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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Late 2009 Economic Growth Teases Manufacturers

March 26, 2010 5:05 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The burst of energy the economy showed at the end of last year isn't likely to be repeated anytime soon. The Commerce Department reported Friday that the economy grew at a 5.6 percent pace in the October-to-December quarter in its third and final estimate of economic activity during the period.

Toyota Ceasing Production In France, UK For 9 Days

March 26, 2010 4:42 am | by Malcolm Foster, Associated Press Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota said Friday it is stopping production at its factories in France and Britain for a total of nine days amid falling sales that the company partly attributed to its recent recall woes. The world's No. 1 automaker will suspend output at it plant in France for four days starting April 6, said spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi.

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Siemens AG: Industrial Sector To Stabilize This Year

March 26, 2010 4:39 am

FRANKFURT (AP) — Siemens AG expects demand for products from its industrial division to stabilize this year after the economic downturn hit spending on big-ticket items, the Munich-based company said Friday. Assuming there is a steady economic recovery, new orders in the sector should reach the level of the company's 2009 fiscal year, which ended in September, Siemens said.

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GM Recalls 600 Canadian Workers

March 26, 2010 4:35 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says it will bring back 600 workers and add equipment at two Canadian factories in order to turn out more hot-selling midsize crossover vehicles. The company said Friday that it will beef up the body-making capacity at its plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, where it assembles the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers.

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Last Day For 465 At Evansville Whirlpool Plant

March 26, 2010 4:33 am

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — More than 450 jobs are being eliminated as Whirlpool Corp. ends a production shift at an Evansville factory that is being shut down in June. Union officials say Friday was the last day for 465 workers at the plant. Whirlpool announced last year that it would shut down the 1,100-worker refrigerator factory and move production to Mexico.

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China Last To Lift Embargo On U.S. Pork

March 26, 2010 4:32 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press Writer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nearly a year after nations banned U.S. pork over fears about swine flu, China has become the last one to lift its embargo and is expected to accept shipments by early next month. It's a move welcomed by an industry that has suffered several years of losses, but some experts caution farmers shouldn't expect to see a surge in exports.

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DOE Rejects Federal Loan For V-Vehicle

March 25, 2010 5:35 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A startup automaker that planned to build a fuel-efficient vehicle in Louisiana and employ 1,400 workers lost its bid Wednesday for $321.1 million in federal loans considered vital in getting the company running. V-Vehicle Co. said the federal Energy Department turned aside two loan applications — $241.

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Smucker Cutting 700 Jobs, Closing Four Plants

March 24, 2010 8:50 am

ORRVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The J.M. Smucker Co. is closing four plants and cutting 700 jobs, about 15 percent of its workforce, the food maker said Wednesday. The company, which makes Folgers Coffee, Smucker's jams and other products, said it is closing its fruit-spread plants in Memphis, Tenn.

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Australia, China Sign Agreement With Rio Tinto Case In Limbo

March 24, 2010 4:50 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Australia and China signed a multibillion dollar energy deal Wednesday, pushing ahead with business as the trial of four employees of mining giant Rio Tinto ended in Shanghai with a verdict still to be announced. The latest deal suggests that Australia and China's commercial ties have been largely unaffected by tensions over the detention and trial of Australian citizen Stern Hu — who was head of Rio Tinto's iron ore business in China — and three Chinese co-workers on charges of taking bribes and stealing business secrets.

Daimler To Pay $185 Million To Settle Bribery Investigations

March 24, 2010 4:45 am | by Pete Yost, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Car manufacturer Daimler AG will pay $185 million to settle criminal and civil investigations in which the company is accused of paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes to officials of at least 22 foreign governments over the course of a decade, two people familiar with the deal said Tuesday.

NYC Crane Inspector Took Bribes, Faked Inspections

March 24, 2010 4:38 am | by Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The city's former chief crane inspector admitted taking more than $10,000 in payoffs to fake inspection and crane operator licensing exam results, selling out a 26-year career bit by bit over nearly a decade. James Delayo showed no emotion Tuesday as he pleaded guilty to receiving bribes and read a short statement in court acknowledging his crimes in a case that helped raise questions about the city's oversight of construction and spurred changes designed to keep a tighter rein on cranes.

