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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Jim Tompkins: When Considering Reshoring

August 26, 2013 8:01 am | by Jim Tompkins, CEO of Tompkins International | Blogs | Comments

Is manufacturing coming back to the U.S.? Some may be returning, but the single best answer is “No”. No, there is not a mass movement to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. No, we are not moving away from global supply chains. No, the U.S. does not have a large workforce waiting to take low paying jobs.

Smith Electric Announces Joint Venture In Taiwan

August 23, 2013 4:37 pm | by Smith Electric Vehicle | News | Comments

Smith Electric Vehicles, a leading global producer of all-electric medium-duty commercial vehicles, today announced that it has signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with Taikang Technology Corporation in Taiwan. Taikang Technology Corporation, a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer in Taiwan, has twenty-five years of automotive experience and has expertise in upfitting specialized municipal commercial vehicles. 

Indonesia Curbs Luxury Car Imports

August 23, 2013 1:54 pm | by Niniek Karmini, Associated Press | News | Comments

Indonesia said that it would curb imports of luxury cars and take other steps to bolster national finances as Southeast Asia's largest economy suffers a slumping currency and stock market. Indonesia has been buffeted by an exodus of cash from its financial markets as improving economic prospects in the U.S and Europe reverse the tide of money that swept into developing nations the past few years.

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Tesla Opens Assembly Plant In Netherlands

August 23, 2013 10:14 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tesla Motors on Thursday opened its assembly plant in Tilburg, Netherlands, creating a new distribution site for the luxury electric car company's European customers. The U.S. company began deliveries of its Model S sedan in Norway earlier this month and said that some of its first Dutch, Belgian, French and German customers received their cars at the brand new Tilburg facility on Thursday.

Wal-Mart Pushes 'Made In America' At Summit

August 22, 2013 2:23 pm | by Anne D'nnocenzio, Mike Schneider, Associated Press | News | Comments

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping for a groundswell "made-in-America" movement. The world's largest retailer hosted its first two-day summit Thursday bringing together retailers, suppliers and government officials that it hopes will build on its recent commitment to drive more manufacturing in the U.S.

Survey: China Manufacturing Slump Stabilizing

August 22, 2013 2:18 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing slowdown stabilized in August in another possible sign the world's second-largest economy is improving, a survey showed Thursday. HSBC Corp. said the preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers index rose to 50.1 from July's 47.7 on a 100-point scale. Numbers above 50 indicate an expansion in activity.

Toshiba Mulls Shutting Down TV Factory In Poland

August 22, 2013 2:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toshiba Corp. is considering shutting down its television manufacturing plant in Poland as part of measures to restructure its struggling television business, sources close to the matter said Thursday. But Toshiba will sell the plant if it finds a buyer, the sources said.

The Million American Jobs Project

August 22, 2013 8:03 am | by Million American Jobs Project | Videos | Comments

Economics isn't all that complicated. We can create a million new American jobs this year by simply looking for the Made In America label. If each of us takes a tiny fraction of the money we're already spending and buys U.S.-made goods, we'll create a economic tidal wave. Watch the video, and then share it. Boom, you just helped make a million new jobs. 

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Court: Apartheid Suits Vs. Companies In U.S. Barred

August 21, 2013 2:36 pm | by Larry Neumeister, Associated Press | News | Comments

Two automakers and a technology company cannot be held liable in the U.S. for abuses committed by South Africa's government, a federal appeals court said Wednesday in a blow to class-action lawsuits that had tried to hold American, Canadian and European companies liable for the claims of millions of people who say they suffered under apartheid.

Trade Dispute Threatens WA Industry

August 19, 2013 2:48 pm | by Amy Martinez, The Seattle Times | News | Comments

REC Silicon, with 500 workers in this Central Washington town, annually produces enough solar-grade polysilicon to power more than 2 million homes. But a global trade battle over solar panels threatens to plunge REC and its local workforce into financial crisis.

Where Used Cars Cost More Than New Ones

August 19, 2013 1:20 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

In Venezuela, consumers are paying more for used cars than new ones, as new car buyers have to wait years for delivery. Socialist policies and the currency exchange may be two reasons automotive imports and production have come to a screeching halt.

Companies Halt Operations Amid Violence In Egypt

August 19, 2013 10:28 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A number of international companies have suspended operations in Egypt as three days of violent street battles make the streets of Cairo unsafe. General Motors Co., Electrolux AB, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Heineken N.V., Toyota Motor Corp., Suzuki Motor Corp., BASF SE and others shut down facilities and told thousands of workers to stay at home during unrest that has left more 700 people dead as of late Friday.

