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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

RIM Seeks Probe Into BlackBerry Returns Report

April 12, 2013 3:30 pm | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

The maker of the BlackBerry said Friday that it wants U.S. and Canadian regulators to investigate a "false and misleading" report by a financial analyst that claims the company's new smartphone is being returned in unusually high numbers.

Nissan To Increase Pay At TN, MS Plants

April 12, 2013 10:02 am | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co. will raise pay for its employees in Mississippi and Tennessee. The company has told its employees it will increase their wages starting in October at its Canton, Miss., and Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plants, as well as its Decherd, Tenn., engine plant.

German Leader Welcomes GM Investment

April 12, 2013 10:01 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has welcomed General Motors' decision to invest another 4 billion euros ($5.3 billion) in European subsidiary Opel by 2016 as part of an attempt to turn the money-losing division around. Merkel met with GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson and other company officials Thursday in Berlin.

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MAPI: Outlook Index Shows Slight Advance

April 12, 2013 9:52 am | by Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation | News | Comments

 The results of the quarterly Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) Survey on the Business Outlook (EO-123) indicate improvement, albeit marginal, from the previous report, and imply that the manufacturing sector is holding its own in uncertain economic times. 

The Two Faces Of U.S. Manufacturing

April 12, 2013 8:05 am | by AJ Sweatt | Blogs | Comments

The fact is that our trade and economic policies – or lack thereof – are the primary cause of stagnant manufacturing growth in this country. We in and of manufacturing find ourselves in an environment of two camps, vying on many fronts for supremacy & influence. And, these days, it sure seems like the inmates are running the asylum.

Bombardier's Dogfight With Airbus & Boeing

April 11, 2013 12:33 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Bombardier's CEO, Pierre Beaudoin, talks about the company's expansion in the mid-size jet sector and what that means in terms of competition with Airbus and Boeing. Bombardier's C-series is the company's entry into mainline jets. Fortune's Adam Lashinsky reports.

Discouraging Jobs Report Raises Fear Of Slowing Recovery

April 9, 2013 4:33 pm | by PBSNewsHour | Videos | Comments

A disappointing jobs report has sparked fears of a slowing recovery. Although the unemployment rate dipped slightly, that reduction was attributed to people retiring or who had stopped looking for work. PBS' Judy Woodruff reports on why the job market in March took a sharp decline from the past two months.

Alcoa's 1Q Profit Rises, Beats Expectations

April 9, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Alcoa Inc. kicked off earnings season Monday by reporting a larger first-quarter profit than analysts expected, helped by strong demand for aluminum used to make airplanes and automobiles. The company still sees demand for aluminum growing 7 percent in 2013, with gains cutting across many industries.

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Survey: Small Business Optimism Falls In March

April 9, 2013 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Optimism among small business owners took a dive last month as expectations for their companies' sales and the economy fell, according to a survey released Tuesday. The National Federation of Independent Business said its index of small business optimism, compiled from a survey of its members, fell 1.3 points to 89.5 after three months of modest gains.

BMW Sets Monthly Sales Record

April 9, 2013 2:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German luxury automaker BMW AG says it had its best month ever in March, increasing global sales by 3 percent to 191,269 vehicles. For the first three months of the year, sales rose by 5.3 percent compared with a year earlier, to 448,200 units — even though sales slipped in the company's home market, Germany.

Ford: Focus Is Best-Selling Car In The World

April 9, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. says its Focus small car was the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world last year, with just over 1 million sold. More than a quarter of all Focuses were sold in China, its largest market. The U.S. was the car's second-largest market.

Fiat-Chrysler Bearish On Europe

April 9, 2013 10:13 am | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Italian carmaker Fiat, which controls Chrysler, will revise its earnings targets later this month as the European market is expected to decline for a sixth straight year, CEO Sergio Marchionne told shareholders Tuesday. European economies are suffering as governments cut spending and raise taxes to lower debt.

