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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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.

Apple Stock Falls On Supplier News

April 17, 2013 1:56 pm | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Shares of Apple Inc. fell below $400 for the first time in a year and half on Wednesday, after a supplier hinted at a slowdown in iPhone and iPad production. The stock was down $21.89, or 5.1 percent, at $404.35 in early afternoon trading. Earlier in the day, it hit $398.11, the lowest level since Dec. 2011.

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Daimler Selling Rest Of EADS Stake

April 17, 2013 10:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Automaker Daimler AG says it is selling its remaining 7.5 percent stake in EADS, the parent company of aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Daimler helped found EADS but now is cashing out to focus on its core business of making cars. It sold a 7.5 percent stake last year. The Daimler stake of 61.1 million shares would be worth about 2.3 billion euros at Tuesday's price of 37.20 euros a share.

Toyota's Hybrid Vehicle Sales Pass 5 Million

April 17, 2013 10:11 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota's global sales of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles have surpassed 5 million in a milestone for a technology that was initially greeted with skepticism. The Japanese automaker, which said Wednesday it had sold 5.125 million hybrid vehicles as of the end of March, started selling the Prius, the world's first mass produced hybrid passenger car, in 1997.

GM To Roll Out New Line Of Smaller Pickups

April 16, 2013 2:20 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

General Motors plans to roll out a line of completely revamped midsize pickup trucks, with gas mileage and features designed to take sales from Toyota's market-leading Tacoma. The trucks will replace the aging Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Mark Reuss, GM's North American president, said Tuesday that the trucks will be able to do 95 percent of the work that a big truck can do.

Cars, Utilities Lift U.S. Industrial Output

April 16, 2013 2:18 pm | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. industrial output rose in March as cold weather kept utilities busy generating heat and a surge in auto production helped offset broader weakness in manufacturing. Production at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose 0.4 percent in March from February, the Federal Reserve said.

U.S. Industrial Manufacturers Optimistic

April 16, 2013 1:10 pm | by PwC | News | Comments

U.S. industrial manufacturers remain positive regarding the outlook for the U.S. economy in the year ahead, while sentiment pertaining to the world economy remains guarded, according to the Q1 2013 Manufacturing Barometer, released by PwC US.

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GM 1Q Global Sales Rise To Beat VW

April 16, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors edged out fast-growing Volkswagen in first-quarter sales as both companies try to close the gap with Toyota for the global world sales crown. Toyota, which is scheduled to release first-quarter numbers next week, dethroned GM to retake the top spot in 2012, a year in which VW posted record sales and came within 190,000 vehicles of beating GM.

U.S. Declines To Label China Currency Manipulator

April 15, 2013 1:40 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Obama administration declined to label China a currency manipulator, although it said that China's currency remains significantly undervalued. The decision came in a twice-a-year Treasury report on whether any nations are manipulating their currencies to gain trade advantages.

Pratt & Whitney Expects More Orders

April 12, 2013 3:30 pm | by Kelli Kennedy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Pratt & Whitney's military program likely will take a dip as the company transitions from the legacy military engines it's known for making, but engine orders will pick up in a few years with an increase in production of joint strike fighter engines, the company's president said Thursday.

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.

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.

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.

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