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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

GM Predicts Modest Pretax Profit Gain This Year

January 15, 2014 1:55 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The No. 1 U.S. automaker joined others in forecasting slower growth in the red-hot U.S. market. Still, GM and industry analysts expect sales to reach or exceed 16 million for the first time since 2007. GM said it plans to use profits from the U.S. and China — now its largest market — to boost weaker parts of its business.

U.S. Challenges China Over High-Tech Steel Imports

January 14, 2014 9:56 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. is accusing China of failing to comply with a World Trade Organization ruling against China's imposition of duties on high-tech American steel. Washington says the duties caused a $250 million annual drop in exports. The ruling concerns grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel that is used primarily by the power generating industry.

A Tale Of 2 Employment Surveys

January 10, 2014 1:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

How did the unemployment rate drop so much given the weak job growth? Because the government conducts one survey to learn how many jobs were created and another to determine the unemployment rate. The two surveys can sometimes produce differing results.

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China's December Exports Slow, Imports Accelerate

January 10, 2014 10:04 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's export growth slowed in December while imports accelerated, possibly helping to temper fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. Exports rose 4.3 percent to $207.7 billion, slowing from November's 12.7 percent expansion, trade data showed Friday.

Mercedes, Audi See Record Sales In 2013

January 10, 2014 9:59 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German luxury car makers Mercedes-Benz and Audi enjoyed record sales last year, boosted by rising demand in the United States and China. Mercedes-Benz, which is based in Stuttgart and owned by Daimler AG, said Friday that it sold 1.462 million cars last year worldwide, an increase of 10.7 percent.

Ford Fiesta Back In Japan Despite Past Failure

January 9, 2014 11:57 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan Ford President Toshio Morita, unveiling the 2.29 million yen ($22,900) model Thursday, declined comment on trade barrier and currency manipulation allegations being voiced by Ford Motor Co. headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, and other U.S. automakers.

Airlines Go On A Record New Jet Shopping Spree

January 9, 2014 9:45 am | by Scott Mayerowitz, AP Airlines Writer | News | Comments

Airlines are on the largest jet-buying spree in the history of aviation, ordering more than 8,200 new planes with manufacturers Airbus SAS and The Boeing Co. in the past five years. There are now a combined 24 planes rolling off assembly lines each week, up from 11 a decade ago. And that rate is expected to keep climbing.

Survey: U.S. Companies Add 238K Jobs, Most In Year

January 8, 2014 1:10 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A private survey shows U.S. businesses added the most jobs in a year in December, powered by a big gain in construction. The figures are the latest evidence that the economy gained momentum at the end of 2013. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 238,000 jobs in December, up slightly from 229,000 in the previous month.

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Ford Stock Up, Microsoft Down On Mulally News

January 8, 2014 1:03 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. shares rose while Microsoft Corp. stock fell Wednesday morning on news that Ford CEO Alan Mulally won't leave the automaker to lead the software giant. Mulally said in an interview with The Associated Press late Tuesday that he will stay at Ford at least through the end of this year. 

2014 Economy Will 'Return To Normal'

January 8, 2014 12:22 pm | by CNNMoney | Videos | Comments

Thanks to a more stable international outlook and the housing market comeback, 2014 is expected to be a solid year of modest growth in the economy.                              

Manufacturing Activity In The Southeast Falls For December

January 8, 2014 9:38 am | by Kennesaw State University | News | Comments

Manufacturing activity reversed its previous two-month climb in the Southeast, widening the gap between the region and the nation, according to the Southeast Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report released by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center.

Budvar Beer Exports Reach Record High In 2013

January 8, 2014 9:20 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Czech state-owned brewery Budejovicky Budvar, which has been fighting a long legal battle with U.S. beer giant Anheuser-Busch over the use of the "Budweiser" brand, says its overall output and exports reached record highs in 2013.      

