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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

The Dodge Dart Makes A Comeback

December 6, 2011 8:24 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — The Dodge Dart, a 1960s compact car that gearheads turned into street racers, is making a comeback. Chrysler said Tuesday that it will use the Dart name for a new compact car based on Italian technology that it will introduce in the U.S. next year. The Dart, which is expected to get 40 miles per gallon of gas on the highway, is an extremely important car for Chrysler Group LLC, which currently has outdated offerings in the fast-growing compact car market.

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Microsoft, Hitachi Announce Venture In Fargo

December 6, 2011 8:22 am | by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A worldwide consulting and technology services company that plans to join forces with Microsoft Corp. says it was attracted to Fargo partly by the way residents reacted to a record-setting flood in 2009. Microsoft officials announced Monday that Hitachi Consulting has been selected to help develop new software for the Microsoft business group based in Fargo.

Ford Invests $128M To Shift Production To OH

December 6, 2011 8:19 am | by Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press

AVON LAKE, Ohio (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says its $128 million investment at an Ohio plant will protect nearly 2,000 jobs and shift medium-duty truck production from Mexico. Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik), on hand Tuesday at the Ford plant in Avon Lake west of Cleveland, says it shows manufacturing is reviving.

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Verizon Nixes Google Wallet In New Phone

December 6, 2011 8:16 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon Wireless is blocking Google's new flagship phone from supporting Google's attempt to make the smartphone the credit card of the future. In blocking the Google Wallet software from running on the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Verizon Wireless said Tuesday that it was waiting to provide a wallet application until it can offer "the best security and user experience.

EU In Antitrust Probe Of Apple, e-Book Publishers

December 6, 2011 8:11 am | by Gabriele Steinhauser, AP Business Writer

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's antitrust watchdog is probing whether Apple helped five major publishing houses illegally raise prices for e-books when it launched its iPad tablet and iBookstore in 2010. The probe, announced Tuesday by the European Commission, offers a glimpse into the fierce fight for shares of the growing e-book market, especially as Apple has tried to take on Amazon and its Kindle e-book reader.

Cutbacks To Make 'Snail Mail' Slower

December 6, 2011 4:36 am | by Hope Yen, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Already mocked by some as "snail mail," first-class U.S. mail will slow even more by next spring under plans by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to eliminate more than 250 processing centers. Nearly 30,000 workers would be laid off, too, as the post office struggles to respond to a shift to online communication and bill payments.

Recliner Maker Plans MS Expansion

December 6, 2011 4:35 am

BALDWYN, Miss. (AP) — Reclining furniture manufacturer Southern Motion has announced it is moving into a vacant 192,500-square-foot building in Baldwyn for a new line of upholstered recliners. Southern Motion President Roger Blandolf says in a statement that the move represents an investment of $3 million and will create 150 new jobs over the next three years.

WI Firm Reverses 1-Way Flow Of Shoes From Asia

December 6, 2011 4:33 am | by Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (AP) — There's a good chance the shoes you're wearing right now were made in China. Now an American shoemaker wants to put the shoe on the other foot, by persuading the Chinese to wear shoes made in the USA. The Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp., whose high-end shoes have been worn by U.

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Navy Spending $12M On Biofuels Order

December 6, 2011 4:31 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Navy is spending $12 million to buy 425,000 gallons of fuel made from cooking oil and algae that will be used to power vessels and ships in a training exercise. The government ordered the fuel from a joint venture between poultry producer Tyson Foods Inc.

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China Braces As European Crisis Adds To Strains

December 6, 2011 4:27 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer

HONG KONG (AP) — Europe's festering debt crisis is adding to strains on China just as the country is pricking its property bubble and facing a manufacturing downturn, limiting the ability of the world's No. 2 economy to prop up global growth. Leaders in Europe are navigating a crucial week as they work to find a breakthrough at a summit Friday to avoid the disintegration of the euro common currency and the global financial panic that could ensue.

Probe Finds Elaborate Cover-Up At 'Rotten' Olympus

December 6, 2011 4:24 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — A panel probing an accounting scandal at Japan's Olympus Corp. said Tuesday an elaborate scheme to cover up $1.5 billion of investment losses was orchestrated by a group of top executives who were "rotten to the core." The panel also credited the company's ex-CEO, Michael Woodford, for bringing the deception at the camera and medical equipment maker to light.

State, College To Help Fill Jobs At Yogurt Plant

December 5, 2011 8:42 am

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Representatives with the Idaho Department of Labor and College of Southern Idaho plan to visit the headquarters of New York-based Agro Farma to learn what kind of skills workers will need at a Chobani yogurt plant that will create 400 jobs when it opens sometime next year in Twin Falls.

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GE Signs $300M Saudi Arabia Gas Turbines Deal

December 5, 2011 8:40 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Monday that it signed a $300 million deal for natural gas turbines with Saudi Arabia's state-run utility as it expands six power plants. GE has supplied nearly 200 turbines to Saudi Electricity Co. over the last five years. In the latest deal, the utility will buy 13 turbines and related technical services.

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Toyota To Start Shipping U.S.-Built Camry To Korea

December 5, 2011 8:37 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Toyota said Monday that it plans to export U.S.-built Camry sedans to its distributor in South Korea. The Japanese automaker said it expects to initially export about 6,000 vehicles, which will be assembled at the automaker's plant in Georgetown, Ky. The Camry is one of Toyota's top-selling cars, both in the United States and globally.

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Stealthy Cellphone Software Stirs Outcry

December 5, 2011 8:35 am | by Jordan Robertson, Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Technology bloggers are asking if our cellphones are spying on us after a security researcher said a piece of software hidden on millions of phones was recording virtually everything people do with them. Amid a broad outcry, Sen. Al Franken is calling for an investigation.

U.S. Factory Orders Fall For Second Month

December 5, 2011 8:32 am | by Derek Kravitz, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies decreased their overall orders to U.S. factories in October for the second straight month, evidence that the economy remains weak despite other signs of improvement. The Commerce Department said Monday that total factory orders fell 0.4 percent. September's modest 0.

Subaru, Honda Recall Vehicles Due To Brake Issues

December 5, 2011 8:29 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Subaru of America is recalling three of its car models and Honda Motor Co. is recalling some motorcycles, all because the brakes can malfunction. The Honda recall covers 126,000 GL-1800 motorcycles from the 2001 to 2012 model years. A problem with a secondary brake master cylinder can cause the rear brake to drag, possibly causing a crash or fire.

President Appointed To New Atlas Copco Quality Air Division

December 5, 2011 4:56 am

Horst Wasel, currently President of the Specialty Rental division within Atlas Copco Compressor Technique, has been appointed President of the recently created Quality Air division, effective January 1, 2012. Horst Wasel, President of Atlas Copco's new Quality Air division “Horst has a vast experience in air and gas treatment from his previous functions in a customer center, in the Specialty Rental division and Gas and Process product companies.

Cargill To Cut Up To 2,000 Jobs

December 5, 2011 4:33 am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Food-industry conglomerate Cargill Inc. said Friday it will cut up to 2,000 jobs to reduce expenses in a weak economy. Cargill, which has 138,000 employees, said most of the cuts will occur in the next six months. "These are difficult decisions but are necessary to better position the company for continued growth," said spokesman Mike Fernandez.

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Ford Plant Produces Last Vehicle This Month

December 5, 2011 4:31 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — From Model T cars to Ranger pickup trucks, the last vehicle is expected to roll off the line this month at the Ford plant in St. Paul. Thousands of employees have built more than 6 million vehicles in St. Paul since the plant was finished in 1925. At its peak in the 1970s, the plant employed more than 2,000.

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