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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Investigates Toyota Highlander Hybrids For Stalling

February 23, 2011 3:49 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government has opened a preliminary investigation into reports of stalling engines in more than 40,000 Toyota Highlander hybrids. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website it had received 32 complaints alleging stalling engines in Highlander hybrids from the 2006 model year.

Apotheker: HP Has Grown Too Big For Its Own Good

February 23, 2011 3:40 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co.'s new CEO Leo Apotheker delivered some disappointing news to Wall Street on Tuesday after his first full quarter with the technology company. Revenue growth, a persistent worry for companies of HP's size, will be slower this year than many analysts had envisioned.

Chinese Manufacturer Accuses Motorola Of Selling Its Secrets

February 23, 2011 3:33 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei has won a preliminary injunction from a U.S. court barring Motorola Inc. from transferring business secrets in a planned deal with Nokia Siemens Networks. The order by a federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday prohibits Motorola, which is a vendor of Huawei equipment, from transferring any confidential information about the Chinese company pending resolution of the dispute.

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Detroit Mayor Bing: Yes, We're Making A Comeback

February 23, 2011 3:25 am | by Corey Williams, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — For at least one night, Detroit's troubled economy, blighted neighborhoods and budget problems played second fiddle to Mayor Dave Bing's guarded optimism that the Motor City slowly is driving toward a better future. Bing's annual State of the City address Tuesday night even opened with a popular Chrysler 200 sedan television ad that makes no apology for Detroit's grittiness and features a voiceover that says the city has survived going through "hell and back.

Ford Cracks Under Pressure, Recalls 150,000 F-150s

February 23, 2011 3:23 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under government pressure, Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it will recall nearly 150,000 F-150 pickup trucks to fix air bags that could deploy without warning. The recall covers trucks from the 2005-2006 model years in the United States and Canada for what the auto company calls a "relatively low risk" of the air bag deploying inadvertently.

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Alcoa's CEO Sees Compensation Rise To $12.3 Million

February 23, 2011 3:20 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer

The CEO of Alcoa Inc. saw his compensation rise about 10 percent last year, to $12.3 million, as the aluminum company posted its first full-year profit after two years of losses, according to an Associated Press calculation from the company's proxy statement. The salary for Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld was unchanged at $1.

This Week's Job Market: Some Good, Some Bad

February 22, 2011 3:55 am

230 to be laid off from NC Slim Jim plant  GARNER, N.C. (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. is laying off 230 workers from a Slim Jim production facility in North Carolina that was damaged during a deadly explosion in 2009. The Omaha, Neb.-based food manufacturer has notified state officials in a letter released Monday that the layoffs will take place in the middle of April.

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U.S., Europe Battle Over Massive Japanese Jet Contract

February 22, 2011 3:43 am | by Eric Talmadge, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — In a deal that could be worth billions of dollars and determine one of the primary fighter jets in Asia for decades to come, European aircraft makers are trying to convince Japan to do something it has never done before — snub America. U.S. planes have long been Tokyo's overwhelming favorite, but Japan appears to be wobbling under a strong sales pitch for the Eurofighter Typhoon, coupled with problems and restrictions that have made the American alternatives less attractive.

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None Hurt After Lightning Ignites Explosion At Iowa Plant

February 22, 2011 3:37 am

OELWEIN, Iowa (AP) — An explosion Sunday morning at a feed plant north of Oelwein was likely sparked by a lightning strike, a fire official said. No injuries were reported in the blast at the International Ingredient Corp. facility. Oelwein Fire Chief Wallace Rundle said six people were inside the plant but got out safely before firefighters arrived.

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Obama: Science, Math Education Critical To Private Sector

February 22, 2011 3:34 am | by Erica Werner, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says improving math and science education is essential to helping the U.S. compete globally, and he wants the private sector to get involved in making it happen. Obama recorded his weekly radio and Internet address during a visit this past week to Intel Corp.

