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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Ford China February Sales Up 67 Pct.

March 6, 2014 1:50 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Continued strong demand for the Ford Focus, the best-selling nameplate in China last year, helped Ford China increase sales by 67 percent in February, with 73,040 vehicles sold.                      

Factory Orders Drop In January

March 6, 2014 1:47 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories fell in January for a second straight month but a key category that signals business investment plans rebounded. That could be an indication that businesses are becoming more confident.            

Survey: Companies Added 139K Jobs In Feb.

March 5, 2014 10:01 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A private survey shows that U.S. companies added slightly more jobs in February than in the previous month, but harsh winter weather weighed on hiring for the third straight month.                    

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ISM: Extreme Weather Impacts Supply Chain

March 4, 2014 1:23 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the ninth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 57th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

Cold Weather Hurt Automakers And Walmart, But Helped Others

March 4, 2014 9:48 am | by Joseph Pisani, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

"The concept of a polar vortex doesn't feel good, but it's good for business," said Kane Calamari, a vice president at Ace Hardware Corp.                                 

Oil Prices Spike On Russia Sanctions Fears

March 3, 2014 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Oil prices jumped nearly $2 a barrel Monday as Russia's military advance into Ukraine raised fears of economic sanctions against one of the world's major energy producers.                        

March Will Test U.S. Auto Demand

March 3, 2014 2:08 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

As the spring thaw begins, automakers will see if the slowdown was due to historic cold temperatures and snowfall — as many believe — or if there are deeper reasons for sagging demand.                   

GM, Ford, Toyota Feb. Sales Fall

March 3, 2014 1:48 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

America's top three automakers said the month started slowly but sales began to recover in the second half, a sign that fears of a broader auto sales slowdown may be unfounded.                      

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Manufacturers Optimistic Overall, But Energy Costs Are Big Concern

March 3, 2014 12:27 pm | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO | News | Comments

Like their peers in other sectors, industrial manufacturing CEOs are much less worried about the global economy than last year, although exchange rate volatility and energy costs are still big concerns.             

China Manufacturing Weakens, Economy Cools

March 3, 2014 9:52 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing weakened in February and employers cut staff at the fastest rate in nearly five years, a survey showed Monday, adding to signs growth in the world's second-largest economy is cooling.             

Chrysler, Nissan Post Big Sales Gains

March 3, 2014 9:48 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Nissan says its sales were up almost 16 percent to just over 115,000 despite repeated winter storms that struck much of the country. Chrysler sales rose 11 percent to nearly 155,000.                    

Economy Expands At 2.4 Pct. Rate In 4Q

February 28, 2014 12:54 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate last quarter, sharply less than first thought, in part because consumers didn't spend as much as initially estimated. Severe winter weather is expected to further slow the economy in the current quarter.

Applications For Jobless Benefits Rise To 348K

February 27, 2014 2:17 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Labor Department says the four-week average was unchanged at 338,250. Applications are a rough proxy for layoffs. The average is not far above pre-recession levels, a sign companies are laying off few workers.            

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Durable Goods Orders Fall In January

February 27, 2014 2:13 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

American businesses ordered fewer durable manufactured goods in January, cutting demand for planes, autos, and machines. But a key category that reflects business investment rebounded on the strength of demand for electronics and fabricated metals.

Airbus To Boost Production, Profits Up

February 27, 2014 2:09 pm | by The Association for Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

Europe's largest aerospace group, previously known as EADS, said it would increase production of its best-selling A320 jet family to 46 aircraft a month by the second quarter of 2016 from the current 42, echoing plans by rival Boeing to reach towards 47 a month.

Analyst Doubles Price Target, Boosts Tesla Shares

February 25, 2014 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. surged 16 percent Tuesday after a Wall Street analyst told investors that Tesla could shake up the electric utility sector as well as the auto industry.                     

French Automakers Seek To Catch Up In China

February 25, 2014 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Their motivation is clear: Europe's auto sales slumped last year to their lowest level since 1995, forcing French brands to join U.S. and European rivals in looking to China to drive revenues. But the timing is awkward.          

Japan Trade Deficit Hits Record $27.4B In January

February 21, 2014 10:08 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan's trade deficit surged to a monthly record of 2.8 trillion yen ($27.4 billion) in January as imports jumped 25 percent, underscoring the challenge the country faces in restoring export-driven growth.              

Coca-Cola CFO To Retire As Cost-Cutting Ramps Up

February 21, 2014 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Longtime Coca-Cola Chief Financial Officer Gary Fayard will retire in May as the company ramps up its cost-cutting efforts. The world's largest drink maker is trying to keep up with shifting consumer tastes as volume declines in North America reached 1 percent in the most recent quarter.

Mexico To Trump Japan As No. 2 Car Exporter To U.S.

February 21, 2014 9:57 am | by Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press | News | Comments

An $800 million Honda plant opening Friday in the central state of Guanajuato will produce about 200,000 Fit hatchbacks a year, helping push total Mexican car exports to the U.S. to 1.7 million in 2014, roughly 200,000 more than Japan, consulting firm IHS Automotive says.

IHS: 4Q Manufacturing Employment Surges To 4-Year High

February 20, 2014 1:52 pm | by Aparna Soni, Economist, IHS Global Insight | News | Comments

At over 12 million jobs nationwide, manufacturing employment is now the highest it has been since 2009. The sector recovered handsomely from the setbacks it had faced earlier in the second and third quarters and is poised to start the new year on a strong footing.

China's Manufacturing Slows To 7-Month Low

February 20, 2014 9:58 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's economic activity has slowed steadily as the government tries to reduce reliance on investment in industry and infrastructure and encourage more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption.              

Harsh Winter Puts Small Businesses Out In The Cold

February 19, 2014 2:21 pm | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

This has been the snowiest winter nationally in four years and the coldest in three years, costing businesses of all sizes and their employees an estimated $15 billion that can't be made up, according to research from Planalytics, which analyzes the economic impact of weather.  

Carlsberg: Beer Demand Falling In Europe, Russia

February 19, 2014 10:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Carlsberg says beer sales are likely to fall this year in western Europe and Russia, but continue to grow in Asia. The Copenhagen-based group says its fourth-quarter net sales fell slightly to 15.7 billion kroner ($2.9 billion) as overall beer volumes dropped 3 percent.

Report: Offshoring And Outsourcing A Mixed Bag For U.S. Jobs, Wages

February 19, 2014 10:17 am | by UC Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) | News | Comments

Without solid numbers, many have assumed that most of the offshored jobs go to developing countries where workers are paid near-poverty wages in less than ideal working conditions. However, the researchers said public fear that offshoring to lower-cost countries is putting downward pressure on U.S. jobs may be overblown.

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