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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM To Invest $2 Billion, Create 4,000 U.S. Jobs

May 10, 2011 9:02 am

TOLEDO, Ohio — General Motors Co. announced Tuesday it will invest about $2 billion in U.S. assembly and component plants, creating or preserving more than 4,000 jobs at 17 facilities in eight states. "We are doing this because we are confident about demand for our vehicles and the economy," GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said during an event at the 54-year-old Toledo Transmission Plant.

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Honda Invests $97 Million In Ala. Assembly Plant

May 10, 2011 8:51 am

LINCOLN, Ala. (AP) — Honda Motor Co. Ltd. plans to invest $97 million in its auto assembly plant in Lincoln, creating 20 jobs. The Talladega County Commission voted Monday night to approve the tax abatements for the project, which is expected to be completed in late 2012. The project comes as Honda prepares to add production of the Acura MDX luxury sports utility vehicle to its assembly lines.

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Friend Of Campbell Soup Heir Pleads Guilty To Extortion

May 10, 2011 8:49 am | by Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A longtime friend to a Campbell Soup heiress admits she tried to extort the Pennsylvania billionaire in an email titled "When the Soup Boils." Agnes O'Brien pleaded guilty Tuesday to sending extortionist threats to Mary Alice Dorrance Malone. She'll get six years' probation as part of the plea.

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Former GM CEO Dies At 77

May 10, 2011 5:07 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says former Chairman and CEO Robert Stempel has died. The automaker announced Stempel's death in a statement Monday. The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press report he was 77 and died Saturday in Florida. Stempel led the company from 1990-92 until he was forced out in a boardroom coup.

Northrop Grumman Unveils Budget-Friendly Aircraft

May 10, 2011 4:59 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Northrop Grumman Corp. on Monday unveiled a new type of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft that can be flown either robotically or with a pilot aboard. The defense contractor said the Firebird aircraft would allow the military to simultaneously gather real-time high-definition video, view infrared imagery, use radar and eavesdrop on communications.

Fiat Could Own Most Of Chrysler By The Year's End

May 10, 2011 4:50 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Italian automaker Fiat SpA could own more than 70 percent of Chrysler Group within a year once it repays its government loans and exercises other options, Chrysler said Monday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Fiat may acquire the U.S. Treasury's 8.

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Toyota To Throttle Back Up Earlier Than Expected

May 10, 2011 4:44 am

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's global car production, disrupted by parts shortages after Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami, will likely return to normal two to three months earlier than expected, a report said Tuesday. Japans' top business daily Nikkei said Toyota's output will normalize earlier than the end of this year as parts shortages are easing.

Beijing: Want Balanced Trade? Give Us Your Technology

May 10, 2011 4:39 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — China is using high-level meetings to urge the United States to allow more technology exports into the booming Chinese economy as a way of balancing trade. The United States, meanwhile, has criticized the communist-led nation's latest crackdown on democracy advocates, arguing that long-term stability depends on respecting human rights.

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Two Injured In Louisville Plant Explosion

May 10, 2011 4:36 am

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Two people have been injured in a plant explosion in Louisville's Rubbertown district. A MetroSafe Communications supervisor said the explosion at Eckart Aluminum happened around 7 p.m. EDT Monday and occurred indoors at the plant, The Courier-Journal reported.

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Officials Investigate 2.7 Million F-150s With Bad Fuel Tanks

May 9, 2011 9:04 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating a fuel tank problem that could affect more than 2.7 million Ford F-150 pickup trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday that the steel straps holding up the truck's gas tank can rust and break, possibly causing a fuel spill and fire.

Nvidia Buys Icera To Compete In Mobile Marketplace

May 9, 2011 8:58 am

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Nvidia Corp., which makes processing chips for phones and tablet computers, said Monday that it will buy Icera Inc., a British maker of data-modem chips for wireless devices, for $367 million in cash. The acquisition complements Nvidia's line of Tegra processing chips, and sets the company up to compete against Qualcomm Inc.

Test Drive America

May 9, 2011 8:46 am | by Chris Kilcullen, America's Got Product

With our national debt at crisis levels and the stubborn unemployment continuing to hamper our recovery, AmericasGotProduct.com is asking every American to get out and Test Drive America during the month of June! “In March of this year, we the people bought just over 1.2 million cars and trucks according to the Wall Street Journal and MotorIntelligence.

Union: GM To Add 400 Jobs At Toledo, Ohio Plant

May 9, 2011 8:29 am

DETROIT (AP) — A union official says General Motors plans to add 250 to 400 jobs at its transmission factory in Toledo, Ohio. Local union President Ray Wood says GM will invest $260 million to build fuel-efficient, eight-speed automatic transmissions in Toledo starting late next year. CEO Dan Akerson and United Auto Workers Vice President Joe Ashton are scheduled to make the announcement on Monday, along with local and state elected officials.

Biden, Clinton Lecture China On Human Rights Violations

May 9, 2011 8:23 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton both expressed concerns on Monday about the recent security crackdown that has occurred in China. Biden and Clinton jointly raised the issue at the opening session of two days of high level talks between the United States and China.

Nation's Billionaires Gather To Give Away Fortunes

May 9, 2011 8:20 am | by Donna Gordon Blankinship, Associated Press

What do dozens of American billionaires talk about when they get together? Their topic this week was of course money; not how to make it, but how to give it away. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Friday that a private gathering was a great chance for the billionaires who have pledged to give away at least half their wealth to meet each other, compare notes, eat and laugh.

Crews Battle Fire At Los Angeles-Area Food Company

May 9, 2011 8:06 am

HUNTINGTON PARK, Calif. (AP) — A fire feeding on soybean oil at a frozen food plant sent flames soaring through the roof Monday and created a towering plume of smoke that was seen for miles around the eastern Los Angeles suburb. About 150 firefighters from several departments fought the blaze, which was reported by employees at about 5:30 a.

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ABB Acquires Mincom For Better Software Offerings

May 9, 2011 7:03 am

Zurich, Switzerland — ABB, the global power and automation technology group, has agreed to acquire Mincom to broaden its software portfolio and establish the Group as a leader in enterprise asset management (EAM) software and services. ABB is acquiring the Brisbane, Australia-based company from Francisco Partners, a private equity group that invests in technology businesses, for an undisclosed sum.

Saab Taps Subaru Exec To Run North American Operations

May 9, 2011 5:08 am

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — Saab named an executive from Subaru on Monday to run its North American operations. The struggling Swedish automaker said Timothy Colbeck would be the president and chief operating officer overseeing its largest market. Colbeck has 25 years of U.S. auto industry experience with Subaru in sales, e-business, finance and other areas, Saab said.

How A 'Networker' Became A Spy For China

May 9, 2011 4:49 am | by Pauline Arrillaga, AP National Writer

Locked in a federal penitentiary in the Arizona desert, Tai Kuo spends his days helping with the cooking, teaching language classes and tennis, making new friends. The convicted spy, it seems, has become a mentor. This surprises no one. Not the prosecutors who charged him. Not his old friends or colleagues, some of whom stand behind him still.

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U.S., China To Discuss Trade, Currency, Human Rights

May 9, 2011 4:44 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's massive trade deficit with China, currency rates and human rights concerns will all be on the agenda when top officials from the United States and China sit down for high-level talks this week. The annual meetings will bring together top officials from both countries representing dozens of government agencies in the areas of trade and finance, and foreign policy.

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