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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Late To The Chinese Market, Ford Aims To Catch Up

July 9, 2013 10:09 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Last year, Chinese consumers bought 19 million cars and trucks — 5 million more than consumers in the U.S. Ford's share of those sales was just 3 percent. Years of corporate chaos and financial trouble slowed Ford's entry into China as its rivals gained a foothold. Together, General Motors and Volkswagen control a third of China's market.

Alcoa Posts $119M Loss On Restructuring Costs

July 9, 2013 9:58 am | by David Koenig, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Strong demand for lightweight aluminum in autos and airplanes is helping Alcoa Inc. cope with lingering weak metal prices. The company said its second-quarter loss was wider than a year ago, but excluding costs for closing smelters and other restructuring and legal expenses, the results slightly beat Wall Street expectations.

Temporary Jobs Are Becoming A Permanent U.S. Fixture

July 8, 2013 10:15 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Hiring is exploding in the one corner of the U.S. economy where few want to be hired: Temporary work. From Wal-Mart to General Motors to PepsiCo, companies are increasingly turning to temps and to a much larger universe of freelancers, contract workers and consultants. Combined, these workers number nearly 17 million people who have only tenuous ties to the companies that pay them — about 12 percent of everyone with a job.

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ISM: Manufacturing Back On Track

July 8, 2013 8:02 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector returned to a slow, steady expansion in June, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest ISM Report On Business. The PMI number indicated expansion in manufacturing for the fifth time in six months, reversing May’s contracting PMI rate of 49 percentage points. Although U.S. manufacturing is growing at a slow, steady rate, it’s still in line to meet yearly expectations.

U.S. Unemployment Benefit Applications Fall To 343K

July 3, 2013 10:07 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000 last week, a sign that employers are adding jobs at modest pace. The less volatile four-week average dipped 750 to 345,500, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

U.S. Trade Deficit Widens To $45B In May

July 3, 2013 10:05 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit increased in May to the highest level in six months as a weak global economy depressed U.S. export sales while imports of autos and other nonpetroleum products hit an all-time high. The trade deficit rose to $45 billion in May, up 12.1 percent from April's $40.1 billion imbalance, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. It was the largest trade gap since November.

Auto Sales Maintain Momentum, Led By Pickups

July 2, 2013 2:12 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

U.S. buyers snapped up new cars and trucks in June at a pace not seen since before the recession. Continuing demand for big pickups helped boost sales for Detroit's automakers. Ford said Tuesday that its sales rose 14 percent, while Chrysler's gained 8 percent and General Motors' rose 6.5 percent.

Ethiopian Air Sees Record Profit Despite 787 Snafu

July 2, 2013 2:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines says that his company has pocketed a record profit despite the temporary grounding of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes. Tewolde Gebremariam told The Associated Press Monday that his company is expecting a record profit with 20 to 25 percent growth in revenue and number of passengers.

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U.S. Factory Activity Expands In June, Jobs Decline

July 1, 2013 2:04 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturing activity grew in June behind a pickup in new orders, exports and production. Better economic growth overseas is boosting U.S. exports and could help American factories rebound in the second half of the year. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of factory activity increased to 50.9 in June. That's up from 49 in May, which was the lowest reading in four years.

Toyota Aims To Sell 5M Units In Emerging Markets

July 1, 2013 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp. will aim to boost its sales of vehicles in emerging markets from 3.7 million in 2012 to 5 million in the future, a company executive said Monday, as the automaker predicts its global sales will reach a record 10 million units.

Alcoa To Close Smelter To Stay Competitive

July 1, 2013 10:03 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Aluminum giant Alcoa said Friday that it will close a smelting facility in Italy, its latest move to trim costs as it grapples with lower aluminum prices. Alcoa was already tamping down production at the Fusina smelter in Venice, Italy, three years ago, citing weak aluminum prices and the need to stay competitive.

China's Manufacturing Weakens In Credit Crunch

July 1, 2013 10:02 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing weakened again in June amid a credit crunch and slower U.S. and European orders, two surveys showed Monday, adding to signs that growth in the world's second-largest economy is decelerating. HSBC's purchasing managers' index declined to 48.2 from May's 49.2 on a 50-point scale on which numbers below 50 show a contraction.

