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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Ford Unveils New Focus To Be Sold Globally

January 11, 2010 3:27 am

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is unveiling the 2012 Focus, a small sedan that is the company's first truly global car. The new Focus, due in European and North American showrooms early next year, was designed and engineered to be sold worldwide using almost all the same parts, unlike past versions.

Cities Struggle To Revive Abandoned Automaking Plants

January 11, 2010 3:23 am | by David Runk and Jeff Karoub, Associated Press Writers

WIXOM, Mich. (AP) — Henry Ford's great-grandson arrived at the shuttered auto plant to brag about a plan to revive the vast empty space: Investors would transform it into a modern factory to make solar panels and high-tech energy systems instead of Town Cars and Thunderbirds. "I can't imagine a better way to reuse the facility," Bill Ford said during his visit to the former Wixom Assemblyplant in September.

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Panasonic Aims For No. 1 'Green' Electronics Company

January 8, 2010 4:03 am | by Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Panasonic Corp. said Friday it aims to catapult sales by more than a third in three years in an aggressive bid to become the dominant electronics company in green technologies. The Japanese electronics giant is targeting revenue of 9.5 trillion yen ($101.7 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 2013, up from the 7 trillion yen ($74.

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NY Seeks Change On Tax Breaks For Manufacturing Jobs

January 8, 2010 4:02 am | by Michael Virtanen, Associated Press Writer

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Paterson administration wants to change the way New York businesses get tax breaks for job creation, proposing credits for research and development, capital investment and payroll costs for new jobs in high technology, biotechnology, clean energy, finance and manufacturing.

Executives Covered Up Death Toll In Chinese Gas Leak

January 8, 2010 3:42 am

BEIJING (AP) — State media says 21 workers were killed by a gas leak at a factory in northern China earlier this week after executives were caught underreporting the number of deaths. The Xinhua News Agency says workers were poisoned after a gas pipeline broke at the Hebei Puyang Iron and Steel Co.

TVA Coal Spill A $428 Million Payday To Contractors

January 8, 2010 3:34 am

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Cleaning up the Tennessee Valley Authority's coal ash spill at Kingston is already delivering big paydays for some contractors and it's a tab rate payers should be watching. The nation's largest public utility has open contracts that total $428.5 million. A review of the contracts by The Knoxville News Sentinel shows that 10 firms are under contract to make more than $10 million each from the first phase of the cleanup.

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Dutch Spyker Tosses Out Last-Ditch Bid For Saab

January 8, 2010 3:23 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Hopes to keep Swedish car company Saab alive flickered Thursday as Dutch exotic automaker Spyker Cars made another bid to buy the troubled brand from General Motors, but a person briefed on the dealings said GM remains skeptical that Saab can be saved. Spyker confirmed in a statement issued Thursday evening that it made the last-minute offer, which came a day after GM's interim CEO, Ed Whitacre Jr.

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Ind. Steel Plant Explosion Kills 1, Injures 4

January 8, 2010 3:20 am

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — An explosion at a steel plant in Indiana killed one worker and injured four more on Thursday, a fire official said. Portage Fire Chief Bill Lundy said the evening blast at the Beta Steel Corp. plant may have happened because water somehow met with molten steel.

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Suspect In ABB Shooting Unhappy At Work, Says Neighbors

January 8, 2010 3:18 am | by Cheryl Wittenauer, Associated Press Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The man widely identified as the gunman in a fatal shooting spree at a St. Louis industrialplant was described as an amicable family man and good neighbor, who would rake an elder's leaves and bring him holiday treats. But 51-year-old Timothy Hendron of Webster Groves, a St.

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Shooting At St. Louis ABB Plant Claims Three Victims

January 7, 2010 10:33 am | by Jim Salter, Associated Press Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) — An employee of a St. Louis manufacturing plant walked in with an assault rifle and a handgun on Thursday morning and opened fire, killing at least three people and wounding five others, authorities said. Several hours after the shooting, police were still inside Swiss-based ABB Group's plant, going room to room in a search for both the gunman and additional victims, police Capt.