Trade Rep Urges Japan Progress On Auto Access

August 19, 2013 10:26 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Monday urged Japan to open its market to American cars and insurance companies, which would pave the way for a broader regional free trade agreement. Froman told reporters that the ongoing talks with Japan dealing with such historical sticking points are tied to the success of the larger and parallel Pacific free trade negotiations.

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Brazilian State Of Sao Paulo To Sue Siemens

August 15, 2013 1:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Brazilian state of Sao Paulo plans to file a lawsuit against German engineering giant Siemens AG to recover funds lost to an alleged price-fixing cartel involved in the construction and upkeep of the subway and train systems of the cities of Sao Paulo and Brasilia. The state government said in a statement posted on its website Tuesday night that Siemens told Brazil's antitrust agency, CADE, of the existence of the cartel in May.

Xiaomi CEO: Don't Call Us China's Apple

August 15, 2013 11:17 am | by Reuters TV | Videos | Comments

7.45 million pre-orders and 100,000 sold out in 90 seconds – China's new and popular low-cost smartphone went on sale this week. China's Xiaomi has sparked a frenzy with a low-cost smartphone that may help the tech firm widen its lead over Apple in the local market, but CEO Lei Jun says it has very different ambitions. 

Samsung Faces Brazil Lawsuit Over Labor Conditions

August 14, 2013 10:11 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A labor group said Samsung Electronics Co. is facing a lawsuit from Brazil's government seeking damages over poor working conditions at the company's assembly lines. Reporter Brasil, a labor rights group, said on its website that Brazil's labor ministry found "serious" labor violations including up to 15 hours of work per day and insufficient breaks at Samsung's Manaus factory. 

China Indicators Suggest Slowdown Is Leveling Out

August 9, 2013 2:12 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's factory output and auto sales accelerated in July, adding to signs a slump in the world's second-largest economy might be stabilizing. A decline in wholesale prices slowed, suggesting weak demand might be strengthening, according to figures released Friday. That added to earlier data showing July imports rebounded from the previous month's contraction.

Honda To Build Second Factory In Brazil

August 9, 2013 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Honda Motor Co. says it will invest 1 billion reals ($435 million) to build its second factory in Latin America's biggest country. In a statement emailed Thursday, the Japanese automaker says the new plant is expected to begin operating in 2015 and will have an annual production capacity of 120,000 compact cars.

Toyota: A Short Stint In Pole Position?

August 9, 2013 1:33 pm | by Reuters TV | Videos | Comments

Toyota's CEO and grandson of the company Akio Toyoda won't brake for anything, and he has been able to pull the company back from a series of misfortunes to help it retake its position as the world's number one carmaker. Toyota has innovated its way back to the top of the class, with bold designs and a weak yen boosting profit. But its export-dependence and weakness in Southeast Asia could see it quickly dethroned.

U.S. Says Differences Remain After Japan Trade Talks

August 9, 2013 9:54 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. and Japanese officials wrapped up a round of talks aimed at reducing trade barriers Friday, but differences remained over autos, insurance and other industries. "These concerns remain," Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler told reporters at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. "The negotiations got off to a good start this week."

EU Pursues Probe Of Chinese Solar Subsidies

August 8, 2013 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Union is pressing ahead with an investigation of whether China unfairly helps its solar panel makers with government subsidies. The European Commission, the 28-nation bloc's executive arm, had only days ago agreed to a settlement over China's alleged practice of selling its panels below cost, a practice known as dumping. But complaints over Beijing's alleged state subsidies were never settled.

Japan, U.S. Hold Talks Linked To Regional Trade Pact

August 7, 2013 1:47 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

U.S. and Japanese officials are holding talks in Tokyo to overcome obstacles to Japan's ongoing participation in American-led efforts to forge a regional free trade bloc. Acting deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler is heading the U.S. side in talks that began Wednesday on autos, insurance and non-tariff barriers to trade.

Why Google Is Assembling Phones In The U.S.

August 7, 2013 12:47 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside talk about why they decided to assemble the Moto X smartphone in Texas. The Moto X will be assembled at a plant in Texas, which employs about 2,000 workers.        

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows To $34.2B In June

August 6, 2013 2:12 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in June to its lowest level in more than 3 ½ years. Exports rose to all-time high and imports declined, signs that economic growth could be stronger than previously thought. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the June deficit fell 22.4 percent to $34.2 billion.

Obama Likely To Miss Goal Of Doubling Exports

August 5, 2013 10:22 am | by Tom Raum, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

Back in January 2010, President Barack Obama set a lofty goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years. With just 18 months to go to 2015, that target seems to be slipping beyond reach and has vanished from White House talking points. Blame tepid U.S. manufacturing growth, the lingering weak global economy, and a stronger U.S. dollar, which makes it harder to sell American goods and services overseas.

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