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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

For Car Buyers, It's Harder To End Up With A Lemon

February 21, 2012 10:20 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

In the past five years, global competition has forced automakers to improve the quality and reliability of their vehicles — everything from inexpensive mini-cars to decked-out luxury SUVs.

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Blast At China Steel Plant Kills At Least 13

February 21, 2012 10:19 am | by The Associated Press

At least 13 people have been killed and 17 hurt in a blast at a steel plant in northeastern China.

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Japan Trade Deficit Rises As Fuel Imports Surge

February 21, 2012 10:17 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

Japan posted a record high trade deficit in January after its nuclear crisis shut down nearly all the nation's reactors for tougher checks, sending fuel imports surging. Exports were hurt by a strong yen and weak demand.

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Mexico Wins Battle Against Cement Giant

February 21, 2012 10:15 am | by Mark Stevenson, Associated Press

Mexico regulators announced Monday they have fined cement giant Cemex 10.2 million pesos ($800,000) for trying to keep a small importer out of its market, capping an 8-year, David-and-Goliath battle with businessman Ricardo Alessio Robles and his partners.

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Foxconn Raises Wages For Chinese Workers

February 21, 2012 10:12 am | by The Associated Press

Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group said Saturday that it has raised wages by up to 25 percent in the second major salary hike in less than two years, as the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer comes under intensive scrutiny after a spate of suicides.

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EU To Persevere With Airline Emissions Tax

February 17, 2012 3:49 pm | by Slobodan Lekic, AP Aviation Writer

Governments opposed to the European Union's new carbon emissions tax for airlines should not underestimate its determination to curb climate-changing gases, the EU's climate chief warned.

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Obama Promotes Steps To Boost U.S. Trade

February 17, 2012 3:46 pm | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press

President Barack Obama called Friday for more steps to help U.S. companies compete overseas, standing in front of an enormous Boeing Dreamliner to summon a bright future for American manufacturing and exports.

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Investment Research President Charged In NYC

February 17, 2012 3:44 pm | by Larry Neumeister, Associated Press

The president of an Oregon investment research firm has been arrested on conspiracy and securities fraud charges in a continuing crackdown by federal authorities on networking firms accused of passing along secrets about public companies as if it were legitimate research.

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Chinese Leader Wraps Up U.S. Visit

February 17, 2012 3:41 pm | by David Pitt, Noaki Schawartz, Associated Press

The visit was a reminder of China's huge footprint at the busiest port in the United States. Nearly 60 percent of the imports moving through the Port of Los Angeles come from China.

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Gauge Of Economic Activity Up In January

February 17, 2012 3:39 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

A gauge of future economic activity rose in January for the fourth straight month, adding to evidence that the economy has strengthened in the new year.

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Emerging Markets Boost Heinz 3Q Profit

February 17, 2012 3:37 pm | by The Associated Press

The world's biggest ketchup maker's fiscal third-quarter net income rose 4 percent as the company's sales in emerging markets shot up 40 percent.

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U.S. Sites Hacked As Objections Grow To Piracy Deal

February 17, 2012 3:13 pm | by Raphael Satter, Vanessa Gera, Associated Press

The goal is to help countries fight everything from fake pharmaceuticals to pirated music, but activists have been waging weeks of protests against what they see as moves intended to clamp down on free expression and Internet privacy.

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Monsanto Takes On Utilities In Disclosure Fight

February 17, 2012 3:10 pm | by John Miller, Associated Press

The St. Louis-based Roundup herbicide maker, which uses massive amounts of electricity at its Soda Springs phosphate plant, convinced lawmakers to schedule hearings on a bill requiring utilities to reveal their best guess on how potential large expenditures, stretching up to 20 years from now, will impact rates.

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Deal Trims Max Jobless Benefits To 73 weeks

February 17, 2012 3:07 pm | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

Millions of Americans will continue to receive long-term unemployment benefits under legislation approved Friday in Congress, but the scope of the program is being scaled back to cover fewer people by the end of the year.

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Volkswagen Global Sales Up, But Slip In Europe

February 17, 2012 3:06 pm | by The Associated Press

Volkswagen AG says it sold 1.3 per cent more vehicles globally in January but saw sales slip in crisis-hit Europe.

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Toyota, Peugeot Citroen Plant Reduces Output

February 17, 2012 3:03 pm | by The Associated Press

A car plant jointly operated by Toyota Motor Corp. and PSA Peugeot Citroen SA in the Czech Republic says it is reducing the working week and cutting a shift to address falling demand in Europe.

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Solar Company Shares Up On Earnings, Outlooks

February 17, 2012 3:00 pm | by The Associated Press

Shares of solar power companies rose Friday after two of them reported encouraging results in their earnings and a third company said it had regulatory approval to continue building a new solar power project in California.

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Manager Accused Of Stealing $2.7M From MO Company

February 17, 2012 1:18 pm | by The Associated Press

Kansas City Screw Products has filed a lawsuit alleging its former office manager stole nearly $2.7 million from the family-run business and that two banks should have caught the scheme.

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China Faces Conflict Of Law, Business In iPad Row

February 17, 2012 1:15 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

Chinese officials face a choice in Apple's dispute with a local company over the iPad trademark — side with a struggling entity that a court says owns the name or with a global brand that has created hundreds of thousands of jobs in China.

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Chrysler Pulls Request For $3.5B In Gov't Loans

February 17, 2012 1:13 pm | by The Associated Press

Chrysler is withdrawing its application for $3.5 billion in government loans that it planned to use to develop fuel-efficient vehicles.

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