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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Steel 3Q Profit Doubles Despite Revenue Drop

October 30, 2012 10:28 am | by The Associated Press

U.S Steel doubled its third-quarter net income as a tax benefit helped balance pressure from price decreases and a challenging global economy. The manufacturer said Tuesday that it earned $44 million, or 28 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That compares with $22 million, or 15 cents per share, a year ago.


Japan's Rebuilding Money Spent On Unrelated Jobs

October 30, 2012 10:24 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

About a quarter of the $148 billion budget for reconstruction after Japan's March 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster has been spent on unrelated projects, including subsidies for a contact lens factory and research whaling.The findings of a government audit buttress complaints over shortcomings and delays in the reconstruction effort.


Analysts: Sandy Unlikely To Damage U.S. Economy

October 30, 2012 10:22 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writers

Airlines have canceled thousands of flights, stranding travelers around the globe. Insurers are bracing for possible damages of $5 billion. Retailers face shrunken sales. The economic impact could be more severe if the storm damages a port or a major manufacturing facility such as an oil refinery, Zandi noted.


Ford Earns $1.63 Billion In 3Q

October 30, 2012 10:19 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

Ford's third-quarter profit eased 1 percent to $1.63 billion as European losses swamped record North American profits. Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday its per-share net income was 41 cents, unchanged from the July-September period a year earlier. Before special items, including severance payouts, it earned 40 cents, beating Wall Street's forecast of 30 cents, according to analysts polled by FactSet.


Chrysler 3Q Profit Up 80 Percent

October 29, 2012 2:27 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

Strong U.S. sales powered Chrysler to a healthy third-quarter profit. The company reported net income of $381 million, up 80 percent from $212 million a year earlier. The profit was due mainly to a 13-percent sales increase in the U.S., where Chrysler does three quarters of its business. The company sold nearly 417,000 cars and trucks in the U.S. under the Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Chrysler brands.


Strikes Loom Ahead For Bombardier

October 29, 2012 2:24 pm | by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Bombardier could face strikes in both of its business units as workers at its rail plant in La Pocatiere, Que., have taken a step towards joining Learjet employees in the U.S. on separate picket lines. The strike in Wichita, Kan., has reached four weeks, the longest in the business aircraft unit's history, surpassing a three-week strike in 2006.


Toyota Tops Latest Consumer Reports Survey

October 29, 2012 2:22 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

Japanese brands took seven of the top 10 spots in Consumer Reports' annual reliability rankings, pushing aside their U.S. and European rivals. Toyota Motor Co.'s Scion, Lexus and Toyota brands took the top three spots and the Toyota Prius C, a subcompact hybrid, got the best overall score. Mazda, Subaru and Honda were close behind.

Johnson Controls Declines Lender Role For A123

October 29, 2012 2:20 pm | by The Associated Press

Auto parts maker Johnson Controls is stepping away from its position as the debtor-in-possession lender during the bankruptcy process for battery maker A123 Systems in order to prevent delays. The company is avoiding a premature legal tussle with Chinese auto parts maker Wanxiang Group Corp., which is challenging Johnson Controls' role as the primary bidder for A123.


Contracts Show Lake Charles Plant Moving

October 29, 2012 2:18 pm | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press

A $2.5 billion chemical plant may be getting closer to reality in Lake Charles. Leucadia National Corp. said Monday that it's signed contracts to sell methanol, hydrogen and carbon dioxide from a plant that would convert an oil refinery byproduct called petroleum coke.


Honda Profit Jumps, Lowers Forecasts On China Woes

October 29, 2012 2:16 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

Honda's quarterly profit surged 36 percent as Japanese automakers bounced back from last year's tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan, but the company lowered its annual forecasts Monday because of a sales plunge in China. Honda Motor Co. raked in an 82.2 billion yen ($1 billion) net profit for the July-September quarter. Sales jumped 20 percent to 2.27 trillion yen.


