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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

First Solar Lays Off 2,000 As Demand Wanes

April 17, 2012 10:13 am | by Chris Kahn, AP Energy Writer

First Solar Inc. is laying off 2,000 workers and closing its plant in Frankfurt, Germany, in response to waning demand for solar panels and increased competition from China.


Chemical Plant Shutdown Could Cut Auto Production

April 17, 2012 10:12 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

The potential shortage of a key component used to make fuel lines and brake lines could force automakers in the U.S. and around the world to close car and truck plants as they run short of parts.


Tornado Damage Stalls Wichita Aircraft Industry

April 17, 2012 10:10 am | by Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press

Tornado damage in Kansas' aircraft manufacturing hub could have a ripple effect on the industry, analysts warned.


Moody's Sees Toyota Profit Margins As Under Pressure

April 17, 2012 10:09 am | by The Associated Press

Moody's Japan K.K. said Tuesday that Toyota Motor Corp.'s profit margins "have come under pressure" as the company has failed to raise prices in overseas markets or reduce costs enough to offset the strong yen.


Oracle Skewers Google As Android Trial Opens

April 17, 2012 10:06 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

Oracle began Monday trying to convince a jury that Google's top executives have long known that they stole a key piece of technology to build the Android software that now powers more than more than 300 million smartphones and tablet computers.


Apple Weighs On Nasdaq; Dow Climbs 72

April 17, 2012 10:04 am | by Christina Rexrode, AP Business Writer

Apple stock dropped more than $25 on Monday, its fifth straight day of declines. The losing streak has wiped out about $60 billion of Apple's market value.


Bad Weather Leads To Damage, Disruption For Kansas Supplier

April 16, 2012 2:53 pm

Spirit Aerosystems suspended production through at least Tuesday and said it expects near-term delivery disruptions.


Ford To Use All-Electric Car As NASCAR Pace Car

April 16, 2012 2:47 pm

Ford Motor Co. will become the first manufacturer in NASCAR history to supply an all-electric car as the pace car.


BMW Recalls 9,200 Vehicles Worldwide

April 16, 2012 2:38 pm

The recall involves a possible defect in a cooling pump in BMW and Mini cars.

Michigan Manufacturing Jobs Up 1.6% Over Past Year

April 16, 2012 2:34 pm

The modest gain industrial employment in Michigan  over the past twelve months comes after several years of losses.


Probable Link Between Teflon Chemical And Cancer

April 16, 2012 2:29 pm | by John Raby, Associated Press

The C8 Science Panel said the chemical, used in DuPont plants, is likely connected to testicular and kidney cancers.


Supreme Court Steps Into Imports Copyright Case

April 16, 2012 2:25 pm | by Mark Sherman, Associated Press

The issue at the Supreme Court is whether U.S. copyright protection applies to items that are made abroad, purchased abroad and then resold in the U.S. without the permission of the manufacturer.


Rise In U.S. Exports Brightens Outlook For Economy

April 16, 2012 9:56 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writers

American businesses sold a record number of goods and services in Europe, China and other foreign markets in February.


Twinkies Maker Hostess Gives Unions 'Final' Offer

April 16, 2012 9:49 am | by David Koenig, AP Business Writer

Hostess is making a final offer to workers to accept cost-cutting before it asks a bankruptcy court to impose the cuts.


Toyota To Produce Paprika With Auto Plant Heat

April 16, 2012 9:46 am

The operation will emit 25 percent less carbon dioxide, compared with conventional cultivation using gas to heat vinyl greenhouses, and cut production costs by 7 percent.


Hybrid And Electric Cars See Record Sales In March

April 16, 2012 9:44 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

The two categories combined made up 3.64 percent of total U.S. sales, their highest monthly market share ever.


U.S. Finds 16 Crashes, 5 Injuries In BMW Probe

April 16, 2012 9:41 am

U.S. safety regulators conducted an eight-month investigation of transmission control problems with BMW 7-Series luxury cars.


Solar Cell Marker SunCorp To Cut Costs By 10%

April 16, 2012 9:39 am

The solar panel maker had said in November that it intended to cut costs by up to 10 percent in the next year as the solar industry deals with stagnating prices and demand.


Study: Most Gas Pedal Accidents Involve Elderly Women

April 13, 2012 1:58 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press

Accidents in which drivers mistakenly hit the gas instead of the brake tend to involve older female drivers in parking lots, a new government study has found.


GM To Scrap Avalanche Pickup Truck

April 13, 2012 1:57 pm | by The Associated Press

Sales peaked at just over 93,000 in 2003, but fell as buyers went for full-size "crew cab" pickups.



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