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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Bridge Collapse A Major Break In Trade Corridor

May 28, 2013 10:17 am | by Donna Gordon Blankinship, Associated Press | News | Comments

For farmers, business owners and government officials up and down the West Coast, Washington's bridge collapse on Interstate 5 represents much more than a close brush with tragedy. As much as $20 billion in freight travels to and from Canada and along the busy north-south corridor each year.

Automaker Tesla Takes Fight To North Carolina

May 28, 2013 10:14 am | by Chris Kardish, Associated Press | News | Comments

Tesla Motors is fighting a bill in North Carolina that would effectively ban the company from selling its electric cars in the state, pitting it against auto dealers who say the car maker has an unfair advantage selling directly to consumers online.

Trailblazing Israeli Electric Car Company To Close

May 28, 2013 10:09 am | by Jpsef Federman, Associated Press | News | Comments

It was an audacious idea that came to symbolize Israel's self-described status as "Start-Up Nation," a company that believed it could replace most gasoline-powered cars with electric vehicles and reduce the world's reliance on oil — and all within a few years. But it all came crashing down.

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China, Switzerland To Seal Free Trade Deal

May 24, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is in Switzerland to seal a free trade pact with the Alpine nation — the first comprehensive agreement his country has reached with a major western economy. Li met with Swiss officials in Zurich on Friday to conclude three years of negotiations.

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Rise In April

May 24, 2013 2:12 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in April, buoyed by more demand for aircraft and stronger business investment. The gains suggest economic growth may be holding steady this spring. Orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, rose 3.3 percent last month from March, the Commerce Department said Friday.

GM Aims New Chevy Cruze Diesel At VW Jetta

May 24, 2013 2:12 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The marketing people at Chevrolet make no secret of the goal for the new diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze: Take sales from Volkswagen. In fact, they're rolling out the car in 13 markets where VW sells the most diesel versions of its Jetta, another compact.

Chevy Spark To Be Among Lowest-Price Electric Cars

May 23, 2013 12:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors Co. says the Spark EV subcompact will be among the lowest-priced electric cars in the U.S. The electric Spark will have a starting price of $27,495 when it goes on sale next month in California and Oregon. GM also is offering a low-mileage lease for $199 per month, with $999 due when the lease is signed.

Survey: China Manufacturing Contracting

May 23, 2013 12:10 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A survey shows China's manufacturing contracted this month, adding to signs a fragile recovery in the world's No. 2 economy is slowing. HSBC Corp. said Thursday the preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers index fell to a seven-month low of 49.6 from April's 50.4 on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 show a contraction.

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Tesla Shares Pull Back After Huge Gains

May 22, 2013 10:17 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Tesla Motors fell more than 5 percent in early trading Tuesday, a brief decline amid huge gains this month after the electric car maker posted its first quarterly profit. And shares in the Palo Alto, Calif., company retook some of that lost ground by early afternoon. Tesla's stock price had jumped 74 percent between May 8, when first-quarter earnings were announced, and May 14, when it hit a 52-week high of $97.12.

Does France Have The Right Plan To Revive Its Economy?

May 21, 2013 10:14 am | by Sarah DiLorenzo, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The man charged with reviving France's shrinking economy and attracting businesses to invest there is gaining a reputation for doing the opposite. As the country's first-ever minister for industrial renewal, Montebourg told the world's largest steelmaker it is not welcome in France and exchanged angry letters with the head of an American tire company he was supposedly wooing.

Apple's Cook To Face Senate Questions On Taxes

May 21, 2013 10:12 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A Senate panel says Apple Inc. is avoiding paying billions of dollars in U.S. taxes, but the world's most valuable company says it is complying with the laws and pays "an extraordinary amount" in taxes to the U.S. government. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to testify Tuesday on Capitol Hill to explain the company's tax strategy.

UAW: Nissan Subsidies Top $1.3B

May 20, 2013 10:05 am | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co.'s Mississippi plant is on track to receive more state aid and tax breaks than what state and company officials have previously revealed, according to a study paid for by the United Auto Workers, which is questioning whether the state is getting enough for its money.

GM Stock Rises Above $33 For The First Time In 2 Years

May 20, 2013 10:03 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Shares of General Motors reached an important milestone on Friday, closing above their initial public offering price of $33 for the first time in more than two years. GM shares reached $33.77 Friday before slipping back to close at $33.42, up 3.2 percent. The auto giant sold shares to the public for $33 in a November 2010 IPO, but they've traded below that price since May 4, 2011.

