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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Bourbon Truly American, Despite Foreign Ties

January 14, 2014 9:47 am | by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press | News | Comments

The planned $13.62 billion acquisition of the owner of Jim Beam and Maker's Mark by a Japanese company adds two more classic brands to the lineup of bourbon staples tied to foreign-based parent companies. Wild Turkey and Four Roses are other historic brands with foreign ownership connections.

Lexus Makes Kentucky Home To New U.S.-Made Lexus

January 13, 2014 1:48 pm | by Industrial Maintenance and Plant Operation | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) recently announced that construction is underway at the assembly line that will produce the first U.S.-made Lexus. Last April, TMMK announced it would localize production of the ES 350, which has never been assembled outside of Japan.

Philip Morris Int'l Building Facility In Italy

January 10, 2014 2:08 pm | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Tobacco Writer | News | Comments

Overseas Marlboro maker Philip Morris International Inc. says it's investing up to 500 million euros (about $680 million) for a manufacturing facility and pilot plant in Italy to make new tobacco products.The company said Friday the facilities near Bologna will produce its so-called "reduced-risk" tobacco products.

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China's December Exports Slow, Imports Accelerate

January 10, 2014 10:04 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's export growth slowed in December while imports accelerated, possibly helping to temper fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. Exports rose 4.3 percent to $207.7 billion, slowing from November's 12.7 percent expansion, trade data showed Friday.

Is Chrysler An ‘American’ Automaker Any More?

January 10, 2014 8:53 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Chrysler has technically been “foreign-owned” since July 2011, but the recent deal makes it all the more real: Chrysler might be an American-headquartered company, but it’s also a fully-owned subsidiary of an Italian company. That’s an important distinction, one that means Chrysler simply isn’t in the same playing field as Ford and GM, no matter each of their origins.

Mazda Starts Production At New Plant In Mexico

January 9, 2014 1:31 pm | by The Association For Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

Mazda Motor Corporation announced that production has begun at its new plant in Mexico. The plant, named Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operation* (MMVO), is located in Salamanca, in the state of Guanajuato.               

Ford Fiesta Back In Japan Despite Past Failure

January 9, 2014 11:57 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan Ford President Toshio Morita, unveiling the 2.29 million yen ($22,900) model Thursday, declined comment on trade barrier and currency manipulation allegations being voiced by Ford Motor Co. headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, and other U.S. automakers.

Game-changing Joint Ventures In The Manufacturing Sector

January 9, 2014 9:19 am | by KPMG's Global Joint Ventures Practice | Videos | Comments

Steve Burch, of KPMG's Global Joint Ventures Practice, explores some key opportunities and challenges for the Manufacturing sector and how joint ventures and alliances, if well planned and executed, can help deliver growth.       

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EU Makes Carbon Pollution More Expensive

January 8, 2014 1:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Union says it is beefing up its carbon trading system to make it more expensive for utilities and other businesses to burn fossil fuels. EU officials on Wednesday voted for a proposal that ended a year of bickering over how to amend what is Europe's prime tool in the fight against climate change.

Workers: 'Despair' Led To Kidnapping Goodyear Bosses

January 7, 2014 1:07 pm | by Lori Hinnant, Associated Press | News | Comments

Two Goodyear bosses held captive by workers spent the night inside a factory in northern France that the company wants to close. The plant, which Goodyear has tried to sell or shutter for five years, has become an emblem of France's labor issues. 

U.S. Trade Deficit Declines

January 7, 2014 9:54 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit fell in November to its lowest level in four years, an encouraging sign for economic growth. Gains in energy production and stronger sales of American-made airplanes, autos and machinery lifted exports to an all-time high.

Domestic Minerals Production Could Boost Manufacturing

January 7, 2014 9:14 am | by Hal Quinn, CEO, National Mining Association (NMA) | Articles | Comments

After decades of outsourcing, the resurgence in domestic manufacturing is now America’s favorite comeback story. But one troubling trend could signal a major complication for returning manufacturers: our nation’s increasing reliance on unstable supply chains of imported minerals.

