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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Chrysler Recoups In 2Q, Still Loses $172 Million

August 9, 2010 4:54 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — A year after emerging from bankruptcy protection, Chrysler Group LLC said Monday that growing car and truck sales helped it narrow its second-quarter loss to $172 million. The U.S. and Canada are Chrysler's primary markets, and both have seen increased demand for cars and trucks since a recession-related slump last year.

Two Men Crash Firebird Into Ethanol Plant, Gas Line

August 9, 2010 4:52 am

FAIRBANK, Iowa (AP) — Two Fairbank men are dead after the car they were riding in crashed into a natural gas line at an ethanol plant. Authorities say 49-year-old Brad William Higgins died at the scene of Friday's crash. The car's driver, 23-year-old Corey Allen Annis, died Saturday. The Iowa State Patrol says it appears that Annis lost control of the Pontiac Firebird, sending the car into a ditch, where it rolled several times.

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Experts Conflicted On How To Prevent Workplace Shootings

August 9, 2010 4:51 am | by Ben Dobbin, Associated Press Writer

Criminologists call it murder by proxy — rampages by employees who go after their boss, supervisors and even co-workers they link to the source of their outrage. The message is: Look who's doing the firing now. These eruptions of workplace violence often occur in similarly brutal ways.

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China Closes Polluting Factories For Being 'Backward'

August 9, 2010 4:49 am

BEIJING (AP) — China's government has ordered 2,087 steel and cement mills and other factories with poor energy efficiency to close as it struggles to cut waste and improve the country's battered environment. The "backward" facilities produce steel, coke, aluminum, paper and other materials in areas throughout China and must close by late September, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced Sunday.

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HP CEO Ousted Over Sexual Harassment Claim

August 9, 2010 4:47 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The woman at the center of the sexual harassment claim that forced the resignation of Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Mark Hurd revealed her identity Sunday and said she is "surprised and saddened" that Hurd lost his job. Jodie Fisher, 50, an actress and businesswoman, knew Hurd through her contract jobs with HP's marketing department from 2007 to 2009.

Seal Or Sell? BP Has Option On Remaining Oil

August 6, 2010 5:02 am

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The vast oil reservoir beneath BP's blown-out well could still be worth billions of dollars even after it spewed crude into the Gulf of Mexico for more than three months — but the multinational company blamed for causing the disaster isn't saying whether it plans to cash in on this potential windfall.

Convicted Toyota Driver Rejects Offer Of Freedom

August 6, 2010 4:47 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Toyota driver convicted in a crash that killed three people has rejected a prosecutor's offer to ask a judge to vacate his sentence and set him free. Koua Fong Lee is serving an eight-year sentence for criminal vehicular homicide in the 2006 crash. He petitioned for a new trial, saying he did all he could to stop his accelerating Toyota Camry before the crash.

GM CEO Expects To Sell All Stock In 1 Batch

August 6, 2010 4:39 am

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Eager to get out from under government control, GM expects to sell its stock in one swoop when it offers shares to the public sometime later this year, its CEO said Thursday. Some experts had expected General Motors Co. to sell only a partial stake at first, followed by several smaller sales, but Ed Whitacre told reporters at an auto conference Thursday, "Our anticipation is we'd roll it out there all at once.

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Boeing Receives Order To Build 3 Satellites

August 6, 2010 4:33 am

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Boeing Co. said Friday it won a contract from British satellite-telecommunications provider Inmarsat to build three communications satellites. Boeing said it was a fixed-price contract with options, but provided no other financial details. The satellites have an expected 15-year life span.

Bridgestone Returns To Profit On Auto Recovery

August 6, 2010 4:25 am

TOKYO (AP) — Bridgestone Corp. returned to profit in the first half and raised its full year forecast Friday amid a recovery in global auto demand that lifted tire sales. The Japanese tire maker, running neck and neck with Michelin SCA of France as the world's biggest, posted a 44.5 billion yen ($517.

