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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM To Halve Number Of Vehicle Frames To Cut Costs

August 9, 2011 9:32 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors plans to be leaner in the future by cutting in half the number of car and truck frames its uses worldwide. The company also says it will increase factory capacity 45 percent in Brazil, Russia, India and China by 2014 to take advantage of growth. GM made the statements Tuesday in slide presentations for its annual global business conference for industry analysts.

Mitsubishi Starts Production Of Pajero Sport In Bangladesh

August 9, 2011 5:48 am

TOKYO, Aug. 9 (Kyodo) — Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Tuesday it has launched production of a new model of its Pajero Sport vehicle in Bangladesh to strengthen its lineup in the local market. Mitsubishi Motors said it aims to sell about 500 units per year of the sport utility vehicle, which is manufactured at its business partner Pragoti Industries Ltd.

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Feds Look Into BMWs That Can Roll Away Unattended

August 9, 2011 5:45 am

DETROIT (AP) — Federal safety regulators are looking into a problem with BMW automatic transmission shifters that can allow cars to roll away after drivers have left the vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday on its website that about 120,000 BMW 7-Series luxury sedans from the 2002 through 2008 model years could be affected.

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No More Workers' Comp If Injured While Commiting Crimes

August 9, 2011 5:44 am

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois state employees injured while committing crimes no longer will be able to get workers' compensation under a new law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn. The law stems from a 2007 wreck involving former Illinois State Police Trooper Matt Mitchell. Mitchell was driving more than 100 mph and using his cell phone on Interstate 64 in southwestern Illinois when his cruiser crossed the median and slammed into a car.

Murray: Job Training Crucial For Laid-Off Workers

August 9, 2011 5:40 am | by Shannon Dininny, Associated Press

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Seven months before graduation, Alex Dimas toured aviation manufacturer GE Aviation Systems and applied for a job. Then, the company and his instructors at Perry Technical Institute worked with him to strengthen his skills until he graduated. Three years later, he's still at the company, working as a machinist building hydraulic fuses for 737s.

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Obama Calls For Higher Fuel Standards For Big Vehicles

August 9, 2011 5:38 am | by Darlene Superville, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fire trucks and concrete mixers, semis, heavy-duty pickups and all trucks in between will, for the first time, have to trim fuel consumption and emissions of heat-trapping gases under new efficiency standards being announced Tuesday by President Barack Obama. The White House says the standards the president was announcing will save businesses billions of dollars in fuel costs, help reduce oil consumption and cut air pollution.

U.S. Workers Were Less Productive In Spring

August 9, 2011 5:35 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers were less productive in the spring for the second quarter in a row, a trend that may not bode well for future hiring. Productivity dropped 0.3 percent in the April-June quarter, following a decline of 0.6 percent in the first three months of the year, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

Tyson's 3Q Profit Fell 21 Percent

August 8, 2011 9:20 am | by Christopher Leonard, AP Agribusiness Writer

Tyson Foods Inc. said Monday that its profit fell 21 percent for its third fiscal quarter on higher grain costs and lagging results from its chicken business. An oversupply in the poultry industry has kept prices depressed. Poultry demand has remained stubbornly low as cash-strapped families cut back on restaurant dining and prepared meals that once underpinned chicken sales.

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Arrow Electronic Bids For Chip One Stop

August 8, 2011 9:17 am

MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Arrow Electronics announced a $2,857-per-share bid for Japanese electronic components supplier Chip One Stop on Monday. Arrow declined to disclose the total value of the deal. Chip One Stop is based in Yokohama, Japan. Arrow said its sales for the latest fiscal year were about $47 million.

Bridgestone Half-Year Group Net Profit Up 22 Percent

August 8, 2011 9:15 am

TOKYO, Aug. 8 (Kyodo) — Bridgestone Corp. said Monday its group net profit in the January-June period increased 21.6 percent from a year earlier to 54.12 billion yen on brisk sales of tires, its mainline product, both in Japan and overseas. The tiremaker's consolidated operating profit in the first half of the business year rose 19.