Ford Sales Increase By Nearly 50 Pct. In China

January 6, 2014 2:07 pm | by Ford Motor Company | News | Comments

Ford China sold 935,813 wholesale vehicles in 2013, a 49 percent increase from 626,616 vehicles in 2012. In 2013, Ford also dramatically expanded its imported vehicle offerings in China, with the introduction of the Ford Focus ST, the Ford Fiesta ST, and the Ford Explorer.

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Russia's First WTO Dispute Targets EU Duties

January 6, 2014 1:47 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The World Trade Organization says the dispute is the first to be initiated by Russia since it became a full member of the Geneva-based WTO in August 2012. In a statement Monday, the WTO said Russia is seeking consultations with the EU over its anti-dumping duties on Russian steel products and ammonium nitrate, which is mainly used in fertilizer.

Utah Gun Maker Turns Down $15M Deal With Pakistan

January 6, 2014 9:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Mike Davis, sales manager at Desert Tech, said the company was on a short list for a contract with Pakistan, but spurned the opportunity because of unrest in Pakistan and ethical concerns. It was a difficult decision because of the amount of money involved, he said, and the sale of rifles to Pakistan would have been legal.

Bank Gives $40M Boost To U.S.-Haiti Industrial Park

January 3, 2014 12:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Inter-American Development Bank plans to award $40.5 million to help an industrial park in northern Haiti with its expansion, the international agency said Thursday.                       

Global Stocks Drop On Weaker Chinese Market

January 2, 2014 1:18 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Global markets began the New Year on a subdued note, falling Thursday after a Chinese survey suggested the world's second-largest economy might be slowing.  Major indexes closed out 2013 at or near record highs, but investors seemed reluctant to chase more gains in the new year.

China Manufacturing Indicator Weakens

January 2, 2014 9:46 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An industry group, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, said Wednesday its purchasing managers index for December declined to 51 from the previous month's 51.4. The measure is a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate increasing activity. 

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Jumped 3.5 Pct. In Nov.

December 26, 2013 9:31 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The surge in orders for durable goods, which are products expected to last at least three years, was the latest evidence of a rebound in manufacturing. The gains will likely provide support for the economy into 2014.          

Electrolux To Expand At North American HQ In N.C.

December 23, 2013 10:30 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Appliance maker Electrolux announced plans Friday to create more than 800 additional jobs over the next four years in Charlotte as it expands next to its North American headquarters.                    

U.S. Growth Upgrade Gives Stocks Another Lift

December 23, 2013 8:14 am | by Sarah DiLorenzo, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Government figures showed that the world's largest economy grew by an annualized rate of 4.1 percent in the third quarter, up from the previous estimate of 3.6 percent. The pace of growth is further evidence that the U.S. economy is gaining traction and helps explain why the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to reduce its stimulus by $10 billion a month starting from January.

Inter-Korean Factory Park Tough Sell To Outsiders

December 23, 2013 8:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The two Koreas have taken an initial step to open their jointly run industrial park to overseas investors.  But foreigners who toured the complex on Thursday say the compound in North Korea remains a tough sell despite its cheap labor.    

Japanese Robot Chats With Astronaut On Space Station

December 20, 2013 12:35 pm | by Emily Wang, Associated Press | News | Comments

Footage released by the robot's developers on Friday showed Kirobo performing its first mission on the station, talking in Japanese with astronaut Koichi Wakata as part of an experiment testing Kirobo's autonomous conversation functions.

Possible China Deal Could Pep Up iPhone Sales

December 16, 2013 9:51 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Once China's must-have gadget, the iPhone has seen its explosive popularity squeezed as the market filled with lower-priced rivals from Samsung to ambitious local brands. Some analysts say anybody who wants an iPhone and can afford it already has one.

Motorola CEO Talks About Global Vision

December 16, 2013 9:43 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Google's $12.4 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility was widely seen as a way for Google to acquire patents to defend its Android operating system from intellectual property lawsuits. Yet Motorola hasn't given up on making phones. In August, it started selling the Moto X, the first smartphone assembled in the United States.

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