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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

TN Exide To Lay Off 236 Employees

November 9, 2011 8:16 am

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Exide Technologies has announced it will lay off 236 employees at its battery-manufacturing plant in Bristol, Tenn., over the next 12 to 18 months. The company said Monday the fate of another 233 jobs will be decided in the next three months. Exide officials blamed the sluggish economy, according to the Bristol Herald Courier (http://bit.

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Industry Says Africa Is Fastest Growing Mobile Market

November 9, 2011 8:14 am | by Donna Bryson, Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Africa is the world's fastest growing mobile phone market, an industry group report said Wednesday, citing the continent's innovative uses for cell phones. Gertrude Kitongo uses hers as a radio, library, mini cinema, instant messenger and bank teller. She even makes calls on it.

A123 3Q Loss Widens As Costs Triple

November 9, 2011 8:12 am

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) — A123 Systems Inc., which makes lithium-ion batteries for cars, said Wednesday its third-quarter loss deepened as costs nearly tripled. A123 posted a loss of $63.7 million, or 51 cents per share, compared with a loss of $43.7 million, or 42 cents per share, for the same quarter last year.

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Toyota To Make New Engines At China Plant

November 9, 2011 8:10 am

TOKYO, Nov. 9 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it has begun manufacturing a new four-cylinder engine at a joint venture company in Guangzhou, China, with the aim of meeting anticipated strong demand in China and increasing the autonomy of its operations there by localizing production.

$3.4M Grant To Help Laid Off Goodyear Workers

November 9, 2011 8:07 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a $3.4 million grant for re-employment and support services to about 850 laid-off workers at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Union City, Tenn. The National Emergency Grant, announced Tuesday in Washington, was awarded to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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Nearly 70 Jobs Lost In IA Plant Closing

November 9, 2011 4:32 am

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) — Nearly 70 people will lose their jobs as a storm door plant closes in the northern Iowa city of Clear Lake. Larson Manufacturing is moving the plant's production to another company plant 20 miles to the north at Lake Mills. About 90 Clear Lake workers will remain in Larson's employ by commuting to the Lake Mills plant.

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New Vehicle To Be Produced At MS Nissan Plant

November 9, 2011 4:29 am

CANTON, Miss. (AP) — Nissan's commercial van will be added to the production line produced at the company's plant in Canton, Miss., next year. Nissan made the announcement Tuesday. The four-row 12-passenger commercial van will feature a center console and mobile office. Nissan says the vehicle should be available in the spring of 2012.

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Solar Company Cuts Production, Jobs

November 9, 2011 4:26 am

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Solar energy product maker Energy Conversion Devices Inc. says it has temporarily suspended manufacturing and is planning about 500 job cuts. The Auburn Hills-based company announced Tuesday that manufacturing has been halted because of excess inventory. The company says about 400 workers will be furloughed at its manufacturing facilities in Michigan, Mexico and Ontario, Canada.

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GM 3Q Profit Falls 15 Percent

November 9, 2011 4:25 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Europe's economic woes are weighing on General Motors Co.'s profits. The company's third-quarter net income fell 15 percent from a year earlier, dragged down by losses in Europe and South America and weak earnings in all areas except North America and China. The company's shares fell 7.

Employers Post Most Openings In 3 Years

November 9, 2011 4:22 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers advertised more jobs in September than at any other point in the past three years. The increase suggests hiring could pick up in the next few months. Competition for jobs is fierce. And many employers aren't rushing to fill some because they are worried about the strength of the economy.

Toyota Recalls 550K Cars For Steering Issue

November 9, 2011 4:19 am | by Malcolm Foster, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it is recalling about 550,000 vehicles worldwide — mostly in the United States — for problems that could make it harder to steer. The recall affects 447,000 vehicles in North America, as well as 38,000 in Japan and another 25,000 in Australia and New Zealand, said Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett.

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LA Company Gets $192M Coast Guard Contract

November 8, 2011 8:40 am

JEANERETTE, La. (AP) — Metal Shark Aluminum Boats of Jeanerette has a $192 million contract to replace the Coast Guard's fleet of small port security boats. The company will build up to 500 of the boats, which are about 28 feet long, for the Coast Guard, president and co-owner Chris Allard said Monday.

Hawker Beechcraft Layoffs To Bypass AR

November 8, 2011 8:38 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Hawker Beechcraft Corp. says in a letter to employees that layoffs planned for later this month will have minimal effect on its Little Rock aircraft finishing plant. Arkansas Business reported (http://bit.ly/sU80U8 ) Tuesday that the letter says it's possible there will be no layoffs at the plant at Little Rock's airport.

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Honda Adjusts Plans Due To Parts Shortages

November 8, 2011 8:36 am | by The Associated Press

Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday that it was tweaking production rates again at some of its North American plants because of flooding in Thailand, which has caused shortages of certain electronic plants. Honda previously cut production by half at its U.S. plants until Thanksgiving and through Nov.

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Bank Files Lawsuit Against Failed Mamtek

November 8, 2011 8:34 am

MOBERLY, Mo. (AP) — The bank that is the trustee of bonds issued for a failed artificial sweetener plant in central Missouri has sued the company responsible for the project. UMB Bank filed the lawsuit against Mamtek U.S. Inc. and Mamtek International in federal court in eastern Missouri on Friday, alleging that bond agreements were violated.

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Chairman Defends Google, Mourns Jobs

November 8, 2011 8:32 am | by Sam Kim, Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Google chairman Eric Schmidt on Tuesday defended his company as a great innovator despite allegations from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that the Internet search giant stole ideas from Apple's iPhone. Schmidt also told reporters that he is still "very sad and recovering from the sense of loss" from Jobs' death last month and does not think it's right to comment on Jobs' words in Walter Issacson's biography.

Olympus Used Acquisitions To Cover Up Losses

November 8, 2011 8:24 am | by Eric Talmadge, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Olympus Corp. said Tuesday that top executives used acquisitions to hide massive losses, reversing denials of any wrongdoing as one of the largest accounting frauds in Japanese history tarnishes the nation's corporate image. Tokyo-based Olympus, which makes cameras and medical equipment, has been battered by a scandal over a $687 million payment for financial advice and expensive acquisitions of companies unrelated to its mainstay businesses.

Amerigon Posts 3Q Loss On Acquisition Costs

November 8, 2011 4:39 am

NORTHVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Amerigon Inc., which makes climate-controlled seats and other products for the auto industry, said Tuesday it posted a $1.6 million third-quarter loss because of costs stemming from a recent acquisition. But the Northville, Mich., auto supplier's revenue rose fourfold thanks to the acquisition of WET Automotive Systems AG, a German automotive thermal control and electronic components company that Amerigon acquired in May.

MI Officials Hope To Grow Solar Jobs

November 8, 2011 4:37 am | by Barrie Barber

THOMAS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — On a farm field familiar with soybeans and corn, the hopes of Saginaw County's green industry could grow toward the sun. The land behind an old farmhouse is where economic development officials hope solar industry jobs sprout in the future: Great Lakes Solar Technology Park, on a 240-acre greenfield in Thomas Township.

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Worker Dies At SD Manufacturing Plant

November 8, 2011 4:35 am

CANTON, S.D. (AP) — A worker died at a manufacturing plant in the southeast South Dakota city of Canton when he became caught in a machine. Officials at Adams Thermal Systems Inc. did not immediately identify the man who died Monday morning or go into detail about the incident. Company spokesman Bryan Plowman says the employee had worked for a year and a half at the plant that makes cooling systems for vehicle engines.

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