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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Toyota Freshens Lexus Image To Woo Young

August 26, 2013 10:03 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Write | News | Comments

Toyota's luxury brand Lexus is trying to shake off its stodgy image. So it's opening a cafe. The special lounges, the first of which is opening next week in Tokyo's fashionable Aoyama district, are designed to look more like a chic home than a standard showroom. In fact, only one vehicle can be displayed at a time.

Free Industrial Manufacturer Symposium

August 23, 2013 2:55 pm | by Finishing Brands | Events

This FREE symposium, held on Sept. 18, 2013 from 8:30am-2:30pm, will include presentations from industry experts and live product demonstrations. The agenda will include market trends, automating your system with robotics, and live product demonstrations.

Measure Of U.S. Economy's Health Rose In July

August 23, 2013 10:17 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A gauge of the U.S. economy's health rose in July, pointing to stronger growth in the second half of the year. The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators increased 0.6 percent last month to a reading of 96.0. The increase followed no change in June and a 0.2 percent increase in May.

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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.

HP Is Back From The Dead

August 22, 2013 1:01 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Hewlett-Packard is a top Dow stock this year, with shares up 80 percent, even though HP is really struggling in some core markets, such as PCs and printers. But investors seem to love Meg Whitman's turnaround strategy. Can the comeback continue? 

Equipment Lease Finance Industry Confidence Up

August 21, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation | News | Comments

The Foundation has released the August 2013 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry. Designed to collect leadership data, the index reports a qualitative assessment of the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $725B equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 61.0, an increase from the July index.

Photo Of The Day: Vintage Chevy Auction

August 20, 2013 2:35 pm | by Grant Schulte, Associated Press | News | Comments

The two-day auction will feature mostly unsold Chevrolets that have sat untouched for decades. They'll go on the block in as-is condition. About 50 have fewer than 20 miles on the odometer, and some are so rare that no one has established a price. 

Ally To Pay Gov't $5.2B For Preferred Stock

August 20, 2013 2:30 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Auto financing and banking company Ally Financial took a big step toward exiting U.S. government ownership Tuesday, announcing a deal to pay taxpayers $5.2 billion for preferred stock granted in a 2009 bailout during the financial crisis.

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Study: Warehouses Plan Technology Investments

August 20, 2013 2:10 pm | by Motorola Solutions, Inc. | News | Comments

Motorola Solutions has announced the results of a research study that details shifts in the plans of warehouse professionals across several industries as they respond to new opportunities in the market and mounting pressures inside their organizations. The role of technology in warehouses has shifted from purely reducing costs and has increasingly expanded into adjacent benefits that can drive differentiation and profitable growth.

Creditors File Objections To Detroit Bankruptcy

August 20, 2013 10:14 am | by Corey Williams, Associated Press | News | Comments

The city's biggest employee union, retirees and even a few dozen residents filed objections Monday to Detroit's request for bankruptcy protection, the largest municipal filing in U.S. history and a move aimed at wiping away billions of dollars in debt.

CFO Outlook: More Optimism About Economy During Global Expansion

August 19, 2013 3:21 pm | by Bank of America Corporation | News | Comments

U.S. financial officers gave the economy its highest score in five years and were significantly more confident about economic growth in 2013 in the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch CFO Outlook survey. Executives who participated in the 2013 CFO Outlook Mid-Year Update gave the U.S. economy an average score of 58 out of 100, up from 49 in the previous survey conducted in late 2012. CFOs gave the global economy a score of 51, up from 45.

Unemployment Rates Rise In July

August 19, 2013 2:44 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Unemployment rates rose in more than half of U.S. states in July and fewer states added jobs, echoing national data that show the job market may have lost some momentum. The Labor Department said Monday that unemployment rates increased in 28 states. They were unchanged in 14 and fell in eight states — the fewest to show a decline since January.

French Government Predicts A Rosy Future

August 19, 2013 2:39 pm | by Lori Hinnant, Associated Press | News | Comments

Full employment, plenty of cheap housing, a new Industrial Revolution and Police 3.0. Those are the French government's predictions for the year 2025. Leaders in the Socialist administration, who are under criticism for the struggling economy and rising joblessness, met Monday to discuss the way forward.

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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.

5 Quick Questions With SC Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt

August 19, 2013 8:01 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

According to recent figures from the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the state’s GDP growth rate of 2.7 percent puts it just above the 2.5 percent national average, and is significantly out-pacing the 2.1 percent average of the southeastern region of the country. Much of this growth is attributed to manufacturing.

Fewest Americans Since 2007 Seek Jobless Benefits

August 15, 2013 3:05 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 320,000, the fewest since October 2007 — a sign of dwindling layoffs and steady if modest job growth. The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average fell 4,000 to 332,000, the fewest since November 2007 and the fifth straight decline.

Lenovo Mobile Sales Drive Profit Growth

August 15, 2013 3:00 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Lenovo Group says it is evolving quickly into a supplier of wireless computing, driven by booming sales of smartphones and tablets as consumers shift away from desktop computers. Sales of wireless devices rose 105 percent in the three months ended June 30, driving a 23 percent rise in profit to $174 million, Lenovo announced Thursday. Total revenue rose 10 percent to $8.8 billion.

Berkshire Buys Up GM Stock, Cuts Kraft

August 15, 2013 2:57 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has sharply boosted its stake in General Motors, while again cutting its stakes in packaged food companies Kraft and Mondelez. As of June 30, Berkshire had 40 million shares of the auto maker, according to a filing on Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That's up 60 percent from the stake reported as of March 31.

U.S. Manufacturing Output Slipped In July

August 15, 2013 1:58 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Output at U.S. factories declined slightly in July, reflecting a drop in auto production. The decline was expected to be temporary given the banner sales year automakers are having. Manufacturing output edged down 0.1 percent in July compared with June, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday. It was the first drop since declines in March and April.

IAG To Buy 62 Airbus Planes

August 15, 2013 1:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

International Airlines Group has ordered 62 Airbus aircraft in the A320 family, with a list price of $5.4 billion, to replace aging planes and expand the fleet of its Vueling discount carrier. IAG, the parent of British Airways and Iberia, says it negotiated a "substantial discount" on the list price without providing further details.

Apple Breaks $500 Threshold

August 15, 2013 1:47 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple Inc.'s shares surged passed the $500 threshold — their highest level since January. The gains came a day after activist investor Carl Icahn said he thinks the iPhone maker should do more to revive its stock price. The outspoken billionaire said in Twitter posts Tuesday that he had acquired an unspecified stake in Apple and had spoken to its CEO about boosting share repurchase plans. 

Cisco Posts 4Q Earnings, But Says It Will Cut Jobs

August 15, 2013 12:24 pm | by Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Cisco's earnings and revenue grew in the latest quarter as demand for its computer networking equipment increased. But CEO John Chambers called the global economy "challenging and inconsistent" and the company said it is cutting about 4,000 jobs, or about 5 percent of its work force.

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. 

U.S. Cutting Tool Consumption Down

August 14, 2013 11:52 am | by AMT & USCTI | News | Comments

June U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $155 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR) collaboration, was down 6.6 percent from May and down 12.8 percent from the June 2012 level of $195 million. 

Camry Will Stay U.S. Top-Selling Car, Says Exec

August 13, 2013 10:05 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A top executive says Toyota intends to keep the Camry as the top-selling car in America this year. Senior Vice President Bob Carter tells industry analysts that it's important to Toyota to have the nation's favorite car.

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