DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will strengthen the structure around the batteries in its Volt electric cars to keep them safe during crashes, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday. GM will ask Volt owners to return the cars to dealers for structural modifications, said the person, who did not want to be identified because GM executives plan to announce the repairs later Thursday.
BOSTON (AP) — Satcon Technology Corp. said Wednesday it plans to cut 140 jobs, or about 35 percent of its workforce, and close a factory in Canada to reduce costs as demand slides for solar power installations around the world. The Boston company, which makes products for large-scale solar power installations, also will write down the value of some of its inventory to reflect a downturn in solar panel prices.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — At least for now, the lights will stay on at Hoku Corp.'s plant in Pocatello. Idaho Power Co. had threatened to shut off electricity after the Honolulu-based polysilicon maker missed a $1.9 million payment in November because of cash problems. But Tuesday, Idaho Public Utilities Commissioners set a schedule to hear out the dispute, with arguments set for meetings next Tuesday or Wednesday.
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The Brazilian subsidiary of automaker Ford has unveiled a new version of its EcoSport SUV and says it will be sold in close to 100 countries. The car was introduced Wednesday in the Brazilian capital and at the Auto Expo show in New Delhi. Ford Motor Co.
NEW YORK (AP) — Google Inc. has bought another 188 U.S. patents and 29 patent applications from IBM Corp., IBM confirmed Wednesday. Google has been buying patents from IBM and others over the past year to bolster its defenses against lawsuits over its Android smartphone software.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A group that wants to prevent weapons manufacturing at a Kansas City plant has gathered enough signatures to put two measures on the ballot. The city clerk's office said Tuesday that KC Peace Planters had collected enough valid signatures required to put the measures on the ballot.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Faced with defense budget reductions, the Boeing Co. announced Wednesday it will close its defense plant in Wichita by the end of 2013. The closure will cost more than 2,160 workers their jobs and end the firm's presence in a city where it has been a major employer for generations.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturers ended 2011 with their best month of growth since the late spring. And the struggling construction industry spent more on projects for the third time in four months. The data bolstered hopes that the economy is gaining momentum and helped Wall Street start 2012 with a bang.
NEW YORK (AP) — Positive manufacturing and construction data from the U.S. made traders more willing to buy riskier currencies Tuesday. The dollar fell against the euro, pound, yen and most other currencies. Economic reports out of Germany and China were also strong. A trade group of purchasing managers said Tuesday that its U.
SAO PAULO (AP) — Nearly 300 employers in South America's biggest country submit workers to slave-like conditions, Brazil's Labor Ministry said Tuesday. The ministry said in a statement that its "dirty list" increased by 52 and now has a total of 294 employers, from big to small. Reporter Brasil, a non-governmental organization that monitors slave labor in Brazil and efforts to combat it, praised the government's drive to eradicate slave-like working conditions, but said much remains to be done to eradicate the practice.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A decision about the possible closure of the Boeing Co.'s defense plant in Wichita appeared imminent after a mandatory meeting for all employees was set for Wednesday at the facility. Boeing officials said in November that the company was studying whether to close the Wichita facility, which specializes in modifying commercial aircraft for military or government operations, in order to address Pentagon budget cuts.
JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — A Mississippi judge has thrown out a $322 million lawsuit verdict that had been hailed as the largest asbestos award for a single plaintiff in U.S. history. The case began to unravel last year after defense lawyers asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to remove the presiding judge because he allegedly neglected to disclose that his parents had been involved in similar asbestos litigation against one of the same companies.
DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler's U.S. sales jumped 26 percent last year, capping a remarkable turnaround for a company that nearly collapsed in 2009. Chrysler Group LLC, now majority owned by Fiat SpA, sold 1.37 million vehicles last year, about 284,000 more than in 2010. It has introduced 16 new or revamped models in the past two years, vehicles that have fueled its recovery.
TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (AP) — A wood processing company says a fire at a plant in northwest Alabama damaged eight big-rig trucks. Great Southern Wood Preserving says the blaze at its plant in Tuscumbia damaged tractors owned and operated by Greenbush Logistics, Inc. Muscle Shoals fire inspector Donald Ray Coons says an explosion occurred Sunday afternoon at Colbert County Industrial Park.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Metal products maker Worthington Industries Inc. announced Tuesday that it has acquired manufacturer Angus Industries for $180 million in cash. Angus, based in Watertown, S.D., designs and manufactures cabs and operator stations for heavy mobile equipment in agriculture, construction, mining and other markets.
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Helen of Troy Ltd. has closed on its acquisition of the water-purifier business PUR from Procter & Gamble Co., the company said Tuesday. "We expect to quickly integrate the PUR brands into our health care/home environment segment, where it is a natural fit.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is recalling more than 4,000 of its 2012 Chevrolet Sonic subcompact cars to check for missing brake pads. Some Sonics could be missing an inner or outer brake pad, which could increase stopping distance. GM said there are no known crashes or injuries related to the issue.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing grew in December at the fastest pace in six months and hiring at U.S. factories picked up. The data helped bolster the view that the economy gained momentum at the end of last year. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday that its manufacturing index rose to 53.
NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time, the top export of the United States, the world's biggest gas guzzler, is — wait for it — fuel. Measured in dollars, the nation is on pace this year to ship more gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel than any other single export, according to U.S.
FORREST CITY, Ark. (AP) — Sanyo Manufacturing Corp. will move more of its Forrest City operations to plants in Mexico and San Diego and reduce the number of workers remaining at the Arkansas factory. The plant had 650 employees making cathode ray tubes for use in televisions five years ago.