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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM's Hourly Workers Could Get Highest-Ever Bonuses

February 9, 2011 3:42 am

DETROIT (AP) — Hourly workers at General Motors Co. could get $3,000 or more in profit-sharing this year, their biggest checks ever, according to a newspaper report Tuesday. The Detroit company, just a year and a half out of bankruptcy protection, made $4.2 billion in the first three quarters of this year and is expected to post a fourth-quarter profit in the coming weeks.

'Reshoring' Group Aims To Bring Manufacturing To Illinois

February 9, 2011 3:39 am

In his Jan 25, 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama focused on the need to create jobs, especially manufacturing and technical jobs, and the challenge of doing so in an increasingly competitive world.  The Illinois Reshoring Initiative today announces its program to apply the principles of the national Reshoring Initiative to revitalize Illinois manufacturing by reshoring: bringing back many of the most desirable jobs that have been lost to decades of offshoring.

GM: Chinese Sales Reach Month-To-Month High

February 9, 2011 3:33 am

SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors Co. says its vehicle sales in China, the world's largest auto market, hit a monthly record high of 268,071 in January, though year-on-year growth was sharply lower. GM said Wednesday that its sales in China in January rose 22.3 percent from a year earlier, a much smaller increase than the 97 percent growth seen in January 2010, when sales totaled 219,192 vehicles.

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Consultant Gets 2 1/2 Years For Stealing 'Gorilla' Glass

February 9, 2011 3:30 am

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A California consultant drew a reduced 2 1/2-year prison sentence Tuesday for conspiring to steal highly valuable flat-panel-glass blueprints from Corning Inc. and turn them over to a rival business in Taiwan. Yeong Lin, 70, of Fountain Valley, Calif., pleaded guilty in June 2007 to a federal charge of theft of trade secrets.

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Gov't: No Electronic Flaws Caused Toyota Crashes

February 9, 2011 3:26 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Electronic flaws weren't to blame for the reports of sudden, unintended acceleration that led to the recall of thousands of Toyota vehicles, the government said Tuesday. Some of the acceleration cases could have been caused by mechanical defects — sticking accelerator pedals and gas pedals that can become trapped in floor mats — that have been dealt with in recalls, the government said.

Boeing Begins Production At MidAmerica Assembly Plant

February 8, 2011 4:05 am

MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — The Boeing Corp. says it has begun production at its new military aircraft assembly plant at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah. The Chicago-based aerospace giant announced Monday that it has 14 employees at work at the building that was formerly the airport's 50,000-square-foot warehouse.

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Gov't To Release Findings On Toyota Investigation

February 8, 2011 3:51 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is completing a 10-month investigation into runaway Toyotas, preparing a review that could address whether faulty electronics played a role in the Japanese automaker's safety recalls. The Transportation Department said it would issue on Tuesday the findings of its study, which has examined whether electronics or electromagnetic interference played a factor in Toyota Motor Corp.

AP: Manufacturing Lowers 'Main Street' Economic Stress

February 8, 2011 3:42 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Mike Schneider, Associated Press

The nation's economic stress inched up in December because higher foreclosures outweighed lower unemployment, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis. Bankruptcy levels remained largely unchanged from November. But the depressed housing market took a toll. Foreclosure rates rose in 33 states, most sharply in Utah, New Jersey, Nevada and Arizona.

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Super Bowl Ad Recharges Love Of Detroit Automaking

February 8, 2011 3:39 am | by Jeff Karoub and Mike Householder, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — To a pulsating beat, hip-hop star Eminem drives a sleek Chrysler through the streets of Detroit, proudly cruising by the city's landmarks, towering skyscrapers and the hopeful faces of its people. His journey ends with an unapologetic message: "This is the Motor City, and this is what we do.

Intel Continues Shipping Faulty Chips, Makes Buyers Promise

February 8, 2011 3:35 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Intel Corp. has resumed shipments of a chip with a known flaw. But in order to get it, computer makers must promise not to use it in designs that trigger the serious performance problem. Intel stopped production of the faulty "chipset" last month, after discovering that it would cause some computers to gradually lose their ability to talk to their hard disk and DVD drives.