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Labor Productivity And Global Competiveness

May 20, 2013 8:00 am | by Simon Macpherson, Senior Director Operations, Kronos EMEA | Articles | Comments

When it comes to managing the workforce, very few industries are under more pressure than manufacturing. With tremendous price competition from developing countries and a world where products can be replicated across the globe and transported with ease, manufactures need to look at every aspect of their operations for competitive advantage and productivity improvements.

Is It Possible to Bring Manufacturing Back to the U.S.?

May 17, 2013 12:33 pm | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, PD&D | News | Comments

In the press, “reshoring” is defined as the repatriation of manufacturing operations from a low-cost country, back to the home country. In Washington, it stands as the repatriation of manufacturing operations from China, back to the U.S. But in reality, according to Young, it is the transfer of “some manufacturing production from a low-cost country back to the home country or to another country, low-cost or not.”

Building U.S. Manufacturing Strength

May 17, 2013 11:19 am | Articles | Comments

Douglas K. Woods, President of The Association For Manufacturing Technology, discusses the state of U.S. manufacturing, job development, and what the industry can expect going forward. While today’s manufacturing industry is more sophisticated and high tech than ever before, he says, the industry still needs to address some critical issues to be successful in the future.

Alcoa To Cut 500 Canadian Jobs

May 17, 2013 11:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Aluminum smelter and parts-maker Alcoa said on Thursday that it will close down two production lines at a plant in Canada and cut about 500 jobs there because of lower aluminum prices. A major portion of a planned upgrade for the facility in Quebec is being pushed back by three years, to 2019, the company said.

Why Full Skies Could Mean A New Recession

May 16, 2013 2:39 pm | by ReutersTV | Videos | Comments

Rebound or relapse? Reuters Breakingviews says planespotters know that the global economy could be heading for a fresh downturn. Aggressive aircraft orders may mean economic contraction the following year, and a warning that things may get pretty bumpy next year.

Trade Group Slams Safety Pact For Bangladesh

May 16, 2013 2:21 pm | by Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer | News | Comments

The largest U.S. retail-industry group on Wednesday criticized an international pact aimed at improving factory conditions in Bangladesh's garment industry, saying it was a "one-size-fits-all" approach promoted by special interests. The five-year, legally binding contract requires them to help pay for fire safety and building improvements in Bangladesh.

U.S. Wholesale Prices Fall By Most In 3 Years

May 15, 2013 2:08 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Sharp drops in fuel and food costs reduced a measure of U.S. wholesale prices in April by the most in three years. Outside those volatile categories, inflation stayed tame. The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in April from March, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

Paradise Lost For Asian Manufacturers

May 15, 2013 12:55 pm | by ReutersTV | Videos | Comments

Cheap labor and fast production once made Asia a near-nirvana for Western retailers and manufacturers. Massive factories and a yound population with a strong work ethic created an ideal production location. But as risks, and costs, rise, many of these Western businesses are planning to shift their production closer to home.

U.S. Factory Output Falls In April

May 15, 2013 10:18 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factories cut back sharply on production in April, as auto companies cranked out fewer cars and most other industries reduced output. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that manufacturing output dropped 0.4 percent in April from March. It was the third decline in four months and the biggest since October.

General Motors To Sell Van Made By Nissan

May 14, 2013 2:28 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co. and General Motors Co. have signed a deal for Nissan to build small commercial vans that GM will sell in the U.S. and Canada, the companies said Tuesday. The vans will be based on the Nissan NV200 and will be sold at Chevrolet dealers starting in the fall of 2014.

Bill Squeezing Out Tesla Passes NC Senate

May 14, 2013 2:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A bill backed by auto dealers that effectively blocks California's Tesla Motors Inc. from selling in North Carolina has passed the state Senate. The electric car manufacturer says the bill that passed the Senate unanimously Monday effectively bars it from selling to state residents through its Internet-based model.

Airbus Parent's Q1 Profits To Nearly Double

May 14, 2013 2:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

European aerospace company EADS says strong deliveries by airplane maker Airbus helped drive higher earnings in the first quarter. The Airbus parent company reaffirmed its forecast of lifting commercial aircraft deliveries this year to between 600 and 610, as demand from Middle Eastern and Asian carriers to expand their fleets continues to drive sales for one of Europe's largest exporters.

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