U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Up

April 9, 2013 8:02 am | by AMT | News | Comments

February U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $385.89 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was up 5.7 percent from January but down 10.6 percent when compared with the total of $431.63 million reported for February 2012.

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ISM: Manufacturing Dips, Remains In Positive Territory

April 9, 2013 8:00 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, MBT | Articles | Comments

Although U.S. manufacturing declined in March, it continues a positive push into 2013. “The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Index was 51.3 in March, down from 54.2 in February but is still above 50, the dividing point between growth and decline,” said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).

Toyota Taking On Rivals With Efficiency, New Designs

April 8, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Having drawn lessons from a series of predicaments since the 2008 global economic downturn, Toyota Motor Corp. is focusing on lowering its production costs worldwide and improving its competitiveness in product design as it faces intense competition from overseas rivals.

Fisker's 80 Percent Staff Cut May Send Luxury Co. Under

April 8, 2013 1:05 pm | by Bloomberg | Videos | Comments

Fisker Automotive, a maker of luxury plug-in cars seeking investors to fund operations, said it's firing about 80 percent of its workforce after failing to secure a deal with an automotive partner. Cory Johnson reports on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West.

China Is The World’s Largest Manufacturer, And By An Increasing Margin

April 5, 2013 3:19 pm | by Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Economist, MAPI | Articles | Comments

China1 displaced the United States as the world’s largest manufacturing nation in 2010 and widened its lead in 2011, according to recently published data from the United Nations. Manufacturing value-added in China totaled $2.35 trillion in 2011 while U.S. manufacturing value-added was $1.90 trillion.2

HP's Chairman Steps Down, Directors To Leave

April 5, 2013 1:55 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairman Ray Lane is stepping down and two other board members are leaving after pressure by disgruntled stockholders stung by the personal computer maker's downfall. The moves announced Thursday comes just two weeks after HP barely rebuffed a shareholder rebellion aimed at Lane, John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson, the two longest-serving members on the board.

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows To $43B In February

April 5, 2013 9:42 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in February as exports climbed close to an all-time high and the volume of imported crude oil fell to the lowest level in 17 years. The gap between exports and imports shrank to $43 billion in February, down 3.4 percent from January's revised $44.5 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Boeing: 1Q Deliveries Unchanged From Year Ago

April 5, 2013 9:37 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing Co. said Thursday that it delivered 137 commercial planes during the first quarter, the same as a year earlier, and it booked orders for 209 more planes. The deliveries included 102 of its 737s, up from 99 a year ago. Boeing has been speeding deliveries of those planes. It's Boeing's smallest commercial plane and in the U.S. is generally used on domestic routes.

Equipment, Software Investment To Grow In 2013

April 3, 2013 12:26 pm | by Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation | News | Comments

 Investment in equipment and software is expected to grow 5.6 percent in 2013, according to the Q2 update to the 2013 Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook released today by the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation. 

U.S. Factory Orders Up 3 Percent In February

April 2, 2013 2:23 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories rose sharply in February from January on a surge in volatile demand for commercial aircraft. The gain offset a drop in key orders that signal business investment. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that factory orders increased 3 percent in February. That's up from a 1 percent decline in January and the biggest gain in five months.

Automakers See Best March In Six Years

April 2, 2013 2:18 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

March is turning out to be the best month for auto sales in at least six years. Major automakers including Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, General Motors and Nissan all reported increases, with some reporting their best monthly totals since the start of the Great Recession in December of 2007.

Why Global Carmakers Are Feeling Good

April 2, 2013 1:37 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The auto market is up, the worldwide economic recovery continues, and auto manufacturers seem to be doing well. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says there is "much more excitement" thanks to profits in the auto industry despite the bad economy in Europe.

Chrysler U.S. Sales Up 5 Percent In March

April 2, 2013 10:20 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Chrysler's U.S. sales rose 5 percent in March as the company sold more cars and trucks than in any month since the Great Recession began in December of 2007. The strong numbers are another sign that Americans are buying cars in increasing numbers as their financial situation improves.

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