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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

European Growth Still On U.S. Agenda, Not As Loudly

June 14, 2013 5:23 pm | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press | News | Comments

A year after President Barack Obama made an emphatic pitch to Europe's economic powers to focus more on economic growth than austerity, much of the eurozone remains mired in or near recession. Obama's appeals have had mixed results in softening the demands on some of the most debt-ridden European nations to cut their spending.

U.S. Factory Output Rises 0.1 Percent In May

June 14, 2013 5:23 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factories barely increased their output in May after two months of declines, a sign that manufacturing is providing little support for the economy. The Federal Reserve said Friday that factory production rose just 0.1 percent in May from April. Output fell 0.4 percent in April and 0.3 percent in March.

First Airbus A350 Flight Reopens Wide-Body Race

June 14, 2013 5:22 pm | by Lori Hinnant, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Airbus A350's maiden flight ended with a safe landing on Friday, setting the stage for intensifying competition with U.S. rival Boeing in the long-haul wide-body aircraft market. The four-hour flight marks a key step on the path to full certification for the jet, which can carry between 250 and 400 passengers and is the European aircraft maker's best hope for catching up in a long-haul market dominated by Boeing's 787 and 777.

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Nissan Hopes To Grab Share Of Japan Minicar Market

June 14, 2013 9:58 am | by Azusa Uchikura, Associated Press | News | Comments

Japanese automakers Nissan and Mitsubishi are joining forces to grab a bigger share of the country's lucrative market for tiny cars, now dominated by their three rivals. The new model, sold as Dayz for Nissan Motor Co. and eK Wagon for Mitsubishi Motors Corp., marks the first time Nissan has been involved from start to finish in the development of a minicar, or "kei," which means "light" in Japanese.

Once-Promising IN Car Venture Ends In Bankruptcy

June 14, 2013 9:55 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A company that had planned to build high-tech police cars in a vacant plant that once housed a rust belt city's largest employer has filed for bankruptcy, dashing the hopes of a community desperate for economic rejuvenation. Carbon Motors Corp. filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Indianapolis on Friday.

Renault Seeks Change Of Mood With Electric Car

June 13, 2013 12:33 pm | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

Renault hopes its eye-catching all-electric concept car, Twin'Z, can help persuade drivers who refuse to embrace alternative fuel technology to change their minds. Like other all electric vehicles, the Twin'Z is limited in its power and range so the French auto maker is focusing instead on sheer visual pizzazz to reel in the skeptics.

U.S. Economy Graded A 'B'

June 12, 2013 12:00 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian says uncertainty is keeping the United States economy from growing faster, but we're still doing better than the rest of the world. El-Erain discusses the factors behind economic growth and what's holding it back.

USMTO: Manufacturing Technology Orders Level Off

June 12, 2013 8:06 am | by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

April U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $372.50 million according to AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was down 26.6 percent from March and down 12.6 percent when compared with the total of $426.44 million reported for April 2012. With a year-to-date total of $1,650.91 million, 2013 is down 7.0 percent compared with 2012.

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More Americans Quit Jobs, A Sign Of Confidence

June 11, 2013 2:18 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

More Americans are quitting their jobs, suggesting many are growing more confident in the job market. The Labor Department said Tuesday that the number of people who quit their jobs in April jumped 7.2 percent to 2.25 million. That's just below February's level, which was the highest in 4 ½ years.

Boeing Gets $4B Helicopter Pact From Army

June 11, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing has received a $4 billion, multi-year contract from the Army for 177 CH-47F Chinook helicopters. The Army has options to buy up to an additional 38 helicopters. Deliveries are expected to start in 2015. The order will bring the Army's CH-47F inventory close to its goal of 464 aircraft, including 24 for replacements.

GM Stock Sale Brings Government $3.2B This Year

June 11, 2013 2:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. government has sold $3.2 billion worth of General Motors stock so far this year. The Treasury Department says in its monthly report to Congress that it sold $611.4 million worth of stock in May. That's on top of $1.64 billion worth of stock sold from January through April and another $1.03 billion from a public offering last week.

Boeing: World Air Fleet To Double In 20 Years

June 11, 2013 10:11 am | by Lori Hinnant, Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing predicted that the number of commercial aircraft in operation globally will double in the next two decades, with the bulk of some 35,000 new planes going to Asia, an executive from the US airplane-maker said Tuesday. Randy Tinseth, vice-president of marketing for Boeing Co., said rising oil prices are forcing carriers to think harder about efficiency, and that means smaller planes that burn less fuel.

