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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM To Show Off Reworked Chevy Malibu

May 31, 2013 1:43 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The Chevrolet Malibu, an also-ran in the popular midsize car segment, shows off a quick makeover Friday that is expected to address criticism of its bland styling and so-so performance. General Motors will unveil the updates at a press event in Detroit. Experts are expecting to see a more modern-looking car, with some additional legroom in the back seat.

Eurozone Unemployment Heading For 20M

May 31, 2013 1:43 pm | by Pan Pylas, Associated Press | News | Comments

Unemployment across the 17 EU countries that use the euro hit another record high in April — and appears to be on course to hit 20 million this year in what would be another gloomy landmark for the currency bloc. Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, said Friday that the unemployment rate rose to 12.2 percent in April from the previous record of 12.1 percent the month before.

Cheap Leases Offered To Spur Electric Car Sales

May 30, 2013 2:11 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Auto companies are hoping lower lease prices can put a charge into sluggish sales of electric cars. Honda announced Thursday that it's slashing the monthly lease cost of its tiny Fit EV by one third, following similar moves by other automakers. Honda also is throwing in other goodies, such as a free home charging station and unlimited mileage.

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OECD: Europe Remains Threat To World Economy

May 29, 2013 2:18 pm | by Greg Keller, Associated Press | News | Comments

The recession in Europe risks hurting the world's economic recovery, a leading international body warned Wednesday. In its half-yearly update, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that protracted economic weakness in Europe "could evolve into stagnation with negative implications for the global economy."

Unemployment Rates Fall In Nearly All U.S. Cities

May 29, 2013 2:16 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Unemployment rates fell in almost all large U.S. cities in April, helped by stronger hiring. The gains show the job market is improving throughout the country. The Labor Department said Wednesday that unemployment rates declined in 344 of the 372 largest metro areas. Rates rose in just 17 cities and were unchanged in 11.

China Factory Contraction Signals Fragile Recovery

May 29, 2013 1:47 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

China's economy, the third largest economy in the world, shows fresh signs of faltering, with an advance reading of manufacturing output shrinking for the first time in seven months. That may worry trading partners--but not its leaders.

Tesla Shares Hit New All-Time High

May 29, 2013 9:59 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. spiked Tuesday on momentum from last week's stock-and-note offering that raised nearly $1 billion, general market increases, and the prospect of the company announcing a wider network of car charging stations.

Businesses Uncertain Of Future Without Plant

May 28, 2013 1:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Businesses in Paducah are bracing for uncertainty in the wake of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant's expected closure at the end of the month. The shutdown will put more than 1,100 workers out of high-paying jobs with benefits. Kele Sports Depot shop owner Stephen Kelly said the plant has a trickle-down effect economically and the loss of jobs will be felt.

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Cheap Energy Will Bring Back U.S. Jobs

May 28, 2013 12:39 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Manufacturing growth in parts of the U.S. is moving at the same rate or better than emerging markets growth, while some parts of the country are still struggling and possibly clouding the picture of growth. Analyst Meredith Whitney says that the flood of cheap, natural gas will ultimately bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

Bridge Collapse A Major Break In Trade Corridor

May 28, 2013 10:17 am | by Donna Gordon Blankinship, Associated Press | News | Comments

For farmers, business owners and government officials up and down the West Coast, Washington's bridge collapse on Interstate 5 represents much more than a close brush with tragedy. As much as $20 billion in freight travels to and from Canada and along the busy north-south corridor each year.

Automaker Tesla Takes Fight To North Carolina

May 28, 2013 10:14 am | by Chris Kardish, Associated Press | News | Comments

Tesla Motors is fighting a bill in North Carolina that would effectively ban the company from selling its electric cars in the state, pitting it against auto dealers who say the car maker has an unfair advantage selling directly to consumers online.

Trailblazing Israeli Electric Car Company To Close

May 28, 2013 10:09 am | by Jpsef Federman, Associated Press | News | Comments

It was an audacious idea that came to symbolize Israel's self-described status as "Start-Up Nation," a company that believed it could replace most gasoline-powered cars with electric vehicles and reduce the world's reliance on oil — and all within a few years. But it all came crashing down.

China, Switzerland To Seal Free Trade Deal

May 24, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is in Switzerland to seal a free trade pact with the Alpine nation — the first comprehensive agreement his country has reached with a major western economy. Li met with Swiss officials in Zurich on Friday to conclude three years of negotiations.