Wheat Rots In India As World Grain Prices Soar

August 6, 2010 4:15 am

MUMBAI, India (AP) — A wheat stockpile in India that could feed 210 million people for a year is starting to spoil because the government lacks enough warehouses to store it — a lightning rod for local discontent that could send ripples through the world market for the grain. According to a government estimate obtained by The Associated Press, 17.

Dematic Group Announces Intent To Acquire HK Systems

August 5, 2010 4:51 am

Luxembourg — Dematic, a leading global supplier of integrated material handling solutions and services, announces it has signed an agreement in principle to purchase HK Systems, a North American automated material handling and software solutions provider. The transaction is expected to close sometime in the third quarter of 2010.

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Industrial Runoff Poisons Water For 10,000 In China

August 4, 2010 4:59 am | by Tini Tran, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Some 10,000 residents in a southern China town have been told not to drink tap water after tests showed it was contaminated by a heavy metal, a local official said Wednesday. Tests showed the amount of manganese in the water supply to some residents of Da'an town in Guangdong province was much higher than the maximum allowed by the government, said a town official who only gave his surname, Wang.

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DuPont To Make Better Car Batteries In Virginia

August 4, 2010 4:44 am | by Randall Chase, AP Business Writer

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The DuPont Co. says it is building a production facility in Virginia that will use new technology to improve the performance of batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles. The Delaware-based company said Tuesday that the facility in Chesterfield County, Va., will begin production early next year and will produce separators that can increase the performance and safety of lithium ion batteries.

Auto Sales Rise Over June, Most Experience Growth

August 4, 2010 4:38 am | by Dan Strumpf and Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Summer promotions and easier credit lured shoppers back to car buying last month, a relief to an industry worried about June's sales slowdown. Every major automaker except for Ford and Daimler said their July sales topped those in June. The biggest monthly sales gains were posted by Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, Subaru and Kia.

Profit-Sharing Mill Rakes In Hard Work, Record Sales

August 4, 2010 4:28 am

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — After a record year at North Dakota's state-owned flour mill, workers are splitting up more than $1.2 million in profit-sharing payments. The Grand Forks mill has about 130 employees. Vance Taylor, its president and general manager, said profit-sharing checks averaging about $9,500 would be distributed at a company picnic Tuesday.

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Ford: UAW Concessions Have Created 2,000 Jobs

August 4, 2010 4:18 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Competitive contracts with the United Auto Workers union are helping Ford Motor Co. bring nearly 2,000 jobs back into its factories that would have gone to parts supply companies — some in other countries, the company said Wednesday. The Dearborn, Mich., automaker said the 2007 union master contract allows it to hire workers at $14 per hour, about half the hourly rate of current workers.

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After 107 Years, Harley-Davidson Could Leave Milwaukee

August 4, 2010 4:17 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — It's the roar that made Milwaukee famous — the distinctive throaty rumble of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. But that much-loved racket could be rumbling away to another state if the company cannot bring down its labor costs. Harley-Davidson warned employees in April that it will move its Wisconsin manufacturing operations elsewhere if it cannot cut millions of dollars at the factories that build the bikes known as "Milwaukee Iron.

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Toyota Earns $2.2 Billion, Shedding Safety Concerns

August 4, 2010 4:13 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota reported a quarterly profit of $2.2 billion, reversing from red ink a year earlier as the world's top automaker benefited from a global sales recovery that offset lingering doubts about the safety of its cars. The company, which makes the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid, raised its full year earnings forecast Wednesday, and said it now expects to sell 7.

Boeing Moves Programs To Okla. For Lower Costs

August 3, 2010 4:55 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Boeing Co. announced Monday it will move two defense programs and an expected 550 engineering jobs from California to Oklahoma City in the next two years. Boeing will move its C-130 Avionics Modernization program beginning in the first quarter of 2011. Its B-1 program is expected to move toward the end of 2012.

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