with last January, a sign that auto sales are continuing their slow, steady recovery from 2009, when sales bottomed out.

Philippine Industry Expanded 7.3 Percent In 2010

January 31, 2011 8:35 am

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine economy galloped to its highest annual growth in more than two decades, expanding 7.3 percent in 2010 on strong foreign trade and election spending, officials said Monday, forecasting an equally strong expansion this year. Head of the government's statistical board Romulo Virola said the growth surpassed official growth projections of 5 percent to 6 percent.

Craft Brewers Ditch Glass Bottles For Cans

January 31, 2011 8:32 am | by Clarke Canfield, Associated Press

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — Canned beer isn't just for swilling anymore. Baxter Brewing in Maine has joined a growing number of small craft-beer breweries distributing their brews in cans — just like mainstream mass-produced beers — rather than in bottles. A decade ago, it's believed there weren't any U.

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Rebirth Of Wise Alloys Plant Means Jobs For Shoals

January 31, 2011 8:28 am | by Bernie Delinski, Associated Press

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — The parking lots appear full outside the massive Wise Alloys Listerhill plant. Inside, coils of aluminum and 15-ton castings are rolled out. Major deals with Anheuser-Busch InBev and Coca-Cola — two giants in the beverage can industry — have made long-term expectations high.

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S.C. Gets Ready To Run On 'Pig Power'

January 31, 2011 8:23 am

GASTON, S.C. (AP) — It's a case of piggies providing power and it's a first for South Carolina. Officials with Santee Cooper, Environmental Fabrics Inc., a firm based in Gaston, S.C., and Clemson University on Monday announced the construction of a new plant to generate electricity from the methane released by hog waste.

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Tech Firm Toss Millions Into Obama's Jobs Initiative

January 31, 2011 3:42 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Three of the nation's biggest technology companies are committing hundreds of millions of dollars to an initiative backed by President Barack Obama to encourage job creation and economic growth by supporting small businesses. The program, called the Startup America Partnership, is aimed at helping entrepreneurs start businesses and help them grow.

In The Future, Cars Will Decide Who's Too Drunk To Drive

January 31, 2011 3:34 am | by Bob Salsberg, Associated Press

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — An alcohol-detection prototype that uses automatic sensors to instantly gauge a driver's fitness to be on the road has the potential to save thousands of lives, but could be as long as a decade away from everyday use in cars, federal officials and researchers said Friday.

Chrysler Predicts $300 Million Profit In 2011

January 31, 2011 3:32 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — An optimistic Chrysler narrowed its net loss significantly in the fourth quarter from a year ago and forecast a net profit for 2011 as it continued a comeback from bankruptcy protection. Chrysler, which is controlled by Italy's Fiat Group SpA, predicted it would make $200 million to $500 million this year, setting the stage for an initial public stock offering that could take place in the fourth quarter.

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China: Savior Or Threat To Western Business?

January 31, 2011 3:28 am | by Angela Charlton, Associated Press

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The Western business elite can't seem to decide whether China is a savior or a threat. Nearly everyone speaking at the World Economic Forum this week had something to say about the world's new No. 2 economy. Some jockeyed for greater access to China's markets, some pleaded for China to let its currency rise and allow more political freedoms.

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Oshkosh Corp. Hiring 750 To Build Army Trucks

January 31, 2011 3:25 am

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Oshkosh Corp. says it's hiring 650 to 750 people in Oshkosh, thanks to a military truck contract. Company spokesman John Daggett says career fairs are planned for February. The company is looking for employees with production experience, especially in welding and assembly.

American Factories Still Outperforming, Outproducing China

January 31, 2011 3:21 am | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories are closing. American manufacturing jobs are reappearing overseas. China's industrial might is growing each year. And it might seem as if the United States doesn't make world-class goods as well as some other nations. "There's no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains, or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products," President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union policy address last week.

GDP Growth Gives More Hope To Recovering Economy

January 28, 2011 4:14 am | by David K. Randall, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were poised to open higher Friday after a report showed that the U.S. economy is growing. The Commerce Department said that U.S. gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy, grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent between October and December. That's up from the 2.

Koch Sues Internet Pranksters Over Environmentalism Hoax

January 28, 2011 4:00 am | by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Lawyers representing the environmentalists behind a media hoax targeting Koch Industries Inc. have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by the Wichita-based company seeking the pranksters' identities. The Washington-based Public Citizen Litigation Group said the lawsuit would have a chilling effect on anonymous Internet communications and basic First Amendment rights.

Blind Driver Brings New Technology To Daytona Speedway

January 28, 2011 3:48 am | by Kyle Hightower, Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — It's a cloudy morning at Daytona International Speedway, but Mark Riccobono can't tell, nor does it really matter to him. He walks up to the driver's side of a black, Ford Escape Hybrid parked on the start-finish line, opens the door, sits down and adjusts his seat.

Kia, Hyundai Both Hit Sales, Profit Records

January 28, 2011 3:42 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer

Hyundai Motor's 4th-quarter net profit hits record  SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Hyundai Motor's net profit jumped 48 percent in the fourth quarter to a record high as the automaker reaped gains from strong overseas sales. Hyundai said Thursday that it earned 1.4 trillion won ($1.

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Taco Bell Fights Back Against 'Beefless' Lawsuit

January 28, 2011 3:38 am | by Bruce Schreiner and Sarah Skidmore, AP Business Writers

Taco Bell is launching an advertising campaign Friday to fight back against a lawsuit charging its taco filling isn't beef. The fast-food chain placed full-page print ads in Friday's editions of the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and other papers as well as online ads to "set the record straight," company President Greg Creed told The Associated Press.

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Ford Earns Highest Profit In A Decade

January 28, 2011 3:25 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford earned its biggest profit in more than a decade in 2010 as robust car and truck sales and years of cost cuts paid off for the company. The results disappointed Wall Street, however, and Ford's stock price fell 6 percent to $17.73 in premarket trading. The reaction hinted at the difficulties the company still faces, even though it's remade itself in recent years.

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BDI Acquires Two Gopher Bearing Company Locations

January 26, 2011 6:38 am

CLEVELAND – BDI recently announced the acquisition of Gopher Bearing Company’s St. Paul and Winona, Minnesota locations, effective January 1, 2011. Gopher Bearing Company has served businesses in the Twins Cities area since 1946. St. Paul-based Gopher Bearing, a division of BDI, will provide enhanced support and solutions to customers in the Twin Cities.

Biden Visits IN Battery Plant, Post-Recovery Grant

January 26, 2011 4:25 am

An American company seeking to make headway in the foreign-dominated electric car battery industry will be in the spotlight Wednesday when Vice President Joe Biden visits its plant in central Indiana. Biden will be in Greenfield, about 25 miles east of Indianapolis, to visit an Ener1 Inc.

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Obama: Lower Corporate Taxes, Close Loopholes

January 26, 2011 4:16 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's call to lower corporate tax rates is popular among business leaders and lawmakers from both parties. That support, however, won't be easy to maintain if the president ever gets specific about how to pay for the lower taxes. Obama said in his State of the Union address that he wants to close corporate tax loopholes and use the additional revenue to lower corporate tax rates for the first time in 25 years — without adding to the budget deficit.

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