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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Jury: Plane Maker Not Liable In Yankees Pitcher Death

May 24, 2011 9:54 am

NEW YORK (AP) — A jury has found that a Minnesota airplane manufacturer was not responsible for the crash of a small plane into a Manhattan apartment building that killed New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle (LY'-duhl) and his flight instructor. The Manhattan jury returned its verdict Tuesday after a one-month federal trial.

Gov't Dives Into EVs With Vehicle, Charger Purchases

May 24, 2011 9:38 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an effort boost use of electric vehicles, the Obama administration is installing charging stations for government vehicles in five cities, including Washington and Detroit. The General Services Administration plans to buy 116 plug-in electric vehicles, including 101 Chevrolet Volts, and will assign them to government agencies in five cities: Washington, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

Obama Sanctions Seven Foreign Firms For Iran Dealings

May 24, 2011 9:35 am | by Matthew Lee, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Tuesday hit seven foreign companies, including Venezuela' state-owned oil company and an Israeli shipping firm, with sanctions for doing business with Iran that helps fund its nuclear program. At the same time, the administration imposed separate sanctions on more than 15 people and companies in China, Iran, North Korea, Syria and elsewhere for illicit trading in missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.

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Former Chrysler CEO To Head $100M Innovation Fund

May 24, 2011 9:22 am

TROY, Mich. (AP) — A southeastern Michigan technology association is partnering with former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda to help companies commercialize their ideas. LaSorda is the co-founder of a $100 million investment fund called Stage 2 Innovations that will be available to so-called second-stage companies.

Chrysler Repays Gov't Loans, Closes 'Painful Chapter'

May 24, 2011 9:18 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — With a few computer keystrokes in an office at its headquarters, Chrysler Group LLC sent $7.6 billion to the U.S. and Canadian governments on Tuesday, paying off most of the bailout money that saved the company from financial disaster just two years ago. The repayment — expected for weeks — is a huge step in the automaker's unlikely comeback.

VW Unveils Chattanooga Plant For U.S. Buyers

May 24, 2011 9:15 am

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Volkswagen is jumping into the U.S. auto market with a new Passat that is bigger, cheaper and built domestically in hopes of breaking into the competitive midsize sedan market. During a grand opening for their new plant in Chattanooga on Tuesday, the German automaker presented the 2012 Passat as the key to building U.

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Deere Announces Another $60 Million Chinese Investment

May 24, 2011 5:06 am

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Deere & Co. will spend $60 million to build a new engine manufacturing plant in China for its agricultural, construction and forestry equipment. Deere's new engine plant will near several of the Moline, Ill., company's other facilities in Tianjin, China. Tuesday's engine plant announcement is the second investment in China that Deere has announced in the past week.

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German Manufacturers Try To Kill Of Nuclear Power

May 24, 2011 4:50 am | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's most powerful industrial sectors said Tuesday they are backing government plans to abolish nuclear power within about a decade, but warn that blackouts and other risks could arise from the decision. "We believe that it is possible to replace nuclear power by 2022 or a date in that range," said Christopher Gruenewald, head of energy and climate policy for the Federation of German Industry group that represents the nation's manufacturers.

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Old General Motors To Sell New GM Stock, Warrants

May 24, 2011 4:46 am

DETROIT (AP) — The company that got stuck with General Motors Co.'s debts and bad assets will begin selling stock and warrants in the new GM, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday. Motors Liquidation Co. said in the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the stock and warrants being sold starting Tuesday are worth a total of $5.

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Ford Could Woo Japanese Buyers Amid Tsunami Troubles

May 24, 2011 4:33 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Ford sees a big chance to snatch buyers away from Japanese automakers battling production delays caused by the March earthquake and tsunami, and vehicles in the works could help deliver it growth in a long-difficult market. "The opportunities for Ford in Japan have never been greater," Ford Japan Chief Executive Tim Tucker said Tuesday of the products planned for Japan.

