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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

tC Remains Top Scion Seller

January 18, 2012 8:30 am | by Ann M. Job

A more powerful and more fuel efficient engine as well as new styling helped boost sales of the three-door Scion tC by 47 percent last year from the year-earlier period. The long-established sales leader of Toyota's youthful Scion brand also received five out of five stars in its overall crash test rating by the federal government.

Google's Plans For Warp-Speed Internet Hits Snag

January 18, 2012 8:25 am

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Google's plans to launch a super-speed Internet project in Kansas City, Kan., have hit a snag because of questions about where and how to hang its wires and what fees or installation costs may be required. Google announced nine months ago that it hoped to begin service on its gigabit-per-second Internet connections to Kansas City, Kan.

Airbus Announces 2012 Price Hikes

January 18, 2012 8:22 am

PARIS (AP) — Airbus says it's raising prices by an average of 6.1 percent on its A320neo family of short- and medium-haul single aisle jets that airlines ordered in record numbers last year. The A320neo lists for €96.7 million each but airlines negotiate discounts for bulk orders.

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Steve Jobs Action Figure Pulled From Market

January 18, 2012 4:23 am

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The company that began advertising for an incredibly lifelike Steve Jobs doll won't sell the figurines after all because of pressure from family and Apple lawyers. In Icons had planned to offer the 1-foot-tall, lifelike figure dressed in Jobs' trademark black mock turtleneck, rimless glasses and jeans.

Lockheed Martin Acquires Autopilot System Maker

January 18, 2012 4:22 am

BETHESDA, Md., (AP) — Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. said Tuesday it acquired Procerus Technologies, which makes autopilot systems and other electronic systems used in very small unmanned aircraft. The companies did not disclose terms of the purchase, but Lockheed Martin said they "are not material" to its results.

Factory Output Soared In December

January 18, 2012 4:20 am | by Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory output surged in December by the most in year. Stronger demand for business equipment, vehicles and energy offered the most visible evidence that manufacturing has roared back from the depths of the recession. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that manufacturing increased 0.

Swedish Automobile In Push For Survival

January 18, 2012 4:18 am

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Swedish Automobile NV, the parent company of Dutch luxury car maker Spyker and the now-bankrupt Saab Automobile, says it will push on with the sale of the Spyker brand and issue new shares in a bid for survival, in spite of an exodus of its supervisory board. The company, known as "Swan", said Wednesday that it was in negotiations to sell Spyker.

Electrolux Commits To Giving Minority Contracts

January 18, 2012 4:15 am | by Adrian Sainz, Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Electrolux is committed to awarding contracts to local companies and firms owned by minorities and women for construction of its $266 million kitchen appliances manufacturing plant in Memphis, officials said Tuesday. Electrolux detailed the steps it is taking to give contracts for the construction project during a Tuesday morning news conference attended by the mayors of Memphis and surrounding Shelby County.

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IN Toyota Plant Produces 3 Millionth Vehicle

January 18, 2012 4:13 am

PRINCETON, Ind. (AP) — Workers at a Toyota Motor Corp. plant in southwestern Indiana are celebrating the plant's production of its 3 millionth vehicle. The Evansville Courier & Press reports (http://bit.ly/wI9gXY ) that workers marked the production milestone Tuesday by taking the silver Sienna minivan off the plant's assembly line for a media event.

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Russia Asks If U.S. Radar Ruined Space Probe

January 17, 2012 7:48 am | by Sofia Javed, Assocated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian space experts will look into the possibility that a U.S. radar station may have inadvertently interfered with the failed Mars moon probe that later plummeted to Earth, Russian media reported Tuesday. The state news agency RIA Novosti quoted Yury Koptev, former head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, as saying investigators will conduct tests to check if a U.

IL Snack Supplier Plans New Life For Yarnell

January 17, 2012 7:46 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A Chicago snack food supplier has completed acquisition of an Arkansas ice cream maker and plans to make its products available to retailers across the state. In a statement released Monday, Schulze & Burch Biscuit Co. said its management will meet with retailers to present the Yarnell's Ice Cream Co.

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TV Production To Move To Detroit

January 17, 2012 7:42 am

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Minnesota electronics company plans to manufacture flat-screen televisions at a plant in suburban Detroit under a partnership with a Michigan-based business. Element Electronics plans to hire about 100 workers at the plant in Wayne County's Canton Township under the agreement with Lotus International Co.

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USM Shifts Focus After Govt Cancels Contracts

January 17, 2012 7:39 am | by James Haggerty

WYOMING, Pa. (AP) — WYOMING - After the government canceled five of the 10 contract orders it placed at USM Aerostructures Corp. in 2011, company President Ernesto Jurado decided to shift focus. "This year, we have no intention of going after government work," said Jurado, whose company makes parts for military jets and helicopters and whose customers include defense giants Boeing, Sikorsky and Lockheed-Martin.

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Average Age Of U.S. Autos Hits 10.8 Years

January 17, 2012 7:36 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — That clunker in America's driveway has reached a record old age, but there are signs that people may be growing confident enough in the economy to get a whiff of that fresh new car scent very soon. The average age of a car or truck in the U.S. hit a record 10.8 years last year as job security and other economic worries kept many people from making big-ticket purchases such as a new car.

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American Crystal Calls Union Offer 'Stunt'

January 17, 2012 7:33 am

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — American Crystal Sugar Co. on Monday rejected a proposal to end the cooperative's six-month lockout of its factory workers in three states, calling it a "publicity stunt" by the leadership of the union that represents them. Separately, the Moorhead, Minn.

Malaysia Auto Sales To Grow After 2011 Drop

January 17, 2012 4:14 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Auto sales in Malaysia fell unexpectedly by 0.9 percent in 2011 but will rebound to grow a modest 2.5 percent this year, underpinned by a robust domestic economy, an industry group said Tuesday. Sales fell to 599,877 vehicles last year after production was disrupted by Japan's earthquake and tsunami in March and then by crippling floods in Thailand, said the Malaysian Automotive Association.

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Deere CEO Gets 35 Percent Pay Hike

January 17, 2012 4:11 am | by Josh Funk, AP Business Writer

Deere & Co.'s CEO got a 35 percent pay hike in 2011 as the world's largest maker of agricultural equipment continued to generate strong global sales and sizeable profits, according to documents filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company's filings show Samuel Allen received compensation worth $16.

Woman Demolishes UK Factory Where Dad Killed

January 17, 2012 4:08 am

LONDON (AP) — It was a daily reminder of the death of her father in a British industrial accident — but a mother of two says she feels relief after she was given the chance to demolish the factory where he was killed. Sarah Griffiths won a competition to lead the demolition Sunday of a tower owned by Campbell's Soup food manufacturer.

Olympus Probe Finds 5 Auditors Responsible

January 17, 2012 4:06 am | by Malcolm Foster, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — An internal investigation at Olympus Corp. found that five current and former auditors are responsible for a combined 8.38 billion yen ($109 million) in losses linked to the Japanese company's accounting scandal, and plans to sue them. The panel's report released Tuesday said it found two accounting firms hired by Olympus as external auditors, KPMG Azsa LLC and Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC, had not violated their fiduciary duties.

China's Economic Growth Lowest In 2 Years

January 17, 2012 4:04 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — China appears on track to avoid an abrupt economic slowdown with possible global repercussions after growth eased to a still robust 8.9 percent in the last quarter of 2011. The expansion in the world's second-largest economy was the slowest in 2 1/2 years but December retail sales and factory output accelerated, data showed Tuesday.

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