The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March for a second month as the daily flow of imported crude oil dropped to the lowest level in 17 years. The deficit with China hit a three-year low. The trade deficit decreased to $38.8 billion, an 11 percent drop from February's $43.6 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
Workers around the world united in anger during May Day rallies Wednesday — from fury in Europe over years of austerity measures that have cut wages, reduced benefits and eliminated many jobs altogether, to rage in Asia over relentlessly low pay, the rising cost of living and hideous working conditions that have left hundreds dead in recent months alone.
A Chinese company whose mantra is Build Your Dreams plans to build all-electric buses in California's Mojave Desert. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and officials of BYD Automotive scheduled a news conference Wednesday to announce plans to open the first Chinese-owned vehicle manufacturing plant in the United States in the wind-swept high-desert city 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Ford Motor Co. announced its entry into Myanmar on Tuesday, saying it plans to open the nation's first sales and service showroom for new vehicles by August. Myanmar's vehicle market has been stunted by decades of international sanctions and strict import controls put in place by the military junta that ruled for nearly 50 years, handing out import licenses to a few favored tycoons.
Japan manufacturing and employment showed slight improvements in March, buttressing hopes that the economy may be headed for a moderate recovery. Factory output rose 0.2 percent, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Tuesday, in the fourth straight monthly increase. It pointed to strength in chemicals, electrical components, telecommunications equipment and steam turbines.
Executives with Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. say they will build a new tire plant in Mississippi because they see a global supply shortage for tires. The company plans to invest $300 million, hiring 500 people, in a first phase, and could invest $1.2 billion, hiring 2,000 people, over time. State and local governments could give more than $340 million in aid and tax breaks.
Intelligrated®, a leading North American-based automated material handling solutions provider, today announces the appointment of Bob Wilson to the position of vice president, international division, Intelligrated. Based in Mason, Ohio, Wilson will oversee international sales and operations.
Weak sales in Europe and lower profits at U.S. partner Chrysler pushed Italian carmaker Fiat to a loss in the first quarter. Fiat SpA on Monday said it lost 83 million euros ($108 million) during the first three months of the year, compared with a restated first-quarter profit of 35 million euros in the same period of 2012.
After weeks of fiery rhetoric, military posturing and threats that it's willing to strike back hard if provoked, North Korea appears to be taking a bit of a breather. The U.S.-South Korea war games it despises are winding down, and feelers are out in diplomatic circles that it might be best to open up some avenue for dialogue.
Chrysler's first-quarter profit tumbled 65 percent as shipments of cars and trucks fell while it prepared to launch several key new vehicles. The Auburn Hills, Michigan, company said Monday that it earned $166 million in the January-March quarter, compared with $473 million a year ago. Revenue fell 6 percent to $15.4 billion.
Seoul said Friday that it has decided to withdraw the roughly 175 South Koreans still at a jointly run factory complex in North Korea, raising a major question about the survival of the last symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. The statement by the country's minister in charge of inter-Korean relations came after North Korea rejected Seoul's demand for talks on the factory park that has been closed nearly a month.
Finnish metals group Outokumpu Oyj says it will slash 2,500 jobs worldwide in the next four years to cut costs by 350 million euros ($455 million) and improve profitability as stainless steel demand continues to fall. The world's leading stainless steel maker says about a third of the job cuts will be applied this year, mostly in Germany, Sweden and Finland, in line with production capacity reductions and streamlining.
Europe's stubborn recession cut deeply into profits at major automakers Ford, Volkswagen and Daimler, first-quarter results showed Wednesday as the industry began reporting earnings. Germany's Volkswagen AG said its first-quarter net profit fell 38 percent to 1.95 billion euros ($2.5 billion), while Daimler AG's was down 60 percent at 564 million euros.
Toyota held onto its status as the world's top-selling automaker in the first quarter of this year, although the three-way race with General Motors and Volkswagen is proving tight, as its sales fall in China and Japan. Toyota Motor Corp. reported Wednesday it sold 2.43 million vehicles during the January-March period.
Fancy a spin in a shiny, new Horki? Want to test drive a Ranz? These are just a couple of made-for-China brands global automakers have cooked up to comply with the government's policies. A bevy of new brands from the likes of Toyota and BMW will join China's already crowded car market in 2013, thanks to policies designed to help local automakers. But are they doing the opposite?
China's manufacturing growth decelerated this month, a survey showed Monday, adding to questions about the strength of the recovery in the world's second largest economy. HSBC Corp. said Tuesday the preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers index declined to 50.5 from March's 51.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 represent an expansion.
Global and Chinese automakers showcased family-friendly sedans and SUVs targeting coveted urban buyers at China's biggest auto show Saturday as competition intensifies in this huge but crowded market. China's vehicle sales rose 13 percent in March, blistering growth by Western standards but down from 45 percent in 2009.
Jaguar and Land Rover: Among the auto industry's most coveted brands and soon to be made in China. Jaguar Land Rover will soon produce its iconic SUVs in China with an unusual choice of local partner, budget carmaker Chery. Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth discusses the alliance and its prospects.
China's auto market is the biggest and most important in the world today says Reuters' Jane Lanhee Lee. The world's largest auto market is their playground, and now China's carmakers have set their sights overseas. The president of market research group J.D. Power discusses their prospects.
For the first time, a Lexus vehicle will be produced in the United States. The Lexus ES 350 will be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky in 2015, Toyota announced today. The move will generate 750 new jobs. To support the new dedicated assembly line, Toyota will invest $360 million in the Georgetown plant.
Employers in Germany's key manufacturing sector are offering a pay increase that falls well short of the 5.5 percent raise a union is seeking for some 3.7 million workers. The employers' association in the southern region of Bavaria is offering a 2.3 percent increase over a 13-month period, news agency dpa reported Friday. The IG Metall union is seeking the bigger raise as part of a 12-month deal.
These should be good times for Chinese automakers as they prepare to show off their latest models at the Shanghai auto show. Their home market is the world's biggest and growing. But independent automakers such as Chery and Geely are being squeezed by bigger, richer global rivals including General Motors and Nissan that have moved into turf the Chinese makers considered their own: low-priced models for local tastes.
Okabashi Brands was founded in the 1980s when U.S. manufacturing was shrinking. Staying competitive compared to imports is a challenge, says Bahman Irvani, CEO. But thanks to automation, a U.S. workforce, and recycling methods, Okabashi is a success story.
General Motors' loss-making Opel division has confirmed it plans to end production at a plant in Germany by the end of 2014. Adam Opel AG said Wednesday in a statement that the Bochum plant would wind down production as part of its plan to reduce costs and turn the division around. The plant's 3,200 workers make the Zafira compact.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was headed home Tuesday from a 10-day trade mission to South America with high hopes for the future but few concrete accomplishments to talk about. In a teleconference with Pennsylvania reporters, Corbett described a whirlwind schedule of meetings and events in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Santiago, Chile.