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Toyota To Produce Electric RAV4

August 8, 2011 9:11 am

SEATTLE, Aug. 5 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will start mass-producing an electric version of the RAV4 sport-utility vehicle, which it is now jointly developing with U.S. EV venture Tesla Motors Inc., at its plant in Ontario, Canada, in 2012. Toyota currently manufactures gasoline-powered RAV4s at the Ontario plant, and will produce its EV version using motors and batteries made by Tesla at its California factory, the Japanese automaker said.

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Issa Subpoenas Gov't Documents In Boeing Case

August 8, 2011 9:09 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican chairman of the House Oversight committee has subpoenaed documents from the National Labor Relations Board's lawsuit against Boeing Co., increasing the political pressure over a case that has the GOP fuming. Rep. Darrell Issa of California, a leading critic of the dispute, claims the lawsuit interferes with the company's ability to decide where to do its work.

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Job Worries Grow As Debt-Limit Issue Recedes

August 8, 2011 9:07 am | by Tom Raum, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anger at the nation's leaders for taking so long to strike a debt-ceiling deal has turned into high anxiety over jobs and the economy amid growing fears of a new recession. The news that credit rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the nation's credit rating a notch for the first time ever only added to the tension.

SunPower Plans Mexico Plant

August 8, 2011 5:48 am

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Solar cell maker SunPower Corp. said Friday it plans to own and operate a panel-manufacturing plants in Mexicali, Mexico to serve the North American market. The company said it will lease an existing building with up to 320,000 square feet. SunPower said it will use the plant to make several models of solar panels for homes, commercial buildings and power plants.

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United Steelworkers Ratify Deal With Ludlum

August 8, 2011 5:46 am

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The United Steelworkers have ratified a four-year contract with Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Technology Inc. covering 3,000 workers at Allegheny Ludlum plants in western Pennsylvania and an ATI plant in Albany, Ore. The union and Pittsburgh-based ATI announced the tentative deal June 30, the day the last contract expired.

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Mustangs, Jettas Under Safety Investigation

August 8, 2011 5:44 am

DETROIT (AP) — Safety investigators are looking into possible transmission problems in some 2011 and 2012 Ford Mustang models and fuel lines in 2011 Volkswagen Jettas. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects says on its website Sunday that it has received 32 complaints about an unexpected inability to shift into gear on Mustangs with manual transmissions.

Toyota Hopes For Revival After Sinking To No. 3

August 8, 2011 5:42 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp., which has sunk to No. 3 in global vehicle sales from pole position, is counting on emerging markets to drive a revival in its fortunes, one of its top India executives says. Toyota sold 3.7 million vehicles around the world in the first half of 2011, down 11 percent from a year earlier as sales crashed 62 percent in April-June on production disruptions caused by the March earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

Congress Has Shot At Passing Jobs-Creation Bill

August 8, 2011 5:40 am | by Jim Abrams, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Congress gets back to work after Labor Day it will have the chance to achieve something that has largely eluded it for the entire year, passing legislation that might actually create jobs. With the battering debate over the debt ceiling over, the stage is set for Congress to approve and President Barack Obama to sign three big free-trade agreements and the most significant overhaul of the patent system in 60 years.

Honda Recalls 1.5M Vehicles

August 8, 2011 5:37 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Honda is recalling about 1.5 million vehicles in the U.S. to update the software on the automatic transmission to decrease the possibility of transmission damage. The recall affects certain 2005-2010 4-cylinder Accord, 2007-2010 CR-V and 2005-2008 Element vehicles.

South Korean Biotech To Build VT Plant

August 5, 2011 7:47 am

NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) — Vt. Gov. Peter Shumlin and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy are going to announce a plan by a South Korean biotechnology company to build a facility in Newport that will eventually employ about 200 people. The announcement is planned for Friday in Newport. The project is being put together by Jay Peak ski area president Bill Stenger who is partnering with South Korean company AnC Bio to build a $50 million plant that will be called AnC Bio Vermont.

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