South Korean Police Raid, Break Up In-Plant Strike

May 24, 2011 4:25 am

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Police in South Korea are breaking up a strike at an auto parts manufacturer that has caused production disruptions for the country's automakers. Police official Seo Jung-pil said Tuesday that about 1,000 police raided a Yoosung Enterprise Co. factory in Asan, south of Seoul, where some 500 workers had been on strike since May 18.

Chrysler To Repay $7.5 Billion Loan On Tuesday

May 24, 2011 4:22 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Michigan (AP) — Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said Monday that his company will save $300 million in interest a year when it repays $7.5 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans on Tuesday. Chrysler plans to announce the repayment at a Detroit-area auto assembly plant on Tuesday afternoon.

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UK Lawmakers Heavily Criticize Kraft-Cadbury Takeover

May 23, 2011 9:55 am | by Jane Wardell, AP Business Writer

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers said Monday they still have "significant concerns" about the takeover of chocolate maker Cadbury by Kraft Foods Inc. — more than a year after the controversial deal. The Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee also strongly criticized Kraft's chief executive Irene Rosenfeld for refusing to appear before parliamentary hearings into the takeover.

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Entrepreneurs Re-launch Baby Boomer Favorite: Choc-Ola

May 23, 2011 9:50 am

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two entrepreneurs who relaunched a chocolate-flavored drink called Choc-Ola are hoping baby boomers' taste for nostalgia and consumers' love of anything with chocolate helps make the revived beverage a success. Choc-Ola — a concoction of water, sugar, low-fat milk, cocoa and a handful of other ingredients — debuted in the 1940s and was pitched to a generation of fans in the 1970s by "Cowboy Bob" on Indianapolis television station WTTV-4's children's program.

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Campbell Income Rises Despite Less Soup Slurping

May 23, 2011 9:48 am | by Mae Anderson, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Campbell Soup Co. said Monday that its U.S. soup sales fell in its third quarter as it ditched the heavy discounts and found consumers stocked up less. But its overall results beat expectations as its baked goods and snacks which include Pepperidge Farm products, Goldfish crackers and Milano cookies sold well.

Electronics Recycler Reopens In Old Alcoa Plant

May 23, 2011 9:20 am | by Renee Elder, Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Electronic Recyclers International announced plans Monday to open a regional operations center at Alcoa's former smelting plant in Badin, eventually providing jobs for 200 or more employees. ERI is the first new tenant signed at the vacated 700,000-square-foot Badin Business Park, a building formerly used by Alcoa Inc.

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Two La. Workers Killed By Chemical Fumes

May 23, 2011 8:51 am

PLAQUEMINE, La. (AP) — Officials with Shintech Louisiana have identified two workers who died after they were overcome by chemical fumes at the Shintech facility south of Plaquemine. Plant Manager David Wise said in a news release that Tommy Rivet, a Shintech employee, and Tory Sanchez, a contract worker employed by Performance Contractors, Inc.

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Panel: Toyota Needs To Accept Criticism Better

May 23, 2011 8:46 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — An independent panel set up to review Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety and quality issues says the company doesn't do a good job of incorporating customer feedback into its car designs. The panel says Toyota should appoint executives who are responsible for safety and should give more power to regional executives outside Japan.

'Jeopardy'-Winner Watson Computer Turns To Medicine

May 23, 2011 4:50 am | by Jim Fitzgerald, Associated Press

YORKTOWN, New York (AP) — Some fellow in his pajamas, home sick with bronchitis and complaining online about it, could soon be contributing to a digital collection of medical information designed to help speed diagnoses and treatments. A doctor who is helping to prepare IBM's Watson computer system for work as a medical tool says such blog entries may be included in Watson's database.

Harley-Davidson Slowly Turning Around After Gutting

May 23, 2011 4:45 am

DETROIT (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc. dealerships are reporting strong sales in the second quarter, a promising sign that the motorcycle maker's turnaround is taking hold as the slow economic recovery continues, an R.W. Baird & Co. analyst wrote on Monday. Baird analysts contacted 54 of 650 U.

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