Medtronics To Lay Off Up To 2,000 Workers

February 22, 2011 3:31 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Medtronic, the world's largest medical device maker, said Tuesday it will lay off up to 2,000 workers as part of a restructuring effort amid sluggish sales of its implants. The company said the cuts are aimed at achieving "long-term sustainable growth" and will reduce its work force by 4 to 5 percent.

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One Sign Of Recovery: Businesses Are Borrowing Again

February 22, 2011 3:28 am | by Pallavi Gogoi, AP Business Writer

Martin Foil's company sells yarn that winds up in clothes from the Gap, Ralph Lauren and American Apparel, and business is growing. He's buying new machines and hopes to hire as many as 200 workers this year. When he decided to expand into a shuttered yarn factory in North Carolina, he borrowed $11 million recently from Wells Fargo to buy it.

Electrolux Bringing 225 Jobs To Augusta, Ga.

February 18, 2011 5:36 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — One of the world's largest appliance manufacturers is bringing 225 customer service jobs to Augusta. Electrolux is spending $2.5 million to renovate an existing facility for its North American major appliances expanded customer care center. According to a statement released by Gov.

Ill. Pork Plant Job Openings Draw 2,000 Applicants

February 18, 2011 5:29 am

RANTOUL, Ill. (AP) — Almost 2,000 people have apllied for what will be about 150 jobs at an eastern Illinois pork processing plant expected to reopen this spring. James Jendruczek is the president of J&A Investors. The firm owns a company called Trim-Rite Foods Inc. that will operate the plant in Rantoul.

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Calif. Company Develops Robotic 'Hummingbird'

February 18, 2011 5:26 am

MONROVIA, Calif. (AP) — A California company says it has demonstrated controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight by a camera-equipped micro aircraft that flies like a hummingbird. Monrovia-based AeroVironment on Thursday released video of the remotely controlled Nano Hummingbird it developed for the U.

Ford Teams Up With Sollers To Sell Cars In Russia

February 18, 2011 5:20 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Ford Motor Co. plans to team up with a Russian automaker to make and distribute cars in the country. The announcement came shortly after Italian automaker Fiat SpA backed out of a potential partnership with the same Russian company. Fiat and Russian automaker Sollers had signed a memorandum of understanding last year to produce up to 500,000 vehicles a year in Russia in a bid to become the country's second-largest car maker.

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Chinese Stealth Fighters Have 'Long Road' To Superiority

February 18, 2011 3:59 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will retain a far bigger fleet of top-end fighter planes than China for years to come despite Beijing's early test of a Stealth-style jet that has stoked concern over its military buildup, the U.S. defense chief said Thursday Defense Secretary Robert Gates told lawmakers that China faces a "long road" before deploying its J-20 stealth fighter in any numbers, and predicted a continuing "huge disparity" compared with America's fleet of low-observable aircraft.

Are Employers Weeding Out The Chronically Jobless?

February 18, 2011 3:40 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Are some companies weeding out job applicants just because they are unemployed? After news accounts about the practice and requests from concerned lawmakers, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has jumped in, trying to figure out whether it's a widespread tactic that could violate federal job discrimination laws.

Ex-Chrysler Dealers Sue Gov't Over Bailout Closures

February 18, 2011 3:37 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of car dealers who lost their businesses in Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy sued the government Thursday, claiming their dealer franchises were closed without adequate compensation. The 64 former Chrysler dealers said in the lawsuit that the Treasury Department violated their constitutional rights by failing to compensate them for taking their auto businesses.

China On 'High Alert' For More Tainted Milk

February 18, 2011 3:33 am | by Alexa Olesen, Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — China has warned dairy producers that inspectors are on alert for fresh milk tainted with the industrial chemical melamine and another toxic substance extracted from leather scraps. Both additives — melamine and hydrolyzed leather protein — would make dairy products made with watered-down milk appear to have normal amounts of protein.

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