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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Abbott Urges Toyota To Keep Making Cars In Australia

December 13, 2013 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday urged Toyota Motor Corp. to continue manufacturing cars in the country, a day after General Motors Co. announced it would follow Ford Motor Co. in ceasing production here due to high costs, market fragmentation and fierce competition.

GM Gets About $343M For PSA Stake

December 13, 2013 9:51 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors Co. got about $343 million for its 7 percent stake in French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen.  The Detroit company on Friday said that it completed the private placement sale of 24.8 million PSA shares for 250 million euros.

Ford Plans 23 New Cars, 11,000 New Jobs In 2014

December 13, 2013 9:47 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. says it will hire more than 11,000 people in the U.S. and Asia next year to support an aggressive rollout of new vehicles.  Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, said the company plans to hire 5,000 workers in the U.S. — including 3,300 white-collar staff like engineers — and 6,000 workers in Asia

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Brazil Gov't May Backtrack On Auto Safety Laws

December 12, 2013 1:21 pm | by Bradley Brooks, Associated Press | News | Comments

Safety advocates decried the idea of any delay, saying that in terms of safety, Brazilian cars are already decades behind those produced for consumers in the U.S. and Europe despite Brazil now being the globe's No. 4 auto market.       

Automotive Insights 2: Reshoring And The Southeast

December 9, 2013 11:09 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net Tia Nowack, IMPO Associate Editor | Videos | Comments

In the second part of Automotive Insights, we’re talking how reshoring and the Southeast’s rise is changing American automaking. Over the last few years, the automotive industry has seen more foreign manufacturers, like Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen, establishing manufacturing operations here in the U.S.  

Tesla Bought With Digital 'Bitcoin' Currency

December 6, 2013 11:42 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

One enterprising car buyer just bought a Tesla Model S Performance using the digital Bitcoins, an open-source currency that uses cryptography to secure and anonymize transactions between parties, from the Lamborghini Newport Beach dealership.

EU Raids Electronics Companies In Prices Probe

December 6, 2013 9:44 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

European Union antitrust regulators have raided the offices of several companies that make and sell consumer electronics and domestic appliances, in an investigation into whether they artificially boosted the prices of goods online.The raids were carried out by the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, which declined to identify the companies targeted.

Is Reshoring A Viable Option?

December 6, 2013 9:04 am | by Tia Nowack, IMPO Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Wages in China are steadily rising at an annual rate in the double digits.  Tax incentives for foreign manufacturers are expiring, energy costs continue to increase, and the cost associated with shipping are increasing.  In short, China is becoming a far less attractive manufacturing option for American companies.

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Nissan Looks To No-Frills China Brand For Revival

December 5, 2013 1:29 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Venucia is a leader in the latest twist in the world's biggest auto market: Chinese brands created by global automakers with local partners to sell foreign cachet at lower prices.  The trend started with government pressure on global automakers to help create Chinese brands. But some are trying to turn that into a commercial advantage.

Honda's Fit Remains Japan's Best-Selling Car In Nov.

December 5, 2013 1:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Fit sold 26,235 units, up 181.5 percent from a year earlier, with its hybrid model with a fuel economy of 36.4 kilometers per liter drawing robust demand, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association.  

China Approves $1.3B Renault Auto Joint Venture

December 5, 2013 1:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China has given Renault and a local partner approval to launch a $1.3 billion auto manufacturing joint venture, the French brand's first in the world's biggest vehicle market. Renault SA, maker of the Clio and Megane hatchbacks, is one of the last major auto brands without its own manufacturing in China.

GM To Largely Pull Chevrolet From Europe

December 5, 2013 11:47 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

GM said Thursday that Chevrolet will no longer have a "mainstream presence" in Europe and said the decision was "largely due to a challenging business model and the difficult economic situation" on the continent. GM has continued to lose money in Europe even as its performance elsewhere improves.

5 Questions: Made In The USA

December 5, 2013 9:11 am | by Alliance for American Manufacturing | Videos | Comments

Josh Miller, of Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey, sits down with the Alliance for American Manufacturing. He discusses what he learned making the film, how to be a better Made in the U.S.A. shopper, and even gave us a glimpse of his next big project.

