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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

BMW To Add 300 Jobs With $900M Investment

January 13, 2012 3:54 am | by Susanne M. Schafer, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — BMW said Thursday it will add 300 new jobs at its South Carolina plant and make a $900 million investment to expand the factory over the next three years, continuing a recent trend of automakers boosting their U.S. operations to help meet growing global demand. Officials for the German automaker said the move will boost production at the plant, BMW's only one in the United States, to at least 300,000 cars this year from 276,065 in 2011 and include the introduction of its new X4 crossover.

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New Sensation: Phones That Let You Feel

January 13, 2012 3:52 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sure, today's phones can deliver the sound of a heartbeat. But how would you like to actually feel the throbbing? A few companies want to replace the crude vibration motors in today's phones and tablets with something that provides a much wider range of sensations, allowing you to feel the rumble of a Harley or the reverberation of a shotgun blast.

Apple Store Egged After New iPhone Delayed

January 13, 2012 3:49 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Angry customers and gangs of scalpers threw eggs at Apple Inc.'s Beijing store Friday after the iPhone 4S launch there was canceled due to concerns over the crowd's size. Apple reacted to the outburst by postponing iPhone 4S sales in its mainland China stores to protect customers and employees.

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NC Freightliner Factory To Add 1,100 Jobs

January 12, 2012 6:02 am | by Emery P. Dalesio, Associated Press

CLEVELAND, N.C. (AP) — Daimler Trucks North America has announced it will hire 1,100 workers to build long-distance trucks at its NC Freightliner plant as it bulks up after the recession. The company made the announcement Thursday at the factory in the Rowan County town of Cleveland.

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China Auto Sales Slow

January 12, 2012 5:58 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Vehicle sales in China rose a scant 2.5 percent in 2011, the slowest growth in over a decade, as higher prices and traffic controls kept buyers out of showrooms. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported Thursday that total vehicle sales rose to 18.

Vestas To Lay Off More Than 2,300 Workers

January 12, 2012 5:55 am | by Jan M. Olsen, Associated Press

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world's biggest maker of wind turbines in terms of revenue, said Thursday it is to layoff 2,335 people worldwide and warned that an additional 1,600 jobs in the U.S. could be at risk if Congress doesn't extend tax breaks for renewable energy.

Union: Nike To Pay Indonesian Workers $1M

January 12, 2012 5:53 am

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Sports equipment maker Nike Inc. has agreed to give workers in Indonesia $1 million in unpaid overtime, employee representatives said Thursday. A national trade union representing nearly 4,500 employees from the PT Nikomas shoe plant in Banten province said Nike had failed to pay close to 600,000 hours over a two-year period.

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Marchionne: Europe Needs To Cut Car Production

January 12, 2012 5:51 am

DETROIT (AP) — Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said Wednesday that Europe needs to cut 10 to 20 percent of its auto manufacturing capacity to deal with falling sales in the region. Pricewaterhouse Coopers estimates Europe sold 13.5 million vehicles last year, down from a peak of 16 million in 2007.

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Xbox Workers Threaten Suicide In Labor Tiff

January 12, 2012 5:47 am

BEIJING (AP) — Dozens of workers assembling Xbox video game consoles climbed to a factory dormitory roof, and some threatened to jump to their deaths, in a dispute over jobs that was defused but highlights growing labor unrest as China's economy slows. The dispute boiled over last week after contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group said it would close the production line for Microsoft Corp.

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ITT Completes Expansion Of Brazil Facility

January 11, 2012 9:18 am

WHITE PLAINS, NY--ITT Corporation today announced that it has completed the upgrade and expansion of its facility in Salto, Brazil to better serve customers in the oil and gas, chemical, pulp and paper, and general industrial markets. "Brazil and Latin America are important markets for ITT, and this project represents our commitment to expanding our global presence in key growth areas," said Robert Pagano Jr.

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Drugmaker Plans 234 Terre Haute Jobs By 2016

January 11, 2012 8:29 am

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A California-based pharmaceutical company says it expects to hire 234 people by 2016 at a new operation on the site of a former Pfizer Inc. drug plant near Terre Haute. The Terre Haute Tribune-Star and WTHI-TV report officials with California-based NantWorks LLC told the Vigo County Department of Redevelopment on Tuesday that they plan to invest $120 million at the site in a southern Vigo County industrial park.

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Motorola To Use Intel Chips In Smartphones

January 11, 2012 8:26 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Motorola Mobility and Lenovo on Tuesday said they will use Intel processors in smartphones and other devices, giving the chipmaker its first entry into a market it has long coveted. Intel Corp. has struggled to bring down the power consumption of its chips so that they can be used in phones without draining the battery in a matter of hours.

Obama To Reward Businesses That Invest In U.S.

January 11, 2012 8:24 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Wednesday he wants to reward companies that invest in America and eliminate tax breaks for companies that don't, and he's planning new tax proposals to do it. A day after his Republican foes competed in the New Hampshire primary, Obama sought to grab back the spotlight and underscore his focus on the economy by convening a White House forum on how to increase employment and bring back jobs that have fled overseas.

Boeing Hits Production Target For 737s

January 11, 2012 8:21 am

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Boeing Co. said Tuesday that it hit its target of producing 35 of its 737-model aircraft in a month and is preparing to further speed up the assembly line in the next two years. The company had been producing 31.5 of the planes per month, said spokeswoman Kristi Moen.

Toyota Camry Remains Top Seller

January 11, 2012 8:19 am | by Ann M. Job

There are three thrifty reasons why the best-selling car in the United States for the past 10 years is likely to stay on top. In gasoline-electric hybrid form, the Toyota Camry, revamped for 2012, beats all other mid-size hybrid sedans with a combined city/highway fuel economy rating of 43 miles per gallon, according to the federal government.

Ford Recalls 450,426 Minivans, SUVs

January 11, 2012 8:15 am

DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday that it is recalling nearly half a million minivans and SUVs because of a pair of mechanical issues. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker is recalling 205,896 Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans made during the 2004 and 2005 model years, because their torque converter output shaft may fail.

Toyota Power-Supply Units To Power Quake Zone

January 11, 2012 4:25 am

TOKYO, Jan. 11 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it has donated external power-supply units to the Miyagi prefectural government, which can supply electricity through the automaker's Prius hybrid vehicles in times of emergency. The power-supply units have a maximum output of 1,500 watts and are able to simultaneously power most household electrical appliances, including televisions and personal computers, by drawing electricity from the automobile's onboard drive battery, Toyota said.

Hyundai Plans MI Testing Facility

January 11, 2012 4:22 am | by David Runk, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — Hyundai Motor Co. announced plans Tuesday to build a Michigan testing facility to help examine the effects of extreme hot and cold temperatures for vehicle development, a project that Gov. Rick Snyder said illustrates the kind of help the state can provide to encourage business expansion.

Learjet Announces KS Expansion Plans

January 11, 2012 4:17 am | by Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Bombardier Aerospace unveiled plans Tuesday to expand its Learjet site in Wichita, creating 450 new jobs and providing a much-needed boost to a city still stinging from Boeing's announcement that it plans to close its defense plant here. The mood was upbeat this week at Bombardier's plant as Kansas Gov.

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Fiat Wants Fresh Start In North America

January 11, 2012 4:15 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — Fiat hopes to start fresh in North America after a disappointing first year. The Italian brand sold fewer than 25,000 Fiat 500 subcompacts in the U.S. and Canada in 2011, only halfway to its goal of 50,000. Its network of new dealers was slow to get up and running.

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