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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Apple Rumored To Unveil 'iPad 2' Today

March 2, 2011 4:04 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple Inc. is expected to unveil the second generation of its wildly successful iPad Wednesday at a media event in San Francisco. Apple sold more than 15 million of the original touch-screen tablet computers in the first nine months on the market. An updated device will help the company widen its head start against competitors, most of whom are just beginning to sell their first tablets.

Economy Perks Up After 217,000 Jobs Added In February

March 2, 2011 4:00 am | by David K. Randall, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures reversed course and pointed to a higher opening Wednesday after a report said that private companies are adding more jobs than economists had expected. Payroll-processor ADP said that private-sector employment increased by 217,000 from January to February on a seasonally-adjusted basis, well above the 180,000 new jobs that analysts had predicted.

Buffett: Economy Doesn't Need So Much Coddling

March 2, 2011 3:50 am | by Josh Funk, AP Business Writer

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett says the U.S. economy continues to improve and doesn't need as much government help as it is currently getting. Buffett appeared Wednesday on CNBC four days after releasing his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholders. The CEO says most of the businesses Berkshire owns, except the ones that make housing-related products, continue to inch along and improve.

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Calif. Startup Manufactures EVs In China, Sells In U.S.

March 2, 2011 3:38 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — A startup California developer of electric cars said Wednesday its first model will be manufactured in China and go on sale in the United States this year. CODA Automotive Inc.'s four-door sedan will be produced by a Chinese partner based on one of its models that has been adapted for electric drive and to meet U.

Nissan Unveils New Leaf-Based Sports Car

March 2, 2011 3:34 am

GENEVA (AP) — What do you get if you cross Nissan's Leaf electric compact with one of the Japanese car maker's Z-car racers? Possibly the Esflow, an unlikely mashup the Yokohama-based constructor unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show this week. On the outside it's all flash, with a gleaming silver aluminum body and sexy sportscar curves inspired by Nissan's long racing lineage.

In A Good Omen, Automotive Sales Rise 27 Percent

March 2, 2011 3:28 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — A 27 percent increase in U.S. auto sales last month is a good sign for the industry despite political volatility in the Middle East and rising oil prices, a Citi Investment Research analyst said Wednesday. Analyst Itay Michaeli said in a note to investors that U.S. sales of 990,000 cars and trucks for February came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13.

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Fuel Prices Force Automakers To Think Greener

March 1, 2011 3:54 am | by Colleen Barry, Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — Just when carmakers thought it safe to roll out new models in the wake of the economic crisis — 170 premiers are advertised for the Geneva Auto Show opening this week — a spike in fuel prices has cast a new shadow over the industry and redoubled attention on green technologies.

U.S. Manufacturing Hits New High Since May 2004

March 1, 2011 3:38 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturers likely increased production at a slightly faster pace in February than in January, when output rose at the quickest pace since May 2004. Economists forecast that the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index ticked up to 60.9 in February from 60.

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UAW, Caterpillar Avoid Walkout With New Contract

March 1, 2011 3:33 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The United Auto Workers say the union has reached a tentative labor agreement with Caterpillar Inc., averting a possible walkout. The UAW says the tentative six-year deal was reached Monday night. Union members will vote on it this weekend. Both Caterpillar and the union issued releases on the agreement Monday night, but neither revealed any details about the proposed contract.

Harley's Kansas City Union Approve $15 Million In Cuts

March 1, 2011 3:28 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Union workers at the Harley-Davidson plant in Kansas City approved a contract that the company says was needed to keep the plant in Missouri. The seven-year contract approved Monday will mean the loss of about 145 full-time workers. The company will add about 145 positions for workers to fill in when needed.

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Body Armor Contractor Execs Charged With Fraud

March 1, 2011 3:24 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators on Monday charged a U.S. defense contractor and three of its former board members with accounting fraud, saying the company overstated earnings to investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission said DHB Industries Inc. settled the civil charges without receiving any penalty.

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Illegal Immigrant-Hirer Now Faces Discrimination Lawsuit

March 1, 2011 3:18 am | by Holbrook Mohr, Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi company that pleaded guilty to conspiracy related to the nation's largest workplace raid on illegal immigrants is now facing a lawsuit accusing it of discriminating against non-immigrants who applied for jobs. A discrimination lawsuit filed Friday in U.

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Toyota: Our 'Crown Jewel' Is Source Code, Not Cars

February 28, 2011 3:59 am | by Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press

SANTA ANA, California (AP) — A federal judge overseeing lawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp. for sudden acceleration problems indicated Friday that he will allow the automaker to monitor plaintiffs' access to its proprietary source code. And he proposed a number of other ways to prevent leaks of what Toyota says is the "crown jewel" of its intellectual property.

Auto Industry Can't Catch A Break As Gas Prices Rise

February 28, 2011 3:54 am | by Colleen Barry, Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — The car industry, it seems, just can't get a break. Just when automakers thought it safe to roll out new models in the wake of the devastating economic crisis — 170 premiers are advertised for the Geneva Auto Show opening this week — confidence is shaken by a spike in oil prices due to civil unrest in Libya and other energy-producing nations.

Buffett: It's Time To Be Optimistic About Our Future

February 28, 2011 3:50 am | by Josh Funk, AP Business Writer

OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett wants Americans to be optimistic about the country's future but wary about borrowing money and the games public companies play with profit numbers they report. Buffett said in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders Saturday that he still believes America's best days are ahead.

Boeing's Helena Workers Get Two-Decade Job Security

February 28, 2011 3:41 am

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Workers at a plant in Helena recently acquired by Boeing will likely have steady work for another two decades following the Air Force's decision to award a $35 billion defense contract to the company, a Boeing spokesman said. The Helena facility makes the main landing gear beams for 767 widebody jetliners, which the Air Force intends to use for its new fleet of aerial refueling tankers.

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Mazda Forced To Pay Family For Worker Suicide

February 28, 2011 3:39 am | by Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese court on Monday ordered automaker Mazda to pay 63 million yen ($770,000) in damages to the parents of an employee who was ruled to have committed suicide over depression from being overworked. Japan, a workaholic nation where people often take pride in suffering in silence, has been plagued with deaths of overworked people, some resorting to suicide and others dying from exhaustion.

Bi-Partisan Effort Battles Business To Overhaul Patents

February 28, 2011 3:34 am | by Jim Abrams, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The patent system hasn't changed much since 1952 when Sony was coming out with its first pocket-size transistor radio, and bar codes and Mr. Potato Head were among the inventions patented. Now, after years of trying, Congress may be about to do something about that. The Senate is taking up the Patent Reform Act, which would significantly overhaul a 1952 law and, supporters say, bring the patent system in line with 21st century technology of biogenetics and artificial intelligence.

Survey: Business Still Volatile, But Improving

February 25, 2011 6:11 am

Sixty-four percent of finance executives expect the overall economy in 2011 to fare better than in 2010 — an optimistic outlook reflected by reports of improving economic conditions, reduced fears of a “double-dip” recovery and increased expectations for revenue growth. These results are part of the findings of a quarterly poll of finance executives conducted in December 2010 by Adaptive Planning and the Business Performance Innovation Network.

Clinton: Ethanol Fuel Could Lead To Food Riots Worldwide

February 25, 2011 3:41 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — With global food prices rising and more corn being diverted to the production of ethanol fuel, Bill Clinton is warning of food riots in poor nations. The former president told farmers and Agriculture Department employees on Thursday that while producing biofuels is important for reducing America's dependence on foreign oil, farmers should also look beyond domestic production and consider the needs of developing countries.

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