Stripped-Down Harley Rebounds From Recession

June 10, 2013 2:33 pm | by M.L. Johnson, Associated Press | News | Comments

Some motorcycle enthusiasts feared Keith Wandell might be the outsider who drove Harley-Davidson into the ground. Instead, he may be remembered as the guy who kept the motorcycle maker on the road. Wandell grabbed the handlebars at the motorcycle maker in the heart of the economic crisis in 2009. Harley lost $55 million that year, as buying a motorcycle stopped being an option for many consumers.

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Exide Files For Bankruptcy Protection

June 10, 2013 2:29 pm | by Tom Murphy, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Battery maker Exide Technologies is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it attempts to restructure its U.S. business and strengthen its balance sheet. The Milton, Ga., company said its international operations are excluded from the filing, which it made Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

American Auto Industry About To Go On A Hiring Spree

June 10, 2013 10:15 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The new employees will be part of a larger, busier workforce. From coast to coast, the industry is in top gear. Factories are operating at about 95 percent of capacity, and many are already running three shifts. As a result, some auto and parts companies are doing something they've been reluctant to consider since the recession: Adding floor space and spending millions of dollars on new equipment.

Sporty New Corolla Aimed At Youthful Buyers

June 7, 2013 12:36 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The Toyota Corolla, an aging, stodgy but reliable economy car, is getting a radical new look. The world's largest automaker rolled out a new version of the compact Thursday night at a splashy event in Santa Monica, Calif., hoping to shed the old version's low-cost image and attract new, younger buyers to its brand.

Royalty Pharma Raises Offer To Buy Drugmaker Elan

June 7, 2013 12:34 pm | by Tom Murphy, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Shares of Elan Corp. PLC jumped Friday after Royalty Pharma once again raised its offer to buy the Irish drugmaker in an increasingly bitter takeover fight. Royalty said it will now pay $13 in cash for each Elan share, and it will give stockholders the right to receive up to an additional $2.50 per share in milestone-based payments. That's up from a previous bid of $12.50 per share.

May U.S. Jobs Report In Spotlight At Time Of Concern

June 7, 2013 12:30 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The government's release Friday of the May jobs report comes at a time of anxiety over the U.S. economy and whether the Federal Reserve will soon scale back its extraordinary support. Economists expect another month of job gains roughly in line with April's increase of 165,000. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 7.5 percent, a four-year low but still historically high.

ISM: Manufacturing Contracts

June 7, 2013 11:02 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in May for the first time since November 2012, and the overall economy grew for the 48th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. 

U.S. Treasury Sets Price For GM Stock Shares

June 7, 2013 11:02 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday set a price of $34.41 per share for the sale of 30 million shares of General Motors stock. Treasury said the sale will result in aggregate proceeds to the government of $1.03 billion. A United Autoworkers retiree health care trust fund was selling 20 million of its GM shares as well, bringing total sales to 50 million shares.

U.S. Employers Add 175K Jobs, Rate Up To 7.6 Percent

June 7, 2013 11:02 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in May, a gain that shows employers are hiring at a still-modest but steady pace despite government spending cuts and higher taxes. The unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in April, the Labor Department said Friday.

GM CEO: Dividend, Share Buyback Possible

June 6, 2013 2:10 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson says the company's finances are sound enough to consider paying a dividend or even buying more stock from the U.S. government. The CEO, in comments after GM's annual meeting Thursday, also said the company first has to keep investing in new vehicles and equipment.

UT Study Shows Economic Impact Of VW Plant

June 5, 2013 2:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A research study by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville shows Volkswagen's assembly plant in Chattanooga is responsible for more than $643 million in annual income. The study also estimates that the plant increases state and local tax revenue by $53.5 million annually.

U.S. Factory Orders Up 1 Percent In April

June 5, 2013 2:17 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories rose modestly in April as manufacturers rebounded from a weak March performance. Factory orders rose 1 percent in April compared with March when orders had dropped a sharp 4.7 percent, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The big swing reflected volatility in commercial aircraft orders, which were down sharply in March but surged 53.3 percent in April.

GOP Senate Hopeful Calls For Corporate Tax Break

June 5, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez pressed for a cut in the corporate tax rate after a tour of textile-maker Polartec. The company has rebounded from a massive fire in 1995 that destroyed the plant, and two subsequent bankruptcies. It now faces new challenges brought on by the decline in defense-related business resulting from the winding down of foreign wars and the automatic federal budget cuts that went into effect in March.

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