Experts say U.S. gasoline demand is at the start of a long-term decline following seven decades of mostly uninterrupted growth. Here are key moments marking the rise and fall: 1905 — Country's first gasoline filling station is built in St. Louis. 1946 — Gasoline demand rises 25 percent the year after World War II ends.
TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay the U.S. government a record $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis. The civil penalties will settle investigations into how Toyota dealt with recalls over accelerator pedals that could get trapped in floor mats and steering relay rods that could break and lead to drivers losing control.
SEATTLE (AP) — Competition among smart phone makers is heating up at retail, in advertising and, increasingly, in the courtroom as handset and software makers wield patent lawsuits to protect their turf and slow down their rivals. Just a few years ago, smart phones were mainly for office workers who needed to check e-mail after hours.
EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Negotiators for Caterpillar Inc. and the United Auto Workers are taking a break for the holidays and plan to resume talks on a contract on Jan. 11. The contract covers about 9,500 workers at a number of sites around Illinois and in three other states. The two sides met Thursday for about two hours.
SHANGHAI (AP) — Communities in central and northern China are facing power cuts and rationing as winter coal supplies fall short of surging demand. Cold weather and transport disruptions typically cause shortages most years, but the problem has been complicated by coal producers' unhappiness over price controls that are crimping their profits.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar Airways' CEO voiced confidence in Boeing Co. over its delayed 787 program Saturday, but warned the fast-growing carrier may scrap orders for the planes if development problems drag on. Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker noted, however, that there are no current plans to amend Qatar Airways' multibillion-dollar orders for 30 787s and options for 30 more.
ATLANTA (AP) — Defense company Lockheed Martin Corp. reached a $10.3 million settlement with the federal government Friday to resolve claims that the company's Georgia division inflated rates used to price contracts for the Air Force and Navy between 1996 and 2000. The settlement resolves prosecutors' claims that Lockheed mischarged costs in a commercial contract with Italian company Alenia Aerospazio to develop a tactical transport plane dubbed the C-27J, said U.
QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — Titan Tire has stopped work at three plants in Illinois, Iowa and Ohio amid contract talks with union members. Quincy, Ill.-based Titan closed plants in Freeport, Ill., Des Moines and Bryan, Ohio, as of 11 p.m. Friday. Titan has been in negotiations with the United Steelworkers union for several months.
NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Manhattan broadened their insider trading crackdown Thursday, arresting four people on charges alleging that so-called "expert consultants" revealed secrets about Apple Inc.'s iPhone and other technology products to hedge funds seeking a trading edge on quarterly earnings reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The eventual cost to taxpayers for the government's $700 billion financial bailout will be less than the $25 billion price tag put on it in the latest estimate, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday. The Congressional Budget Office's most recent estimate is that taxpayers will lose $25 billion on the rescue of automakers, banks and other financial institutions undertaken at the peak of the crisis in the fall of 2008.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Shoppers who are looking for something sparkly to put under the Christmas tree can skip the jewelry and go straight to the source: an ATM that dispenses shiny 24-carat gold bars and coins. A German company planned to install the machine Friday at an upscale mall in Boca Raton, a South Florida paradise of palm trees, pink buildings and wealthy retirees.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — United Auto Workers members at Mitsubishi Motors North America's plant in Normal ratified a new contract Thursday that includes wage cuts the union has said could determine the fate of the facility and its 1,300 jobs. Seventy-seven percent of the union workers who voted on the deal approved it, UAW local President Ralph Timan said.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Ford Motor Co.'s Louisville Assembly Plant saw its last Explorer SUV come off the line on Thursday. The plant is shutting down for a $600 million renovation. The Courier-Journal reports it will reopen late next year with new body, paint, and trim assembly lines equipped to produce multiple fuel efficient models.
BOSTON (AP) — A tobacco company that had tried to hook black children on cigarettes was ordered Thursday to pay $81 million in punitive damages to the estate and son of a Boston woman who started smoking at age 13, in what an attorney said is one of the largest jury awards of its kind in the United States.
SHANGHAI — Fisker Automotive, the California manufacturer of premium electric vehicles with extended range, has partnered with the China Grand Automotive Group, the number one passenger car trader in China, to have its vehicles distributed, marketed and serviced in the region. Executives from Fisker and China Grand Auto (CGA) formalized the non-exclusive agreement during a ceremony near CGA headquarters in Shanghai today.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Low gas prices, weak batteries and a lack of cooperation between carmakers and utilities caused past efforts to introduce electric vehicles to fizzle. But this time, advocates say, an alliance of automakers, utilities and regulators are squarely behind an ambitious project to make California a national leader in accommodating electric vehicles for the mainstream car market.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring is anemic but corporate profits are up, and President Barack Obama is having 20 CEOs over to talk about how to tap that cash to boost jobs. But don't count on the president to reprise the "fat cat" scolding he gave bankers a year ago. No, this is not a woodshed moment.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory output grew for the fifth straight month, adding to evidence thatmanufacturing remains an engine of economic growth. The Federal Reserve says output by the nation's factories, utilities and mines increased 0.4 percent in November, after falling 0.2 percent in October.
NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt said Tuesday he expects the company to deliver "substantially" higher profits in 2011, driven by growth in its industrial division and in China. Revenue in GE's industrial division, which makes everything from windmill turbines to ventilation fans, is expected to grow after being flat in 2010, Immelt said.
BEIJING (AP) — Authorities have rescued a group of mentally ill workers enslaved in a factory after being sold by a man who purportedly ran a beggars' shelter, state media reported Wednesday. Police on Tuesday nabbed Li Xinglin, the boss of the building materials factory in the far-western Xinjiang region who had fled Sunday after Chinese media reports exposed the plant's working conditions, the official Xinhua News Agency said.