Toyota Headed To Record Global Sales

October 29, 2012 10:11 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

Toyota is shrugging off a sales plunge in China set off by a territorial dispute and says it is headed to a record year on the back of strong growth in the rest of Asia and the U.S. Toyota Motor Corp. Executive VP Funo acknowledged that achieving the company's target of 9.76M vehicle sales this year will be harder because of the problems in China.


Chinese Protest Factory Even After Official Pledge

October 29, 2012 10:10 am | by Gillian Wong, Associated Press

The past week's chemical-plant protests reached an unruly crescendo over the weekend, when thousands of people marched through prosperous Ningbo city, clashing with police at times. The city government gave in Sunday and agreed to halt the plant's expansion. Even so, the protesters did not back down, staying outside city government offices hours after the concession.


Isuzu Opens 2nd Factory In Thailand

October 29, 2012 10:06 am | by The Associated Press

Japan's Isuzu Motors Ltd. on Monday opened a new plant in eastern Thailand to meet increasing demand for its pickup trucks locally and abroad. The new $211 million plant is located in the Gateway Industrial Estate in Chachoengsao, 160 kilometers east of Bangkok, and is the automaker's second after its Samrong plant in Samut Prakan outside the capital.


Ford Gets Deal To Sell Climate Control Business

October 29, 2012 10:05 am | by The Associated Press

Ford is selling a climate control business to a joint venture owned by a French auto supplier and a former member of the Detroit Pistons. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal marks the last of the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker's Automotive Components Holdings LLC businesses to be sold. Ford created ACH in 2005 when it took back 17 facilities from Visteon Corp.


BMW Recalls Cars Over Transmission Problem

October 29, 2012 10:03 am | by The Associated Press

German automaker BMW is recalling some of its 7-Series luxury cars due to reports of transmission control problems that can cause parked vehicles to roll away. The NJTSA said that the problem has caused at least 14 crashes and possibly 5 injuries. The recall involves cars with model years from 2005 to 2008 that have push-button start and electronic transmission controls.


Electrical Equipment Precautions For Hurricane Sandy

October 29, 2012 8:15 am | by Schneider Electric

Electrical equipment that has been submerged or comes into contact with water must be replaced, though there are exceptions to this rule for larger equipment, which may be able to be reconditioned. Equipment should be inspected carefully by a qualified person to determine whether moisture has entered the enclosure. If any signs of moisture or damage exist, the equipment should be replaced or repaired.


Boeing Touts Outsourcing For Suppliers To Mexico

October 26, 2012 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press

Boeing is encouraging its suppliers to attend a workshop next month to learn how to outsource business to Mexico. The Seattle Times reports that Patrick McKenna, director of Supply Chain Strategy and Supplier Management at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, has urged suppliers to attend a Nov. 15 workshop in Chicago to learn how to do business in Mexico.


Toyota Widens Global Sales Lead Over GM In 3Q

October 26, 2012 1:59 pm | by Tom Krisher, Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writers

Toyota has widened its global sales lead over General Motors after bouncing back from a series of natural disasters. The company said Friday it sold 7.4 million vehicles globally in the first nine months of this year — 450,000 more than General Motors. While Toyota's sales rose 28 percent in that period, GM's rose 2.5 percent, to 6.95 million cars and light-duty trucks.


Windows 8 Inspires Computer Makers To Creativity

October 26, 2012 1:58 pm | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

Can't decide if you want a PC or tablet? Now you won't have to. With the release of Windows 8, computer makers are doing their best to blur the boundaries with an array of devices that mash keyboards and touch screens together in different ways.


Copper Falls On Persistent Global Growth Worries

October 26, 2012 1:56 pm | by Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer

The price of copper has dropped after unimpressive home sales and orders for long-lasting goods failed to ease questions about demand for the metal. Copper for December delivery dropped 1.75 cents Thursday to finish at $3.5505 per pound. It's the sixth consecutive day that the price has fallen for the metal used in everything from construction to consumer cookware.



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