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Google Picks Fight With Apple Over New Hardware

January 6, 2010 4:04 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — The once-cuddly relationship between Google Inc. and Apple Inc. is morphing into a prickly power struggle as the ambitions and ideas of the technology trendsetters increasingly collide. The growing use of high-powered phones for Web surfing has become a flash point in the brewing battle because both Google and Apple view the mobile market as a key to their continued success in the next decade.

Electric Car Maker Reopens Plant In Downtrodden Elkhart

January 6, 2010 3:44 am

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — An electric car maker plans to open a factory in a northern Indiana plant that once made parts for recreational vehicles. State and local officials joined executives from Think North America for an official announcement Tuesday. The plant in Elkhart will be Think North America's first in the U.

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U.S. Automakers Hopeful After Worst Year In Decades

January 6, 2010 3:38 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Automakers in the U.S. ended their worst year in almost three decades with hints of a recovery in December. Many, especially those selling small or inexpensive vehicles, reported improvements last month and expressed hope for a mildly better 2010. It was a positive finish to one of the toughest years on record for the industry, with U.

Coal Miners Afflicted By Mysterious Razor Blades

January 6, 2010 3:33 am

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — The Campbell County Sheriff's Office is investigating a series of incidents involving razor blades at the North Antelope-Rochelle coal mine in Campbell County. Officials say someone put a razor blade in a pair of gloves used for working with high-voltage equipment in October.

Senator Bingaman: Cap-and-Trade Unlikely This Year

January 6, 2010 3:27 am | by Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said Tuesday that it's unclear whether Congress will be able to pass cap and trade legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions this year. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said there's no consensus on what form a cap-and-trade system would take, but strong desire exists in both the Senate and House to pass other energy-related bills that would curb pollution blamed for global warming.

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GM Sales Decline 30 Percent In 2009

January 6, 2010 3:25 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors said Tuesday its 2009 sales fell 30 percent and December sales fell 5.7 percent. BY THE NUMBERS: Sales fell to 207,538 vehicles in December from 220,030 a year earlier. For all of 2009, sales fell to 2.1 million vehicles from about 3 million. THE DIVISIONS: In December, car sales fell 9 percent to 79,417 from 87,506 while light truck sales fell 3 percent to 128,121 from 132,524.

Three Arrested In $100,000 Scrap Metal Theft From GM

January 6, 2010 3:23 am

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say three people suspected of stealing metal from an idled General Motors Corp. plant in Flint have been arrested. Police said two men and one woman were arrested about 11:30 p.m. Sunday at the Buick City complex about 55 miles northwest of Detroit and are being held at the Genesee County Jail.

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Japanese Auto Sales Hit 38-Year Low

January 5, 2010 3:55 am

TOKYO (AP) — Auto sales in Japan declined to their lowest in 38 years, slumping 9 percent to 2.9 million vehicles for 2009, an industry group said Tuesday. Auto sales have been hammered by the economic slowdown as consumers tightened their pursestrings, despite tax breaks and cash-for-clunkers incentives introduced by the government.

FDA Seeks Closure Of N.J. Factory For Infected Cheese

January 5, 2010 3:51 am

PASSAIC, N.J. (AP) — Federal food safety officials want to shut down a New Jersey-based cheese producer, alleging the company has failed to correct unsanitary conditions and that recent inspections turned up cheeses contaminated with Listeria. The FDA filed a complaint Monday in U.S. District Court in Newark seeking a permanent injunction to stop production at Quesos Mi Pueblito in Passaic.

Chinese Factories Shut Down To Curb Power Use

January 5, 2010 3:47 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Some Chinese factories were ordered Tuesday to shut down to ensure sufficient power to heat homes as demand surged amid record-setting winter cold, a utility company said. No outages were reported, but coal supplies were running low at power plants in central China, said Liu Xinfang, a spokesman for State Grid Corp.

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