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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Obama Pushes Veterans Jobs Programs

February 6, 2012 2:39 pm | by Kevin Freking, Associated Press

In an effort to cut the unemployment rate among veterans, President Barack Obama is calling for a new conservation program that would put veterans to work rebuilding trails, roads and levees on public lands.

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U.S. Ends Spat With EU, Japan Over Dumping

February 6, 2012 2:36 pm | by The Associated Press

U.S. trade officials say under a deal signed Monday in Geneva the U.S. will bring the way it determines tariffs on goods exported at below-market price into line with World Trade Organization rules.

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China Bars Its Airlines From Paying Carbon Tax

February 6, 2012 2:32 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

China announced Monday it will prohibit its airlines from paying European Union charges on carbon emissions, ratcheting up a global dispute over the cost of combating climate change.

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Orthopedics Maker To Pay $22M For Bribes

February 6, 2012 2:28 pm | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer

Smith & Nephew has agreed to pay $22.2M to settle criminal and civil allegations that it bribed doctors to win business.

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Prius Remains Top Seller

February 6, 2012 10:40 am | by The Associated Press

The Prius hybrid of Toyota Motor Corp. more than doubled from a year earlier in January to 29,108 units, staying as Japan's best-selling vehicle for the eighth consecutive month, industry bodies said.

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Mitsubishi To Stop Making Cars In Western Europe

February 6, 2012 10:38 am | by Toby Sterling, AP Business Writer

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Monday it will stop building cars at its Netherlands factory — the company's only plant in Western Europe — at the end of 2012.

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Jobless Rate At 8.3 Percent

February 6, 2012 10:35 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

The unemployment rate came down by two notches from December. It has fallen five months in a row, the first time that has happened since 1994.

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CAT Closure A Blow To Canada Mfg

February 6, 2012 10:32 am | by The Associated Press

Facing new competition from low-cost countries, the sector faces a tough future.

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GM Says Most Of Its Dealers Will Upgrade

February 6, 2012 10:28 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

The upgrades include more modern interiors and some dealers might also open cafes or salons.

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Apple, Motorola In Germany Patent Struggle

February 6, 2012 10:24 am | by The Associated Press

Apple has temporarily blocked Motorola's attempt to have it withdraw iPhone and iPad models from its Internet store in Germany.

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Electrolux Says Q4 Profits Plunged

February 3, 2012 7:08 am | by Louise Nordstrom, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish appliance maker Electrolux AB saw its profits plunge in the fourth quarter in an increasingly competitive market as the pressure on prices increased and the sector was hit by higher raw-material costs and weaker demand. Electrolux reported Thursday a net profit of just 6 million kronor ($885,000) in the fourth quarter, far below the 860 million posted in the same three-month period a year ago.

Steel Wire Company Sheds Almost 2,000 Jobs

February 3, 2012 7:06 am

BRUSSELS (AP) — The steel wire company Bekaert has announced it is shedding 1,250 jobs in China and 600 in its Belgian home base to face market uncertainty and bad economic times. The company said Thursday it is downsizing its operations and 11,000-strong staff in China following low demand for sawing wire, overcapacity and a drop in prices.

Motorola Makes Apple Pull iPhones In Germany

February 3, 2012 7:04 am

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Apple Inc. says it has withdrawn several iPhone and iPad models from its Internet store in Germany because of a legal dispute with Motorola Mobility. The move is in response to a ruling Motorola won against Ireland-based Apple Sales International Inc., from a court in Mannheim, Germany.

Factory Orders Up 1.1 Percent In December

February 3, 2012 7:02 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories rose in December, supported by a rebound in business investment in capital goods such as heavy machinery. The results cap off another strong year for U.S. manufacturing. Combined with strong figures released Thursday on job growth in January, they signal the economic recovery is gathering strength.

KY Plant To Be Featured In Super Bowl Ad

February 3, 2012 6:58 am

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) — A central Kentucky Toyota manufacturing plant will get a moment in the Super Bowl spotlight when it is featured in a 60-second ad scheduled to run during the pregame show. The commercial opens with scenes of the state's bluegrass countryside covered by an early morning fog.

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CAT Closes Locked Out Plant In Canada

February 3, 2012 6:57 am | by Rob Gillies,Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. said Friday it will close its locomotive plant in Canada, where workers have been locked out since the start of the year. Caterpillar subsidiary Progress Rail Services said in a statement that the cost structure of the Electro-Motive plant was not sustainable and efforts to negotiate a new labor agreement failed.

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Truck Maker Volvo's Q4 Profit Rockets

February 3, 2012 4:15 am | by Louise Nordstrom, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish truck maker AB Volvo recorded a 46 percent rise in fourth-quarter profits after a surge in sales it described as the best it has seen in more than two decades. The company said Friday that its net profit shot up to 4.7 billion ($700 million) in the three-month period, up drastically from 3.

Brazil May Break Car Agreement With Mexico

February 3, 2012 4:13 am | by Marco Sibaja, Associated Press

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil may end a decade-old automotive trade pact with Mexico and start charging tariffs on cars imported from that country as it battles a growing trade deficit in the sector, the government and local media said Thursday. The 2002 agreement for the import and export of cars and parts with Mexico "is being reviewed," said trade secretary Tatiana Prazeres, according to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade's press office.

Fewer Seek Unemployment Aid

February 3, 2012 4:11 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to a level that signaled a steadily improving job market. The figures came one day before the government is expected to report that January marked another solid month for hiring. Unemployment applications fell 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

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Chrysler To Add 1,800 Jobs At IL Plant

February 3, 2012 4:09 am | by David Mercer, Jason Keyser, Associated Press

BELVIDERE, Ill. (AP) — Chrysler said Thursday that it is hiring 1,800 new workers and increasing production at its plant in Belvidere, a once-dominant manufacturing area that now has the state's highest unemployment rate and has been battered by the economic downturn. The news, some said, should provide both financial and psychological boosts to a region — including nearby Rockford — more accustomed to headlines about layoffs and closures.

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