Bangladesh's government is investigating allegations that the sole emergency exit was locked at a garment factory where a fire killed seven women. The fire Saturday at the Smart Export Garment Ltd. factory occurred just two months after a blaze killed 112 workers in another factory, raising questions about safety in Bangladesh's garment industry, which exports clothes to leading Western retailers.
Now it's official: Toyota is once again the world's top automaker. Toyota Motor Corp. released its tally for global vehicle sales for last year Monday at a record 9.748 million vehicles — a bigger number than the estimate it gave last month of about 9.7 million vehicles.
Caterpillar's fourth-quarter net income fell by half after it took a big charge for a deal in China that went bad, and because of slower growth in China and economic uncertainty in the U.S. and Europe. Still, its adjusted profit and revenue were better than analysts expected.
The joint U.S. and Japanese investigation into the Boeing 787's battery problems has shifted from the battery-maker to the manufacturer of a monitoring system. Japan transport ministry official Shigeru Takano said Monday the probe into battery-maker GS Yuasa was over for now as no evidence was found it was the source of the problems.
A few hundred French striking autoworkers are disrupting production at a key Peugeot Citroen plant north of Paris, protesting layoffs linked to its pending closure. France's largest automaker, struggling to compete in Europe's stagnant car market, is cutting 8,000 jobs and closing the Aulnay-sous-Bois factory.
Kansas plane maker Hawker Beechcraft said Friday that its key creditors overwhelmingly backed a proposed reorganization plan in a vote that moves the company closer to emerging from bankruptcy protection as early as next month. The Wichita-based company said that it will seek court approval to exit bankruptcy at a hearing Thursday.
Exxon has once again surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable company after the iPhone and iPad maker saw its stock price falter. Apple Inc.'s stock has been on the decline since its earnings report earlier this week. It dropped 2 percent Friday to $441.30 for a market capitalization of $414.5 billion. Exxon Mobil Corp. gained 13 cents to $91.48 and has a market capitalization of $417 billion.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner battery that caught fire earlier this month in Boston shows evidence of short-circuiting and a chemical reaction known as "thermal runaway," in which an increase in temperature causes progressively hotter temperatures, federal accident investigators said Thursday.
South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. reported its lowest quarterly profit in nearly two years Thursday due to lackluster car sales at home and a surge in the local currency that made it less competitive with Japanese automakers. South Korea's largest automaker earned 1.89 trillion won ($1.77 billion) in the October-December quarter, down 5.5 percent over a year earlier.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. plans to build a new plant for its subsidiary Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.'s production of a new small jet now under development, company sources said Thursday. The company intends to secure a 7.8-hectare site neighboring an airport in Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture, for the plant, which is expected to contribute to invigorating the regional economy through additional employment.
State officials say they have approved incentives for 14 business expansions that could generate more than $1 billion in investments and about 4,600 jobs in Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder announced Wednesday the Michigan Strategic Fund approved the performance-based grants for projects across the Lower Peninsula.
Honeywell returned to a profit in its fourth quarter, helped by lower pension-related costs. Its adjusted results met analysts' estimates, and revenue topped Wall Street's expectations. Shares edged up in premarket trading Friday. The technology and manufacturing conglomerate from Morris Township, N.J., earned $251 million, or 32 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31.
Atlas Copco ranks 18th among the 2013 Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies – a list presented on Jan. 23 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This is the seventh time that Atlas Copco has appeared in the Global 100 rankings. “Sustainability lies at the heart of Atlas Copco’s innovative products and employee mindset,” said Jim Levitt, president, Atlas Copco North America LLC.
The 787 Dreamliner was born in a moment of desperation. But once production started, the gap between vision and reality quickly widened. The jet that was eventually dubbed the Dreamliner became plagued with manufacturing delays, cost overruns and sinking worker morale.
Some 250 steel workers from Liege's ArcelorMittal plant have scuffled with police outside the prime minister's office, a day after the leading steel and mining company announced it would close seven facilities in eastern Belgium. The workers pitched stones at police, who retaliated by using the water cannon in freezing temperatures.
China's manufacturing crept higher in January to the fastest pace in two years, a survey showed Thursday, in another sign the world's second-biggest economy is coming out of a downturn. A preliminary version of HSBC's monthly purchasing managers' index rose for the fifth month in a row to 51.9 in January from 51.5 in December. Readings above 50 on the 100-point scale indicate an expansion.
Bombardier says it's not worried that rival Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer beat it to a contract with Republic Airways Holdings Inc. for the sale of 47 regional jets with an estimated value of US$2 billion. "It's not a blow," spokesman Marc Duchesne said Thursday, noting that Bombardier (TSX:BBSD.B) had previously received a firm order from Republic for 40 CSeries aircraft, with an option for 40 more.
A state-backed corporate turnaround fund is encouraging Sony Corp., NEC Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. to merge their lithium-ion battery businesses in the face of intensifying international competition, sources close to the matter said Friday. The Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and the three companies are aiming to reach an agreement on the merger plan within fiscal 2013, they said.
Belkin, a maker of smartphone cases and computing accessories, said Thursday that it is buying the home networking business unit of Cisco, including the Linksys router brand. Privately held Belkin, based in Playa Vista, Calif., did not disclose the purchase price, nor did Cisco Systems Inc. The deal is expected to close in March.
Manufacturers have been using technology to cut blue-collar jobs for years. Now, they're targeting their white-collar workers, too. Factory Automation Systems makes machines that help companies cut, bundle and load products faster and cheaper than humans can. But it didn't realize how much technology could help its own business until the Great Recession hit.