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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM Loses $4.3 Billion In Latter Half Of 2009

April 7, 2010 5:32 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says it lost $4.3 billion in the last half of 2009 as it struggled to emerge from bankruptcy protection, repay government loans and cope with a severe downturn in U.S. sales. However, the automaker says it still sees a chance of achieving profitability in 2010.

Geithner To Visit China Over Currency Control Debate

April 7, 2010 4:56 am | by Aijaz Ansari, Associated Press Writer

MUMBAI, India (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will visit Beijing for talks with a Chinese vice premier for economic affairs on Thursday, Geithner's spokesman said, in a sign the two sides are moving toward settling a dispute over China's currency controls. Geithner will meet with Vice Premier Wang Qishan, spokesman Andrew Williams said Wednesday, as the Treasury secretary ended a two-day visit to India.

China Threatens Shutdowns For Cadmium-Laced Products

April 7, 2010 4:42 am

BEIJING (AP) — Product safety officials in China are investigating jewelry makers and warning them against using cadmium after high levels of the cancer-causing metal were found in Chinese-made children's trinkets sold in the United States. Product safety watchdogs in several Chinese cities have told jewelry manufacturers they will be shut down if their products are found to contain cadmium, though none reached Wednesday would say whether they had found any cadmium products or closed any factories.

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Firefighters Save Iowa Manufacturing Plant

April 7, 2010 4:28 am

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say quick action by firefighters prevented a disaster at a Fort Madison company. Crews managed to contain the fire to the room where it started early Tuesday at the Gregory Design and Manufacturing plant. The company designs and produces flat and automotive glass racks.

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Toyota Warned EU Regulators Of Defects Before U.S.

April 7, 2010 4:27 am | by Ken Thomas and Larry Margasak, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long before Toyota told U.S. regulators about sticking accelerator pedals, the Japanese automaker warned its distributors throughout Europe about similar problems, documents obtained by The Associated Press show. Concerns about sticking gas pedals and complaints from Toyota owners in the U.

Mitsubishi Plans Arkansas Wind Turbine Plant

April 7, 2010 4:26 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Mitsubishi said Tuesday it is aiming to produce wind turbines in Arkansas by next year at a new $100 million plant, a facility that signals the company is seeking to regain its U.S. customers. Company executives gathered with state and local officials to mark Mitsubishi's decision to build the plant, which will employ at least 400 people and help stem the tide of manufacturing jobs that have left the Fort Smith area.

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Officials: Upper Big Branch Mine Took Safety Second

April 7, 2010 4:18 am | by Tim Huber, AP Business Writer

JULIAN, W.Va. (AP) — The coal mine rocked by an explosion that killed at least 25 workers in the nation's deadliest mining disaster since 1984 had been cited for 600 violations in less than a year and a half, some of them for not properly ventilating methane — the highly combustible gas suspected in the blast.

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V-Vehicle Plans Second Bid At $320 Million Loan

April 6, 2010 10:26 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — V-Vehicle Co., a startup automaker planning to build its vehicle in northeastern Louisiana, will apply again for $321.1 million in government loans, but must come up with another $100 million in private investment and credit to satisfy federal concerns, the acting company head said Tuesday.

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Renault, Nissan Unveil Research Alliance With Daimler AG

April 6, 2010 5:33 am | by Greg Keller, AP Business Writer

PARIS (AP) — Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. will unveil a parts-sharing and research alliance with German automaker Daimler AG on Wednesday, officials said. The carmakers will hold a joint news conference in Brussels to present the partnership, which will also see the companies exchange small stakes of around 3 percent, two officials close to Renault told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Metals USA Hopes To Raise $200 Million In IPO

April 6, 2010 5:09 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Metal processor Metals USA Holdings Corp. wants to raise about $200 million in an initial public offering this week. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company is being taken public by private equity firm Apollo Management LP, which owns more than 90 percent of the company. After the IPO, Apollo would own more than 60 percent of Metals USA.

Boston Scientific Guilty Of Fraud, Hit With $296M Fine

April 6, 2010 4:52 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Boston Scientific Corp.'s Guidant LLC division pleaded guilty Monday to two federal misdemeanor counts alleging it failed to properly disclose changes made to some implantable heart devices. The deal calls for Guidant to pay more than $296 million, which federal prosecutors called the largest criminal penalty ever assessed against a medical device company.

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Carbon Motors Hiring 1,500 In Eastern Indiana

April 6, 2010 4:44 am

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Hundreds of people attended information sessions to learn about possible jobs at a startup company planning to build high-tech police cars in eastern Indiana. Carbon Motors is awaiting approval of a $310 million federal loan before it starts hiring potentially 1,500 workers for the Connersville factory.

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25 Dead In W.Va. Coal Mine Explosion

April 6, 2010 4:43 am | by Lawrence Messina, Associated Press Writer

MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP) — Rescue teams planned to search again Tuesday for four workers missing in a coalmine where a massive explosion killed 25 in the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than two decades, though officials said the chances were slim that the miners survived, and the search may not be able to start again until evening.

First Steel Beam Placed At Boeing's S.C. Dreamliner Plant

April 6, 2010 4:42 am

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Crews have reached another milestone as they build Boeing Co.'s new South Carolina plant. The Post and Courier of Charleston reports company executives were on hand Monday to watch the first steel beam placed for the plant which will build Boeing's 787 jetliner.

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Toyota Faces $16M Fine Over Recalls, Apparent Cover-up

April 5, 2010 11:44 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. faces a maximum penalty of more than $16 million, a record civil penalty against an automaker, for failing to promptly notify the U.S. government about defective gas pedals among its vehicles. Toyota has recalled more than 6 million vehicles in the U.S.

Ohio GM Plant Stays Strong By Thinking Small

April 5, 2010 4:24 am

PARMA, Ohio (AP) — A General Motors metal plant in Ohio has been able to stay strong by focusing on making small car parts that customers never see and are cheaper to ship, officials say. GM has spent $60 million installing new equipment and upgrading machines at the Parma Metal Center, which employs about 1,300.

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La. Manufacturer Sues To Force Use Of Its Product

April 5, 2010 4:21 am

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana company is suing city and parish officials to force them to use a road building material it manufactures. Bear Industries Inc. argues that its product, a calcium sulfate blend, would allow the city-parish to build roads more cheaply, saving taxpayers money.

Imperial Sugar Appeals $8.8M OSHA Fine, Denies Wrongdoing

April 5, 2010 4:17 am

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A hearing is scheduled for May 18 in Savannah on the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's attempt to fine Imperial Sugar Co. $8.8 million. Explosions and a fire killed 14 people and injured many others at Imperial's Port Wentworth, Ga. refinery in 2008. OSHA issued 124 citations at Port Wentworth.

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V-Vehicle Founder Ousted, Venture Capitalists Take Over

April 5, 2010 4:15 am

MONROE, La. (AP) — Founder Frank Varasano has been replaced as chief executive officer of V-Vehicle Co., the San Diego-based company created to build fuel-efficient cars, the company says. Ray Lane, a managing partner of V-Vehicle's largest investor — the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers LLP — is running the company while officials look for a full-time CEO, according to a brief statement released Friday.

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OSHA, CSB: U.S. Refineries Marred By Safety Violations

April 5, 2010 4:12 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. oil refineries have an ongoing problem with accidents that turn deadly, losing four times as much money from such incidents than refineries in the rest of the world, according to an insurance company report obtained Friday by The Associated Press. The problem is highlighted by a deadly string of explosions, including one that killed four people Friday at a Tesoro Corp.

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