ATLANTA (AP) — Kia Motors announced plans Thursday to begin manufacturing the Optima midsize sedan at itsplant in Georgia, a move expected to add about 700 jobs at the complex. Production on the 2012 Optima is set to begin in the third quarter of this year, Kia Motors said. The plant in West Point currently employs about 2,300 people and the work force is expected to grow to nearly 3,000 by year's end, according to the company.
Federal labor regulators are accusing Boeing Co. of illegally retaliating for a 2008 union strike by adding a non-union assembly line in South Carolina for its new 787 passenger jet. The complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board said the remedy should include moving the South Carolina assembly work back to Washington state, where it would be under union jurisdiction.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. said it is suing Apple Inc. for patent rights violations, only days after Apple sued Samsung for the same reason. Samsung is accusing Apple of violating its rights to 10 smartphone and computer patents. The company filed lawsuits Thursday in Seoul, Tokyo and Mannheim, Germany.
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automakers have begun checking the level of radiation on cars to be exported from the country in a bid to ease worries among foreign consumers, an industry group said Friday. The automakers will inspect radiation inside cars and on tires before shipment, said Hirokazu Furukawa, a spokesman for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's global car production, disrupted by parts shortages from Japan's earthquake and tsunami, won't return to normal until November or December — imperiling its spot as the world's top-selling automaker. President Akio Toyoda apologized to customers for the delays due to the March 11 disasters that damaged suppliers in northeastern Japan, affecting automakers around the world.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Boeing Co. announced Tuesday that the roof of its new 787 jet assembly plant will be covered with solar panels and its South Carolina operation will be powered entirely with renewable energy. South Carolina Electric & Gas will install and maintain the thin panels that will cover the space of about eight football fields atop the massive assembly building.
SHANGHAI (AP) — The toylike electric cars at the Shanghai Auto Show are a glimpse of the high-tech automotive future China's leaders are pursuing — and a harbinger of possible disputes with its trading partners. Geely's two-seat McCar, Dongfeng's Shuaike microvan, the four-seat M1 REEV from Chery and others promise a range of more than 100 kilometers (60 miles).
NEW YORK (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is revamping its Ford Taurus sedan with three new, fuel-efficient engine choices and a hands-free system that automatically parks the car. The 2013 Taurus has its debut Wednesday at the New York Auto Show and will go on sale next spring. The sixth-generation Taurus was a strong seller when it went on sale in the summer of 2009.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Vacuum manufacturer Electrolux North America will create 200 jobs in Charlotte over the next four years by consolidating positions from across the United States. Gov. Beverly Perdue announced the move, saying the company will spend $14 million in the expansion.
PRAGUE (AP) — A huge nitroglycerine explosion occurred at a factory in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, leaving nine people injured and four missing, officials said. The blast destroyed one building at the plant and smashed windows in a large area around the facility, which makes explosives for customers including the Czech military, said firefighter spokeswoman Vendula Horakova.
DETROIT (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has extended production cuts at its North American factories into early June as it struggles to deal with parts shortages caused by the earthquake that hit Japan. The disruptions caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami continue to spread. Toyota has warned dealers to expect shortages well into this summer, and has changed paint colors on many models because of chemical shortages from a supplier.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It was the catastrophe that seemed to crush a way of life, an oil rig exploding in the darkness and plunging the Gulf Coast and its people into months of chaos. One year after the nation's worst offshore oil spill began, solemn ceremonies will mark the disaster Wednesday and underscore the delicate healing that is only now taking shape.
SHANGHAI (AP) — Global automakers unveiled ambitious expansion plans for China on Tuesday, targeting the country's newly prosperous drivers as the industry struggles to recover from Japan's tsunami. Nissan Motor Co. plans to raise sales by about 15 percent to 1.15 million vehicles this year, said CEO Carlos Ghosn.
MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — At its peak, more than 1,000 people worked at Lift-Tech International, a quiet company in Muskegon Heights that built some of the most sophisticated industrial hoists and cranes in the world. Now all that's left is rubble. On June 30, 2010, the company closed its doors forever, leaving a gaping hole not only in the landscape it dominated for almost 120 years, but also in thousands of lives.
SHANGHAI (AP) — General Motors has set out to refine the current Chevrolet Malibu midsize car with the 2013 version to be unveiled Tuesday. The new car, GM's first midsize sedan to be sold globally, is designed to have better aerodynamics than the current version, and its all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is designed to perform better than the current version yet be fuel efficient.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple Inc. has sued Samsung Electronics Co., saying the South Korean company's Galaxy line of smartphones and tablet computers copy Apple's popular iPad and iPhone. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple alleges the product design, user interface and packaging of the Galaxy products "slavishly copy" Apple.
NEW YORK (AP) — W.W. Grainger Inc. surpassed most Wall Street expectations in the first quarter thanks to its ability to raise prices. The industrial supply company reported its quarterly results after the market closed on Monday and in addition to unexpectedly health margins, Grainger boosted its outlook for the year.
TRENTON, New Jersey (AP) — Health care giant Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday its sales rebounded but its profit dropped 23 percent in the first quarter, due to higher expenses, costs of recalls and litigation and a tax gain that boosted results a year ago. Adjusted earnings topped analysts' expectations.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Economists say the U.S. economy is gaining strength despite political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East and last month's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. A survey from the National Association for Business Economics finds that economists are hopeful that the broader economy is substantially improving, with rising employment reported for the fifth quarter in a row.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Workers starting production of a cheaper, larger Passat at Volkswagen Group of America's new plant in Chattanooga have a message for car shoppers: It's a winner. But there are questions. The name is familiar but this Passat is different. Why risk buying an unproven car? Why trust workers who have no track record? VW's Chattanooga Operations said in a statement Friday that the first 2012 Passats destined for the marketplace will roll off the line next week to be sold in the second half of this year.