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U.S. Durable Goods Orders Rise In April

May 24, 2013 2:12 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in April, buoyed by more demand for aircraft and stronger business investment. The gains suggest economic growth may be holding steady this spring. Orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, rose 3.3 percent last month from March, the Commerce Department said Friday.

GM Aims New Chevy Cruze Diesel At VW Jetta

May 24, 2013 2:12 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The marketing people at Chevrolet make no secret of the goal for the new diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze: Take sales from Volkswagen. In fact, they're rolling out the car in 13 markets where VW sells the most diesel versions of its Jetta, another compact.

Chevy Spark To Be Among Lowest-Price Electric Cars

May 23, 2013 12:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors Co. says the Spark EV subcompact will be among the lowest-priced electric cars in the U.S. The electric Spark will have a starting price of $27,495 when it goes on sale next month in California and Oregon. GM also is offering a low-mileage lease for $199 per month, with $999 due when the lease is signed.

Survey: China Manufacturing Contracting

May 23, 2013 12:10 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A survey shows China's manufacturing contracted this month, adding to signs a fragile recovery in the world's No. 2 economy is slowing. HSBC Corp. said Thursday the preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers index fell to a seven-month low of 49.6 from April's 50.4 on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 show a contraction.

Tesla Shares Pull Back After Huge Gains

May 22, 2013 10:17 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Tesla Motors fell more than 5 percent in early trading Tuesday, a brief decline amid huge gains this month after the electric car maker posted its first quarterly profit. And shares in the Palo Alto, Calif., company retook some of that lost ground by early afternoon. Tesla's stock price had jumped 74 percent between May 8, when first-quarter earnings were announced, and May 14, when it hit a 52-week high of $97.12.

Does France Have The Right Plan To Revive Its Economy?

May 21, 2013 10:14 am | by Sarah DiLorenzo, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The man charged with reviving France's shrinking economy and attracting businesses to invest there is gaining a reputation for doing the opposite. As the country's first-ever minister for industrial renewal, Montebourg told the world's largest steelmaker it is not welcome in France and exchanged angry letters with the head of an American tire company he was supposedly wooing.

Apple's Cook To Face Senate Questions On Taxes

May 21, 2013 10:12 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A Senate panel says Apple Inc. is avoiding paying billions of dollars in U.S. taxes, but the world's most valuable company says it is complying with the laws and pays "an extraordinary amount" in taxes to the U.S. government. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to testify Tuesday on Capitol Hill to explain the company's tax strategy.

UAW: Nissan Subsidies Top $1.3B

May 20, 2013 10:05 am | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co.'s Mississippi plant is on track to receive more state aid and tax breaks than what state and company officials have previously revealed, according to a study paid for by the United Auto Workers, which is questioning whether the state is getting enough for its money.

GM Stock Rises Above $33 For The First Time In 2 Years

May 20, 2013 10:03 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Shares of General Motors reached an important milestone on Friday, closing above their initial public offering price of $33 for the first time in more than two years. GM shares reached $33.77 Friday before slipping back to close at $33.42, up 3.2 percent. The auto giant sold shares to the public for $33 in a November 2010 IPO, but they've traded below that price since May 4, 2011.

Labor Productivity And Global Competiveness

May 20, 2013 8:00 am | by Simon Macpherson, Senior Director Operations, Kronos EMEA | Articles | Comments

When it comes to managing the workforce, very few industries are under more pressure than manufacturing. With tremendous price competition from developing countries and a world where products can be replicated across the globe and transported with ease, manufactures need to look at every aspect of their operations for competitive advantage and productivity improvements.

Is It Possible to Bring Manufacturing Back to the U.S.?

May 17, 2013 12:33 pm | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, PD&D | News | Comments

In the press, “reshoring” is defined as the repatriation of manufacturing operations from a low-cost country, back to the home country. In Washington, it stands as the repatriation of manufacturing operations from China, back to the U.S. But in reality, according to Young, it is the transfer of “some manufacturing production from a low-cost country back to the home country or to another country, low-cost or not.”

Building U.S. Manufacturing Strength

May 17, 2013 11:19 am | Articles | Comments

Douglas K. Woods, President of The Association For Manufacturing Technology, discusses the state of U.S. manufacturing, job development, and what the industry can expect going forward. While today’s manufacturing industry is more sophisticated and high tech than ever before, he says, the industry still needs to address some critical issues to be successful in the future.

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