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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Organic Food, 700 Jobs Coming To South Carolina

May 11, 2011 9:04 am

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — The California-based organic frozen food producer Amy's Kitchen is coming to South Carolina with $63 million for a new plant and 700 jobs over six years, officials announced Wednesday. Gov. Nikki Haley hailed the development as a major economic win for the region and the state as a whole.

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Philip Morris CEO: Quitting Smoking Is Easy

May 11, 2011 8:58 am | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Tobacco Writer

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — The head of cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc. told a cancer nurse Wednesday that while cigarettes are harmful and addictive, it is not that hard to quit smoking. CEO Louis C. Camilleri 's statement was in response to comments at its annual shareholder meeting in New York, in which the seller of Marlboro and other brands overseas spent most of the gathering sparring with members of anti-tobacco and other corporate accountability groups targeting its marketing and regulatory dealings.

J&J Recalls HIV Drug For Musty Odor

May 11, 2011 8:52 am | by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson is again recalling a prescription drug because of an odd musty odor likely caused by a chemical on shipping pallets. J&J said Wednesday that it's recalling five lots of its HIV medicine Prezista at the wholesale and pharmacy level in five foreign countries: Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

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India's Court Rejects Heftier Charges For Bhopal Disaster

May 11, 2011 5:02 am | by Ravi Nessman, Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's Supreme Court rejected an appeal Wednesday to reinstate stronger charges against seven people convicted of negligence in connection with the 1984 toxic gas leak in Bhopal that killed an estimated 15,000 people. The leak at a Union Carbide plant, the world's worst industrial accident, left thousands more with devastating deformities and other health problems.

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Antitrust Regulators Axe Tyson's Sale Of Va. Plant

May 11, 2011 4:55 am

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — Antitrust regulators have filed a lawsuit to undo the sale of a Tyson Foods Inc.plant in Harrisonburg, Va., saying the deal could hurt competition for farmers in the area. In its civil lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Justice claims the sale would reduce the number of poultry processors around Harrisonburg, giving farmers little choice when it came time to sign contracts to grow chickens.

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U.S.-China Talks Lead To No Currency Progress

May 11, 2011 4:49 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sharp U.S. criticism of China's human rights record overshadowed the results achieved at annual high-level meetings between the world's two largest economies aimed at resolving disputes over trade and foreign policy. After two days of talks, the two sides announced a range of modest agreements aimed at increasing sales opportunities for U.

Chinese Auto Sales Fall For First Time In Two Years

May 11, 2011 4:38 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Auto sales edged lower in China in April, the first such decline in over two years, as dealers were dealt a double whammy from weakening demand and the spillover from Japan's earthquake disaster. Automakers delivered 1.55 million vehicles to buyers in April, down 0.25 percent from a year earlier, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement seen Wednesday on its website.

Execs Convicted Of Bribing Mexican Officials

May 11, 2011 4:35 am | by Greg Risling, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California company and two of its executives were convicted Tuesday of conspiracy charges for bribing government officials at Mexico's state-owned utility in exchange for obtaining lucrative contracts. A federal jury found Keith Lindsey, president of Lindsey Manufacturing Co.

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Toyota's Profit Tumbles 75 Percent After Earthquake

May 11, 2011 4:28 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's quarterly profit crumpled more than 75 percent after the March earthquake and tsunami wiped out parts suppliers in northeastern Japan, severely disrupting car production. The maker of the popular Prius hybrid gave no forecast for the current fiscal year through March 2012, citing an uncertain outlook because production continues to be hampered by shortages of parts.

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Dean Foods Sees 1Q Profits Tumble

May 10, 2011 9:39 am

DALLAS (AP) — The largest U.S. milk producer, Dean Foods Co., said Tuesday that maintaining and raising its prices and expanding to new markets will help it fight falling milk sales and rising costs and meet its brightened earnings forecasts for the rest of the year. Dean Foods, which cut 600 jobs and reduced other costs during the first quarter, said its net income for the period slid 41 percent from a year earlier.

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Warehouse Stock, Sales Rise For 15th Straight Month

May 10, 2011 9:27 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale companies increased their stockpiles for the 15th straight month in March, a sign they expect future sales gains. Supply levels at warehouses rose 1.1 percent in March, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Sales among wholesalers increased 2.9 percent and have risen in eight of the last nine months.

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Toyota Opens First Pipeline-Fed Hydrogen Fueling Station

May 10, 2011 9:17 am

Torrance, Calif. — Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) today celebrated the opening of the first hydrogen fueling station in the U.S. fed directly from an active industrial hydrogen pipeline. The station is a collaborative effort between Toyota, Air Products, Shell, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the Department of Energy (DOE).

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GM To Invest $2 Billion, Create 4,000 U.S. Jobs

May 10, 2011 9:02 am

TOLEDO, Ohio — General Motors Co. announced Tuesday it will invest about $2 billion in U.S. assembly and component plants, creating or preserving more than 4,000 jobs at 17 facilities in eight states. "We are doing this because we are confident about demand for our vehicles and the economy," GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said during an event at the 54-year-old Toledo Transmission Plant.

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Honda Invests $97 Million In Ala. Assembly Plant

May 10, 2011 8:51 am

LINCOLN, Ala. (AP) — Honda Motor Co. Ltd. plans to invest $97 million in its auto assembly plant in Lincoln, creating 20 jobs. The Talladega County Commission voted Monday night to approve the tax abatements for the project, which is expected to be completed in late 2012. The project comes as Honda prepares to add production of the Acura MDX luxury sports utility vehicle to its assembly lines.

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Friend Of Campbell Soup Heir Pleads Guilty To Extortion

May 10, 2011 8:49 am | by Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A longtime friend to a Campbell Soup heiress admits she tried to extort the Pennsylvania billionaire in an email titled "When the Soup Boils." Agnes O'Brien pleaded guilty Tuesday to sending extortionist threats to Mary Alice Dorrance Malone. She'll get six years' probation as part of the plea.

Former GM CEO Dies At 77

May 10, 2011 5:07 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says former Chairman and CEO Robert Stempel has died. The automaker announced Stempel's death in a statement Monday. The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press report he was 77 and died Saturday in Florida. Stempel led the company from 1990-92 until he was forced out in a boardroom coup.

Northrop Grumman Unveils Budget-Friendly Aircraft

May 10, 2011 4:59 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Northrop Grumman Corp. on Monday unveiled a new type of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft that can be flown either robotically or with a pilot aboard. The defense contractor said the Firebird aircraft would allow the military to simultaneously gather real-time high-definition video, view infrared imagery, use radar and eavesdrop on communications.

Fiat Could Own Most Of Chrysler By The Year's End

May 10, 2011 4:50 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Italian automaker Fiat SpA could own more than 70 percent of Chrysler Group within a year once it repays its government loans and exercises other options, Chrysler said Monday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Fiat may acquire the U.S. Treasury's 8.

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Toyota To Throttle Back Up Earlier Than Expected

May 10, 2011 4:44 am

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's global car production, disrupted by parts shortages after Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami, will likely return to normal two to three months earlier than expected, a report said Tuesday. Japans' top business daily Nikkei said Toyota's output will normalize earlier than the end of this year as parts shortages are easing.

Beijing: Want Balanced Trade? Give Us Your Technology

May 10, 2011 4:39 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — China is using high-level meetings to urge the United States to allow more technology exports into the booming Chinese economy as a way of balancing trade. The United States, meanwhile, has criticized the communist-led nation's latest crackdown on democracy advocates, arguing that long-term stability depends on respecting human rights.

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