Toyota's Quarterly Earnings Drop 39 Percent

February 8, 2011 3:32 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota reported a 39 percent slide in quarterly profit but raised its full-year forecasts as business booms in Asia and other emerging markets while image problems linger in the U.S. The results show a mixed picture for the world's biggest automaker, which is enjoying robust sales in Asia, Africa and South America while still trying to repair its reputation in the key U.

Michigan Man Develops Car With 'Universal' Parts

February 7, 2011 4:03 am | by Jameson Cook, The Associated Press

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (AP) — Colin Kelly Sikkila has an idea he believes helps make vehicles more affordable for car buyers and more profitable for automakers. A retired metal model maker at the General Motors Tech Center in Warren, Sikkila designed a model car that could be used as a blueprint for building a car with several identical parts on the front and back, such as the hood and trunk lids, doors, fenders and windows.

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Despite Hubbub, U.S. Does Not Cite China For Currency

February 7, 2011 3:58 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration declined to cite China for manipulating its currency to gain trade advantages against the United States. The Treasury Department on Friday noted that China last June said it would begin allowing its currency to rise against the dollar. The agency said the pace of revaluation has been too slow since and more rapid appreciation is needed.

Ford To Expand U.S. Production By 13 Percent

February 7, 2011 3:50 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ford Motor Co. will increase factory production 13 percent in the first quarter because of higher demand for Ford and Lincoln brand cars and trucks, and further increases are likely through the year, company executives said Sunday. The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker said its sales to individual buyers rose 27 percent in January, a strong increase that shows demand for Ford products like the Explorer sport utility vehicle is on the rise.

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Chrysler CEO Complains About 'Shyster Rates' Of Bailout Interest

February 7, 2011 3:49 am | by The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Chrysler's CEO apologized Saturday for the way he described the interest rates the U.S. and Canadian governments are charging on the bailouts his company received in 2008 and 2009. Sergio Marchionne, speaking Friday during an automotive conference in San Francisco, called the interest rates a "thorn" in his side and said that refinancing the two loans would mean no longer having to explain the "shyster rates.

Despite High Unemployment, Layoffs Decline Rapidly

February 7, 2011 3:46 am | by Derek Kravitz and Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. labor force has been split into two groups: the relieved and the desperate. Those who have a job are less likely to lose it than at any point in at least 14 years. Those who are unemployed are in trouble. Finding a job remains a struggle 20 months after the recession technically ended.

Obama, Business Leaders Seek Common Ground

February 7, 2011 3:42 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Barack Obama named Gene Sperling as his chief economic adviser, two of Sperling's early calls went to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue. Known for his pugilistic style, Donohue wasted no time. Come on over, he said.

Obama Proposes Energy Efficiency Tax Credits

February 4, 2011 3:58 am | by Ben Feller, AP White House Correspondent

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — President Barack Obama, turning briefly to his eclipsed domestic agenda Thursday, called on the nation's businesses to make fresh investments in clean energy technology that lay a foundation for long-term American prosperity. He proposed a new tax credit and other measures to encourage businesses to retrofit their plants and reduce costs — steps that he said would save $40 billion a year in utility bills.

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Photo Of The Week: American Productivity

February 4, 2011 3:47 am

In this Jan. 26, 2011 photo, Terri Lewis installs a fan on a diesel engine on the Volvo truck assembly line at the Volvo plant in Dublin, Va. The work force was more efficient last year with productivity rising at the fastest pace in eight years while labor costs fell for a second straight year, something that hasn't happened in nearly five decades.

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Prius Falls Hard From Top-Selling Spot In Japan

February 4, 2011 3:39 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Honda's Fit subcompact overtook Toyota's Prius gasoline-electric hybrid as Japan's top-selling car in January, its first return to that spot in nearly two years. The figures released Friday by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association show how the end of government subsidies for green cars have hurt sales of the Prius after holding the top spot in Japan for 20 straight months.

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