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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Thousands Fraudulently File For Electric Vehicle Credits

February 4, 2011 3:34 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Car companies like General Motors and Nissan are slowly rolling out rechargeable electric cars. But that didn't stop thousands of U.S. taxpayers, including prisoners and some IRS employees, from incorrectly claiming lucrative tax credits for the electric vehicles last year. A Treasury Department inspector general report says nearly 13,000 taxpayers erroneously claimed about $33 million in credits for plug-in electric and alternative vehicles during the first six months of 2010.

U.S. Adds 36,000 Jobs, Unemployment Falls To 9 Percent

February 4, 2011 3:31 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rate dropped sharply last month to 9 percent, based on a government survey that found that more than a half-million people found work. A separate survey of company payrolls showed a scant increase of 36,000 net jobs as snowstorms likely hampered hiring. That survey doesn't count the self-employed.

AMT Applauds Post Of Advisor To Obama Manufacturing Policy

February 3, 2011 4:49 am

Douglas K. Woods, AMT President McLean, Va. — AMT, The Association For Manufacturing Technology, applauds President Obama’s creation of a new post overseeing manufacturing policy. Ron Bloom was named Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy within the White House’s National Economic Council.

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Chevron To Build A $1.4 Billion Plant In Mississippi

February 1, 2011 4:59 am

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Petroleum company Chevron Corp. said Monday that it will build a $1.4 billion lubricants plant in Pascagoula, Miss., a project that will create roughly 1,000 construction jobs over the next two years. The facility will extend Chevron's existing refinery in Pascagoula, which employs more than 1,600 workers.

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Battle Over Calif. Global Warming Bill Cost $46 Million

February 1, 2011 4:56 am | by Don Thompson, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — More than $46 million was spent for and against a failed November ballot measure that would have suspended California's landmark global warming law, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday. Out-of-state oil companies and their supporters spent $10.5 million promoting Proposition 23, while opponents spent more than $36 million.

Drugs, Tupperware, Printers Lead To Profitable 2010

February 1, 2011 4:27 am

Pfizer beats views despite slight profit decline  NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit nearly quadrupled from a year ago when it was weighed down by restructuring charges, as revenue rose 6 percent, thanks to the addition of products from fellow drugmaker Wyeth, acquired late in 2009.

Intel Finds Design Flaw That Could Cost $1 Billion

February 1, 2011 4:02 am

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Intel Corp. on Monday said it has found a design flaw in a recently released chip, and is working with laptop makers to replace affected computers. Sales lost while the company rushes out a replacement chip, and the cost of replacing computers with the flawed chip, will cost the company $1 billion, it said.

Marchionne 'Micromanages' Chrysler Into Profitability

February 1, 2011 3:55 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler was collapsing when Fiat took control of the company just 19 months ago. Now, under the Italian automaker's detail-driven CEO, Chrysler is on the verge of turning its first profit since it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009. Chrysler Group LLC on Monday said it dramatically narrowed its losses in the fourth quarter and 2010.

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China's Manufacturing Boom Continues To Slow Down

February 1, 2011 3:53 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — China's manufacturing boom eased further in January as authorities tightened controls on credit, though inflationary pressures continued to rise, according to data released Tuesday. The state-affiliated China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its purchasing managers index, or PMI, dipped to 52.

Manufacturing Output Grows To Seven-Year High

February 1, 2011 3:50 am

Factory sector expands at fastest pace in 7 years  WASHINGTON (AP) — America's factory sector expanded in January at the fastest pace in seven years, asmanufacturers reported a sharp jump in new orders. The Institute for Supply Management, a private trade group, says its index of manufacturing activity rose last month to 60.

Recalls Cost Toyota A Fifth Of Its Global Value

February 1, 2011 3:46 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota remains Japan's No. 1 global brand, but its value has fallen by nearly a fifth because of the recent massive recalls that dented consumer trust in the quality of its cars, according to an international consultant. An Interbrand report released Tuesday said that the value of the Toyota Motor Corp.

January Auto Sales Rose Despite 'Snowpocalypse'

February 1, 2011 3:43 am | by Sharon Silke Carty, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Despite snowy weather in the Northeast that kept buyers shoveling driveways and not shopping for cars, January auto sales in the United States are expected to come in higher than a year ago. Sales could rise 15 percent to 17 percent compared with last January, a sign that auto sales are continuing their slow, steady recovery from 2009, when sales bottomed out.

Philippine Industry Expanded 7.3 Percent In 2010

January 31, 2011 8:35 am

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine economy galloped to its highest annual growth in more than two decades, expanding 7.3 percent in 2010 on strong foreign trade and election spending, officials said Monday, forecasting an equally strong expansion this year. Head of the government's statistical board Romulo Virola said the growth surpassed official growth projections of 5 percent to 6 percent.

Craft Brewers Ditch Glass Bottles For Cans

January 31, 2011 8:32 am | by Clarke Canfield, Associated Press

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — Canned beer isn't just for swilling anymore. Baxter Brewing in Maine has joined a growing number of small craft-beer breweries distributing their brews in cans — just like mainstream mass-produced beers — rather than in bottles. A decade ago, it's believed there weren't any U.

Rebirth Of Wise Alloys Plant Means Jobs For Shoals

January 31, 2011 8:28 am | by Bernie Delinski, Associated Press

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — The parking lots appear full outside the massive Wise Alloys Listerhill plant. Inside, coils of aluminum and 15-ton castings are rolled out. Major deals with Anheuser-Busch InBev and Coca-Cola — two giants in the beverage can industry — have made long-term expectations high.

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S.C. Gets Ready To Run On 'Pig Power'

January 31, 2011 8:23 am

GASTON, S.C. (AP) — It's a case of piggies providing power and it's a first for South Carolina. Officials with Santee Cooper, Environmental Fabrics Inc., a firm based in Gaston, S.C., and Clemson University on Monday announced the construction of a new plant to generate electricity from the methane released by hog waste.

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Tech Firm Toss Millions Into Obama's Jobs Initiative

January 31, 2011 3:42 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Three of the nation's biggest technology companies are committing hundreds of millions of dollars to an initiative backed by President Barack Obama to encourage job creation and economic growth by supporting small businesses. The program, called the Startup America Partnership, is aimed at helping entrepreneurs start businesses and help them grow.

In The Future, Cars Will Decide Who's Too Drunk To Drive

January 31, 2011 3:34 am | by Bob Salsberg, Associated Press

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — An alcohol-detection prototype that uses automatic sensors to instantly gauge a driver's fitness to be on the road has the potential to save thousands of lives, but could be as long as a decade away from everyday use in cars, federal officials and researchers said Friday.

Chrysler Predicts $300 Million Profit In 2011

January 31, 2011 3:32 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — An optimistic Chrysler narrowed its net loss significantly in the fourth quarter from a year ago and forecast a net profit for 2011 as it continued a comeback from bankruptcy protection. Chrysler, which is controlled by Italy's Fiat Group SpA, predicted it would make $200 million to $500 million this year, setting the stage for an initial public stock offering that could take place in the fourth quarter.

China: Savior Or Threat To Western Business?

January 31, 2011 3:28 am | by Angela Charlton, Associated Press

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The Western business elite can't seem to decide whether China is a savior or a threat. Nearly everyone speaking at the World Economic Forum this week had something to say about the world's new No. 2 economy. Some jockeyed for greater access to China's markets, some pleaded for China to let its currency rise and allow more political freedoms.

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