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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Fiat Reports Q1 Loss As Sales Slip

April 29, 2013 2:23 pm | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

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.

Chrysler Profit Falls 65 Percent On Lower Shipments

April 29, 2013 10:13 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

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.

GM CEO's 2012 Pay Package Up 44 Percent

April 25, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors Co. boosted CEO Dan Akerson's pay package by 44 percent last year, as the value of his stock awards significantly increased. Akerson earned $11.1 million in salary and stock awards last year, compared with $7.7 million in 2011. The AP's calculation counts salary, bonuses, perks and stock and options awarded to the executive during the year.

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Fiat Mulls IPO After Buying Chrysler

April 25, 2013 2:11 pm | by Colleen Barry, Tom Krisher, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Italian automaker Fiat is considering a plan to hold a public stock offering after the company buys 100 percent of Chrysler, according to a person briefed on the matter. The plan to sell shares of a combined company is among several options being evaluated by Sergio Marchionne, who serves as CEO of both automakers, said the person, who requested anonymity because no decision has been made.

What's Next For Apple?

April 25, 2013 8:00 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

It's certainly one of the most talked about stocks, so what is it going to take to turn Apple's profits around? Apple's profits fell 18 percent to $9.5 billion in the second quarter. As profit margins decrease on iPads and iPhones, pressure increases on Apple to enter a new product category.

Boeing Sees Early-May Restart Of 787 Deliveries

April 24, 2013 2:02 pm | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Boeing is aiming to begin delivering 787s again in early May. The 787 has been grounded since mid-January because of smoldering batteries. Federal authorities have approved Boeing's redesigned battery system. The new battery setup has been installed on 10 787s that belong to airlines, and on nine more that have been built but not delivered, said Boeing Co. Chairman and CEO Jim McNerney.

European Recession Hits Major Car Makers

April 24, 2013 2:00 pm | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

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.

Orders For U.S. Durable Goods Fall In March

April 24, 2013 1:54 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell in March by the most in seven months. The drop reflected a steep decline in commercial aircraft demand and little growth in orders that signal future business investment. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that orders for durable goods declined 5.7 percent in March. That followed a 4.3 percent gain in February, which was revised lower.

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Administration Had Advance Warning On Fisker

April 24, 2013 10:15 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

Newly released documents show that the Obama administration was warned as early as 2010 that electric car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. was not meeting milestones set up for a half-billion dollar government loan, nearly a year before U.S. officials froze the loan after questions were raised about the company's statements.

Ford's 1Q Profit Reaches $1.6B

April 24, 2013 10:13 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. reported a better-than-expected $1.6 billion profit in the first quarter as growing demand in the U.S. and China for its new vehicles helped overcome steep losses in Europe and South America. Ford said Wednesday that first-quarter net income rose 15 percent from a year ago. Worldwide sales rose 10 percent to nearly 1.5 million.

Toyota: Top Selling Automaker Despite China Fall

April 24, 2013 10:11 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

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.

Apple To Dole Out $100B To Shareholders

April 24, 2013 10:06 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Apple is opening the doors to its bank vault, saying it will distribute $100 billion in cash to its shareholders by the end of 2015. At the same time, the company said revenue for the current quarter could fall from the year before, which would be the first decline in many years.

AK Steel 1Q Loss Narrows

April 23, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

AK Steel Holding Corp. said Tuesday that its first-quarter loss narrowed, as a drop in operating costs offset lower sales. The West Chester, Ohio, company lost $9.9 million, or 7 cents per share, compared with a loss of $11.8 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. The loss was smaller than Wall Street expected. Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 11 cents per share, according to FactSet.

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Survey: China Manufacturing Weakening

April 23, 2013 10:22 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

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.

Automakers Target Chinese Buyers At Auto Show

April 22, 2013 2:21 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

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.

Investors Who Stood By Boeing Reap Reward

April 22, 2013 2:17 pm | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Investors who stood by Boeing during its 787 crisis have been rewarded. Some investors bailed out, spooked by the latest snag with a plane considered to be a key to Boeing's future. Others were confident that Boeing Co. would quickly fix the battery problem and raved about its long-term prospects.

Jaguar Land Rover Enjoying China 'Honeymoon'

April 22, 2013 1:33 pm | by ReutersTV | Videos | Comments

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.

Survey: U.S. Budget Tightening Not Hurting Business

April 22, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Washington's budget tightening is having a minimal effect on businesses, a survey of business economists released Monday shows. The National Association for Business Economics survey asks how higher taxes and lower government spending effected businesses in the first three months of 2013.

CAT 1Q Profit Shrank; Cuts 2013 Outlook

April 22, 2013 10:05 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A slowdown in the mining business is digging a hole in Caterpillar's profits. First-quarter profit shrank 45 percent. Caterpillar lowered its expectations for full year sales and profits because its mining business is slowing. Sales of Caterpillar-branded mining machines will drop by half this year, the company said on Monday.

Fiat Sticks To Focus On Premium Models

April 19, 2013 4:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Fiat Chairman John Elkann says the Italian carmaker's shift to premium models remains a valid strategy as European sales continue to plummet. Elkann said Friday that Fiat, which owns Chrysler, is proceeding with its plan to launch 17 higher-margin premium models for export by 2016 to revive stagnant Italian production lines.

Boeing Slows 747 Production On Weak Demand

April 19, 2013 4:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing says it will slow down production of its superjumbo 747-8 because of weak demand. Boeing builds two of the planes every month. It's slowing that rate to one and three-quarters per month. Boeing had warned that a slowdown was possible if demand didn't improve. Boeing has orders for 64 of the planes still to be built, including freighter and passenger versions.

Chinese Cars Still In The Slow Lane To Global Market

April 19, 2013 4:02 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

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.

U.S. Unemployment Aid Applications Rise To 352K

April 19, 2013 10:13 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits increased just 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 352,000. The slight gain kept applications at a level consistent with solid hiring and suggests March's sluggish hiring may be temporary.

Chinese Automakers Struggle Against Global Rivals

April 18, 2013 2:10 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

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.

Purell's Long Path To Success

April 17, 2013 4:42 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

Now the top pick among careful parents and germaphobes alike, Purell's market success wasn't always so obvious. After a decade of rising sales and steady marketing, the anti-bacterial hand sanitizer has become wildly successful, surpassing analyst predictions on its way to the top.

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