Fiat Puts 5,000 Italians Out Of Work

March 24, 2010 4:27 am

ROME (AP) — Fiat will cut 5,000 jobs in Italy, slash the number of car models and increase production as part of its new strategic plan, a newspaper reported Wednesday. La Repubblica said the cuts would affect about 15 percent of the 30,000 assembly line workers at Fiat. They would include between 2,000 and 2,500 workers at the historic Mirafiori plant in Turin and some 1,500 employee at the Termini Imerese plant in Sicily, which will stop auto production next year.

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BAE Systems Cutting 200 Jobs At Tenn. Plant

March 24, 2010 4:21 am

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — Body armor manufacturer BAE Systems is laying off about 200 employees at its East Tennessee plant because of a sluggish economy and the failure to win an anticipated contract. WBIR reported that the layoffs will leave about 120 employees on the job. The company cut 74 jobs at theplant in February.

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GM Creates 'Envy' With New Electric Concept Car

March 24, 2010 4:20 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — It's not quite as foldable as the space vehicle that cartoon figure George Jetson pops into his briefcase as he bops into the office. But the EN-V concept car, GM's "automobile solution" for the future, just might fit into an apartment foyer. General Motors and its Chinese partner SAIC will showcase the "Electric Networked-Vehicle" launched Wednesday in their joint pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, which opens May 1 and runs for six months.

China's Geely Close To Volvo Acquisition

March 23, 2010 5:10 am

SHANGHAI (AP) — Zhejiang Geely Holding Group expects to wrap up talks on buying Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo car unit by the end of this month, a spokesman for the Chinese automaker said Tuesday. "I cannot tell the exact date, but so far everything goes smoothly, and I think the contract will be signed in March," said Ren Daqing, a spokesman for Geely in Beijing.

Hugo Boss Plant Closure Spurs Hollywood Boycott

March 23, 2010 4:55 am

CLEVELAND (AP) — Danny Glover is meeting in Cleveland with workers at a men's suit plant whose plight became the actor's cause during the recent Academy Awards. The star of the "Lethal Weapon" movies joined with a union in urging Hollywood not to wear Hugo Boss suits to the Oscars earlier this month, to show support for the factory's 375 employees.

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PA Chemical Plant Leaks... Again

March 23, 2010 4:47 am

JEFFERSON HILLS, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says a chemical leak at a Marathon Petroleum Co. tank station south of Pittsburgh was the second in a month at the facility. In Monday's incident, about 4,000 gallons of an oil-based asphalt emulsion leaked from a tank at the company's Floreffe tank farm in Jefferson Hills.

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Mitsubishi To Triple Electric Car Output

March 23, 2010 4:35 am

TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Tuesday it aims to more than triple annual production of its electric car — the i-MiEV — over the next three years, anticipating robust global demand for the zero-emission vehicle. Mitsubishi will make some 9,000 i-MiEVs in the upcoming fiscal year starting April 1, some 18,000 in the following year and 30,000 in the fiscal year starting April 2012, said company spokesman Yuki Murata.

New CA Jobs Bill Favors Green Manufacturing

March 23, 2010 4:29 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Monday sent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger two jobs-related bills that would extend a $10,000 homebuyer's tax credit through the end of the year and give a tax break to the green-technology industry. The Senate and Assembly passed the bills with bipartisan support in hopes of promoting housing construction and making California more inviting to businesses involved in developing alternative energy.

NY Police Agree Driver Error Caused Prius Crash

March 23, 2010 4:24 am

HARRISON, N.Y. (AP) — A housekeeper who reported that her boss' Toyota Prius accelerated on its own and wouldn't brake as she hurtled toward a stone wall apparently had her foot on the gas pedal the entire time, according to a police investigation that concluded the driver, not the car, caused the accident.

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