U.S. Trade Deficit Declines

January 7, 2014 9:54 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit fell in November to its lowest level in four years, an encouraging sign for economic growth. Gains in energy production and stronger sales of American-made airplanes, autos and machinery lifted exports to an all-time high.

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Toyota Ups Orders For Hydrogen-Powered Car In U.S.

January 7, 2014 9:44 am | by Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The car, which Toyota calls FCV for now, uses hydrogen as fuel for a battery and emits only water vapor as exhaust. Toyota said the car will go on sale in the U.S. in 2015. Rival automakers Hyundai and Honda have also said they'd start selling cars with that technology in the U.S. that year.

Microsoft Says It Sold 3M Xbox Ones In 2013

January 7, 2014 9:34 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Microsoft says it has sold more than 3 million units of the Xbox One, the video game console it launched on Nov. 22, 2013, with 1 million consoles sold between Dec. 11 and the end of the year.                 

Ford Sales Increase By Nearly 50 Pct. In China

January 6, 2014 2:07 pm | by Ford Motor Company | News | Comments

Ford China sold 935,813 wholesale vehicles in 2013, a 49 percent increase from 626,616 vehicles in 2012. In 2013, Ford also dramatically expanded its imported vehicle offerings in China, with the introduction of the Ford Focus ST, the Ford Fiesta ST, and the Ford Explorer.

U.S. Factory Orders Up On Planes, Business Spending

January 6, 2014 1:39 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Factory orders rose 1.8 percent in November, the Commerce Department said Monday. That follows a 0.5 percent decrease in October. Orders received by manufacturers totaled a seasonally adjusted $497.8 billion in November, the highest level on records dating to 1992

Boeing 787 Deliveries Beat Goal Last Year

January 6, 2014 1:37 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing said Monday it delivered a total of 648 planes in 2013, a new record. That appears to put the Chicago company ahead of European competitor Airbus, which has said it expected to deliver about 600 jets for the year.         

Porsche Reports Record Sales In 2013

January 3, 2014 1:18 pm | by Porsche Cars North America, Inc. | News | Comments

Porsche Cars North America, Inc., the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars including the Macan and Cayenne SUVs and the Panamera sports sedan, announced it has once again set an all-time U.S. sales record, with 42,323 cars sold in 2013 (plus 21 percent over 2012).

Auto Sales Finish 2013 8 Pct. Up, Strongest Since 2007

January 3, 2014 10:02 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Most analysts are predicting that Americans bought around 1.4 million new cars and trucks last month, the fourth-best month of the year. That means the industry will finish 2013 with sales of about 15.6 million cars and trucks, roughly 8 percent better than the 14.5 million vehicles sold in 2012.

Chrysler Sales Up 6 Pct. As 2013 Finishes Strong

January 3, 2014 9:49 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Chrysler finished 2013 with a 9 percent sales increase, posting its best annual numbers in six years as the auto industry's recovery hit full stride. The company said Friday that it sold just over 1.8 million cars and trucks last year, up from 1.65 million a year earlier.

ISM: A Well-Balanced, Solid End To The Year

January 3, 2014 9:26 am | by By Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the seventh consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 55th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

A Look At What 2014 May Hold For Small Businesses

January 2, 2014 1:23 pm | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

What stresses small business owners the most? Our conversations with them and the research we come across suggest it's a lack of clarity. Well, there's no small business crystal ball — at least one we are aware of — but if one existed, here's a look at what it might reveal for 2014:

Global Stocks Drop On Weaker Chinese Market

January 2, 2014 1:18 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Global markets began the New Year on a subdued note, falling Thursday after a Chinese survey suggested the world's second-largest economy might be slowing.  Major indexes closed out 2013 at or near record highs, but investors seemed reluctant to chase more gains in the new year.

ISM: 55 Months Of Consecutive Manufacturing Growth

January 2, 2014 12:52 pm | by Institute for Supply Management | News | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the seventh consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 55th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

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