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Biden: U.S.-China Ties Rely On Trust, Good Motives

December 4, 2013 1:21 pm | by Josh Lederman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Emerging from a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that U.S.-China relations depend on trust and a positive notion of each other's motives. Neither leader made public mention of a major clash over disputed airspace that's pitted China against the U.S. and its Asian allies.

Automotive Insights 1: The Poster-Child Of American Manufacturing

December 3, 2013 11:02 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net & Tia Nowack, IMPO Associate Editor | Videos | Comments

In this inaugural episode of Automotive Insights, sponsored by Omni-ID, we're talking about the growing complexity within the American automotive landscape, from changes within the Big 3, to the revolution of battery-powered cars like the Tesla Model S, and the fact that an increasing amount of American-made cars are now emerging from the Southeastern states, like Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

Nippon Steel In Talks To Acquire U.S. Auto Steel Sheet Plant

November 27, 2013 11:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. is in talks to acquire a German company's U.S. automobile steel sheet plant jointly with ArcelorMittal S.A. for around 200 billion yen, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.         

Auto Sales Boom Spawns A Used Car Market In China

November 27, 2013 9:15 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

As car enthusiasts converge on the annual Guangzhou auto show, few have anything except a shiny new set of wheels in mind. But explosive growth that transformed China into the world's largest auto market is also giving life to a new industry here: used cars.

Honda Starts Constructing 2nd Assembly Plant In Brazil

November 27, 2013 9:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Honda Motor Co. on Tuesday started the construction of its second auto assembly plant in Brazil that is scheduled to open in 2015. Honda invested about 1 billion real (about $437 million) for the Sao Paulo plant to meet growing demand in Brazil, the fourth largest auto market in the world.

The Internet of Things: Brooms Coming to Life

November 27, 2013 7:43 am | by Alain Louchez, Georgia Institute of Technology | Articles | Comments

In Walt Disney's Fantasia, the fate of the enchanted broom, the tale’s forgotten hero, is a rich allegory with modern flavors. It provides a helpful departing point for a reflection on the surging Internet of Things (IoT).        

GE Wins $700M Contract From Saudi Electricity Company

November 26, 2013 1:10 pm | by General Electric | News | Comments

GE has signed a nearly $700 million contract with Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to bring additional F-class combined-cycle gas turbines, and associated equipment and services, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.            

UPDATE: Wal-Mart Veteran McMillon To Replace Duke As CEO Next Year

November 26, 2013 10:31 am | by Phil Wahba, Reuters | News | Comments

Walmart International has struggled to grow more recently, with comparable sales down last quarter in key markets such as Britain, Canada, China and Mexico, and an operating profit that declined in the first nine months of the fiscal year. McMillon has said in recent quarters the retailer must do more to control costs in international markets.

Factory Roof Collapses In China, Killing 9

November 26, 2013 9:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The nine people were killed during the lunchtime collapse at the plant in Mudanjiang city in Heilongjiang province on Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Citing emergency officials, Xinhua said the collapse probably was caused by blizzards.

Manufacturers Are Leaving China, But Where Are They Headed?

November 26, 2013 8:06 am | by Tia Nowack, IMPO Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Seeing China’s manufacturing sector shrink is a trend that excites Americans, although it may not actually alleviate much of the pressure around a U.S. unemployment rate of 7.3 percent.  The reality, according to many experts, is that the phenomenon is more one of nearshoring than reshoring, as many of these businesses – along with their jobs – head to Mexico. 

Chinese Furniture Maker Comes To Virginia

November 25, 2013 12:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Chinese furniture maker is establishing its first U.S. subsidiary in Virginia's Smyth County. Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the $2.1 million project Friday. He says the New Ridge subsidiary of Liaoyang Ningfeng Woodenware Co. is expected to create 125 jobs.

Amazon Workers On Strike In Germany

November 25, 2013 12:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hundreds of Amazon.com Inc. workers are staging a strike in Germany and the union says there will be more to come in the run-up to Christmas unless the online retailer raises wages.                   

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