Germany Blocks EU Carbon Cap To Protect Automakers

June 28, 2013 2:18 pm | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

Germany has blocked a European Union agreement on capping car carbon emissions because the deal could have cost jobs and harmed its domestic auto industry, officials said Friday. The blunt admission that Europe's biggest economy put business interests before environmental standards is at odds with Germany's image as a champion of green issues.

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NC Auto Dealers Say They'll Keep Fighting Tesla

June 28, 2013 2:16 pm | by Chris Kardish, Associated Press | News | Comments

North Carolina auto dealers say they're moving ahead with a bill updating franchise laws without a provision that effectively bans the business model of electric car manufacturer Tesla. But Bob Glaser of the NC Automobile Dealers Association said Thursday that the group hasn't given up on a separate bill targeting the automaker that already passed the Senate last month.

Nissan Celebrates 30th Anniversary Of U.S. Manufacturing

June 28, 2013 12:53 pm | by NissanNewsroom | Videos | Comments

In conjunction with the 30th anniversary of its Smyrna, Tenn. Vehicle Assembly Plant, Nissan is adding more than 900 manufacturing jobs to support future production of the Nissan Rogue, marking the first time the Rogue has been produced in the United States.

Letter To The Editor: OMG...It's A Tesla

June 28, 2013 8:01 am | by Stuart Koford | Blogs | Comments

I have a Tesla Roadster, which I have had for four years and which has 75,000 miles on it. My impressions: Compared to the various other sports cars I have owned – Porsche, RX-7, 3000 – the car has far better acceleration and has instant response to the throttle pedal compared to the lag and roughness of all gas engine cars.

Why ADP & Labor Dept. Jobs Numbers Differ

June 27, 2013 1:08 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

ADP CFO Jan Siegmund says that his company's monthly employment report uses 'real-time payroll processing transactions' to calculate jobs data, unlike the BLS which uses surveys. Siegmund says that ADP has worked very hard to create a very high quality, sustainable, and relevant measure.

Aston Martin's Practical Supercar

June 27, 2013 8:04 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Let's say you're James Bond, and you get married. Your wife survives being married to James Bond, and you have kids. You might want something with four doors. With four doors, the Aston Martin Rapide S has room for the whole Bond, James Bond, family.

Small Businesses: Still Scared To Hire

June 27, 2013 8:01 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The job situation is still a very hot topic in the United States. ADP has access to jobs data from 600,000 employers and ADP CFO Jan Siegmund explains what the data is telling us now. He says that the slowing of employment growth over the last few months is due to tax rate changes and the anticipation of health reform.

GM CEO: Pickup Truck Debut Going Smoothly

June 26, 2013 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Revamped full-size pickup trucks from General Motors are starting to arrive at Chevrolet and GMC dealers nationwide, and the company's top executive says the launch has gone well. CEO Dan Akerson said Wednesday that the smooth debut of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks is an example of how GM plans to maintain high quality while replacing many of its older vehicles this year.

Nissan CEO Faces USD Pay Cut

June 26, 2013 12:31 pm | by Reuters TV | Videos | Comments

Sometimes, as a leader, you just have to take one for the team. And that's exactly what Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has done. Ghosn cheered on a weakening of the yen, despite it shaving a couple million dollars off his current paycheck. Maybe that's because he still out-earns some peers.

Smith & Wesson Can't Meet Demand

June 26, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. on Tuesday reported record sales for its fourth quarter and full fiscal year amid a surge in demand for its firearms. Smith & Wesson reported net income of $25.2 million in its fourth quarter that ended April 30, double last year's $12.5 million quarterly profit.

A Supply Chain With No Weak Links

June 26, 2013 8:03 am | by Rowmark | Articles | Comments

Despite the ever looming concern about high fuel prices, there is still booming interest in many motorsports vehicles and products. Over the past several years, Sportech, Inc. has experienced an explosive increase in demand for their Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) parts for original equipment manufacturers of motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles.

OMG…It’s A Tesla

June 26, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

How many electric cars are on the U.S. market today? I can think of the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt – and, of course – the Tesla Model S. Despite these other zero-emission vehicles (that are also a bit more affordable), Tesla always tops this list.

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Up In May

June 25, 2013 1:57 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. businesses stepped up their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in May, and a gauge of their investment plans rose for a third straight month. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that orders for durable goods rose 3.6 percent, matching April's gain. Most of the increase was due to a surge in commercial aircraft orders, which tend to fluctuate sharply from month to month.

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