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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

After 107 Years, Harley-Davidson Could Leave Milwaukee

August 4, 2010 4:17 am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — It's the roar that made Milwaukee famous — the distinctive throaty rumble of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. But that much-loved racket could be rumbling away to another state if the company cannot bring down its labor costs. Harley-Davidson warned employees in April that it will move its Wisconsin manufacturing operations elsewhere if it cannot cut millions of dollars at the factories that build the bikes known as "Milwaukee Iron.

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Toyota Earns $2.2 Billion, Shedding Safety Concerns

August 4, 2010 4:13 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota reported a quarterly profit of $2.2 billion, reversing from red ink a year earlier as the world's top automaker benefited from a global sales recovery that offset lingering doubts about the safety of its cars. The company, which makes the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid, raised its full year earnings forecast Wednesday, and said it now expects to sell 7.

Boeing Moves Programs To Okla. For Lower Costs

August 3, 2010 4:55 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Boeing Co. announced Monday it will move two defense programs and an expected 550 engineering jobs from California to Oklahoma City in the next two years. Boeing will move its C-130 Avionics Modernization program beginning in the first quarter of 2011. Its B-1 program is expected to move toward the end of 2012.

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BMW Earnings Surge On Automotive Recovery

August 3, 2010 4:27 am | by Geir Moulson, Associated Press Writer

BERLIN (AP) — Second-quarter earnings at luxury car maker BMW AG surged to €834 million ($1.1 billion) as better selling prices and robust demand in China helped drive a strong increase in revenues, the company said Tuesday. The company's April-June profit was above market expectations and up from €121 million a year earlier, while revenues climbed 18.

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Ford Scrambles To Upgrade Overshadowed Pickups

August 3, 2010 4:23 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co.'s 2011 heavy-duty pickups just came out in April, but already the company is boosting the power in their diesel engines and giving free upgrades to owners. Ford said it just wants to give its Super Duty trucks all the horsepower they're capable of. But there's another motive: The Super Duty's power was recently eclipsed by General Motors Co.

9 Killed During Shooting At Beer Distributor

August 3, 2010 4:22 am | by Stephen Singer, Associated Press Writer

MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — A warehouse driver who was asked to resign his job at a beer distributor went on a shooting rampage Tuesday morning that left nine people dead, including himself, and others wounded, company and state officials said. The number of dead was confirmed by a Connecticut government official who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

China's Fuel-Guzzling Economy Crushes Green Efforts

August 3, 2010 4:20 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Government efforts to make China's fuel-guzzling economy more efficient suffered a setback this year as surging growth drove a boom in steelmaking and other energy-intensive industries. Beijing is in the final year of a five-year campaign to cut energy intensity, or energy consumed per unit of economic output, by 20 percent to curb pollution and dependence on foreign oil and gas.

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HP Agrees To Settle On Kickback Case

August 3, 2010 4:19 am

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. said Monday that it has agreed in principle to settle a lawsuit by the Department of Justice, which alleged that HP and other technology companies paid kickbacks to Accenture PLC in exchange for recommendations for government work. HP denied "engaging in any illegal conduct.

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Chinese Manufacturing Continues To Wind Down

August 2, 2010 4:30 am

BEIJING (AP) — Expansion of Chinese manufacturing activity slowed for the third month in July, as production, new orders and purchasing prices all declined, a survey showed Sunday. The state-affiliated China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its purchasing managers index, or PMI, fell to 51.

ISM Index Shows Slowing Of Manufacturing Growth

August 2, 2010 4:29 am

NEW YORK (AP) — As fears build that the recovery from the recession is petering out, analysts expect the manufacturing sector grew more slowly in July. A swell of production in factories has helped lead the rebound for about a year as exports increased and companies rebuilt their stocks of supplies and goods.

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CAT Chooses N.C. For Parts Plant, 500 Jobs

August 2, 2010 4:28 am

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. said Friday it will build a parts plant for large mining machines and it expects to employ about 510 full-time and contract workers in five years. Construction is scheduled to begin in November on the Winston-Salem factory where workers will machine, assemble, test and paint axle assemblies for large mining machines.

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Geely Completes Acquisition Of Volvo

August 2, 2010 4:27 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Geely Holding Group completed its acquisition of Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo unit Monday in a $1.5 billion deal that gives the small-but-ambitious Chinese automaker a global brand and huge management challenges. The legendary Swedish automaker is China's biggest foreign auto acquisition and an unusually large deal for a private Chinese company.

Huntsville-Built 'Hermes' Becomes A Help For Soldiers

August 2, 2010 4:25 am | by Kenneth Kesner, Associated Press Writer

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — There are eyes and brains on the table at Advanced Optical Systems, next to a big metal hand with a powerful grip. The rugged little cameras, black boxes of bristling circuit boards, LED beacons and the automatic cargo hook assembly housed in what looks like a desktop beer keg are part of the company's Hermes autonomous pickup and delivery system.

'Gorilla' Glass Gets Revived After 50 Years

August 2, 2010 4:24 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

CORNING, N.Y. (AP) — An ultra-strong glass that has been looking for a purpose since its invention in 1962 is poised to become a multibillion-dollar bonanza for Corning Inc. The 159-year-old glass pioneer is ramping up production of what it calls Gorilla glass, expecting it to be the hot new face of touch-screen tablets and high-end TVs.

Honda Posts Record Profit, Mazda Minimizes Losses

July 30, 2010 5:10 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Honda's quarterly profit ballooned to a record $3.2 billion while Mazda reduced its losses, rounding out a tale of recovery among Japanese automakers. Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. have also reported stronger results but the prospect of a continued recovery for the Japanese automakers remains shaky.

Economic Recovery Idles As Consumers Close Wallets

July 30, 2010 5:05 am | by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The recovery lost momentum in the second quarter as growth slowed to a 2.4 percent pace, its most sluggish showing in nearly a year and too weak to drive down unemployment. Weaker spending by consumers, less growth coming from companies restocking shrunken stockpiles and a bigger drag from the nation's trade deficits were the main factors behind the second quarter's slowdown.

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Will CAT Choose North Carolina?

July 30, 2010 4:30 am

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina hopes to be picked as the site for a new plant planned by heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. that will employ about 500 employees and contract workers. An official announcement on the company's decision is expected Friday afternoon. Sites in Forsyth County, Spartanburg, S.

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Obama Heads To Michigan To Tout Auto Bailout

July 30, 2010 4:28 am | by Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is going to the heart of the U.S. auto industry to push an important election-year claim: his administration's unpopular auto industry bailout has turned into an economic good-news story. With Americans facing a still-limping economy and potentially pivotal congressional elections in three months, the White House sees progress in the auto industry as a concrete area of improvement — and one with direct ties to the president's own actions.

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Kia Tallies 61 Percent Surge In 2Q Profit

July 30, 2010 4:26 am

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Kia Motors posted a 61 percent surge in quarterly profit, boosted by sales of popular new models in South Korea and increased demand overseas. Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co., earned 557.8 billion won ($471 million) in the April-to-June quarter, it said Friday.

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1 Dead, 2 Sick Due To Mysterious Gas

July 30, 2010 4:22 am

SEWICKLEY, Pa. (AP) — A sewage plant employee became faint and died Thursday while working in a 30-foot hole, and three other people who tried to rescue him were overcome by an unknown gas and had to be hospitalized, officials said. Jack Hogan, 31, of Baden, was the worker who died, said Sewickley Borough Manager Kevin Flannery.

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