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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Solar Plant Files Complaint Against Idaho Power

January 11, 2012 4:13 am

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — A struggling manufacturing plant has filed a complaint with the state utility regulator accusing Idaho Power Co. of overcharging on its electric bills. Hoku Materials included the allegation in its response filed Monday with the Public Utilities Commission, the latest development in the Hawaii company's squabble with the state's biggest utility.


Hostess Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

January 11, 2012 4:04 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, is seeking bankruptcy protection, blaming its pension and medical benefits obligations, increased competition and tough economic conditions. The Chapter 11 filing on Wednesday comes just two years after a predecessor company emerged from bankruptcy proceedings.


Russia Suggests U.S. Is Sabotaging Space Program

January 10, 2012 8:40 am | by Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — Some recent failures of Russian satellites may have been the result of sabotage by foreign forces, Russia's space chief said in comments apparently aimed at the United States. Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin stopped short of accusing any specific country of disabling Russian satellites, but in an interview Tuesday in the daily Izvestia he said some Russian craft had suffered "unexplained" malfunctions while flying over another side of the globe beyond the reach of his nation's tracking facilities.

Bell Helicopter To Build New Model In TX

January 10, 2012 8:37 am

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Bell Helicopter plans to build its next new commercial helicopter model at its facility in the Texas Panhandle. A Bell Helicopter spokesman on Monday would not specify how many jobs could be created in Amarillo by work on the Magellan project. William Schroder declined to release further details, other than final assembly, product test flights and delivery of the Magellan will be done at the Amarillo facility.


Buick Tries To Carve Out Niche For Crossover

January 10, 2012 8:35 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Buick is trying to break into the market for small luxury SUVs with its new Encore. The company wants the Encore, unveiled Tuesday at the Detroit auto show, to be more upscale than the Toyota RAV-4 and Honda CR-V, which are also small SUVs build on car rather than truck frames.

Schumer Calls For All Military Steel To Be Made In USA

January 10, 2012 8:33 am

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer of New York is calling on the Defense Department to restore the requirement that all steel used in military contracts be made in the United States. Schumer is visiting Klein Steel in Rochester, N.Y. this morning. He says the military got all of its steel from domestic producers like Klein for 35 years until 2009, when the Defense Department dropped the made-in-the-USA requirement as demand soared due to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.


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