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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Chinese Auto Sales Fall For First Time In Two Years

May 11, 2011 4:38 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Auto sales edged lower in China in April, the first such decline in over two years, as dealers were dealt a double whammy from weakening demand and the spillover from Japan's earthquake disaster. Automakers delivered 1.55 million vehicles to buyers in April, down 0.25 percent from a year earlier, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement seen Wednesday on its website.

Execs Convicted Of Bribing Mexican Officials

May 11, 2011 4:35 am | by Greg Risling, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California company and two of its executives were convicted Tuesday of conspiracy charges for bribing government officials at Mexico's state-owned utility in exchange for obtaining lucrative contracts. A federal jury found Keith Lindsey, president of Lindsey Manufacturing Co.

Toyota's Profit Tumbles 75 Percent After Earthquake

May 11, 2011 4:28 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota's quarterly profit crumpled more than 75 percent after the March earthquake and tsunami wiped out parts suppliers in northeastern Japan, severely disrupting car production. The maker of the popular Prius hybrid gave no forecast for the current fiscal year through March 2012, citing an uncertain outlook because production continues to be hampered by shortages of parts.

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Dean Foods Sees 1Q Profits Tumble

May 10, 2011 9:39 am

DALLAS (AP) — The largest U.S. milk producer, Dean Foods Co., said Tuesday that maintaining and raising its prices and expanding to new markets will help it fight falling milk sales and rising costs and meet its brightened earnings forecasts for the rest of the year. Dean Foods, which cut 600 jobs and reduced other costs during the first quarter, said its net income for the period slid 41 percent from a year earlier.

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Warehouse Stock, Sales Rise For 15th Straight Month

May 10, 2011 9:27 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale companies increased their stockpiles for the 15th straight month in March, a sign they expect future sales gains. Supply levels at warehouses rose 1.1 percent in March, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Sales among wholesalers increased 2.9 percent and have risen in eight of the last nine months.

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Toyota Opens First Pipeline-Fed Hydrogen Fueling Station

May 10, 2011 9:17 am

Torrance, Calif. — Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) today celebrated the opening of the first hydrogen fueling station in the U.S. fed directly from an active industrial hydrogen pipeline. The station is a collaborative effort between Toyota, Air Products, Shell, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the Department of Energy (DOE).

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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.

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.

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.

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