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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Ferrari To Sell Fewer Cars To Boost Exclusivity

May 8, 2013 10:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ferrari says it will limit sales of its high-performance street cars this year to below 7,000 units to protect the brand's aura of exclusivity. Chairman Luca Montezemolo says that means sales will decline overall by "more than 1 or 2 percent" from last year's sales of 7,318 cars. Sales in the first four months have risen 4 percent over last year.

Is The United States Ready To Take Manufacturing Back?

May 8, 2013 8:05 am | by Patrick Van den Bossche, Pramod Gupta, Hector Gutierrez, Chui Lee — A.T. Kearney | Articles | Comments

Word on the street is that substantial portions of previously offshored manufacturing operations are due to return to the United States. A number of macroeconomic factors seem to have tipped the balance in favor of domestic manufacturing.

ISM: Manufacturing Slowing, But Still Expanding

May 8, 2013 8:00 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the fifth consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The PMI number indicated expansion in manufacturing for the fifth consecutive month, but at the lowest rate of the year. Although U.S. manufacturing continued to slow in April, underlying metrics show there is more good news than there is cause for concern.

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U.S. Job Postings Fell In March; Hiring Slowed

May 7, 2013 2:33 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in March compared with February and slowed overall hiring, underscoring a weak month of job growth. The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings fell 1.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million jobs. Total hiring declined 4.3 percent to 4.3 million.

Sector Snap: Solar Companies Decline

May 7, 2013 2:26 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Solar companies took a hit Tuesday after First Solar fell short of Wall Street expectations for the first quarter and announced job cuts in North America. First Solar, which had offered a very rosy outlook just last month, led the way down, declining nearly 10 percent after hitting new highs for the year on Monday before it released earnings.

China's Struggling Automakers Jump On SUV Boom

May 7, 2013 10:09 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BYD is known for electric cars but this year's flagship model is the S7, a gasoline-powered SUV. It comes with an air purifier, radar to help with backing and digital TV. An onboard hard drive can hold 1,000 films. This is China's Year of the SUV. Whatever their specialties used to be, automakers ranging from global brands to China's ambitious rookies are scrambling to cash in on the explosive popularity of sport utility vehicles.

GM Stock Climbs, Then Drops After Analyst Report

May 7, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of General Motors rose more than 4 percent early Monday after an analyst raised his earnings estimates and stock price target. But the shares gave up all of their gains and then some in late-afternoon trading. Last week, GM said its first-quarter profit fell 14 percent to $865 million, or 58 cents per share.

PwC: Industrial Manufacturing M&A Rises

May 7, 2013 8:00 am | by PwC US | Articles | Comments

Financial investors in the industrial manufacturing sector stepped off the sidelines in the first quarter of 2013, recording a substantial increase in merger and acquisition activity. While strategic investors continued to drive deal activity during the first quarter, financial investments were well ahead of the pace for the same period in 2012.

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Pressure On Bangladesh, Retailers To Fix Factories

May 6, 2013 2:14 pm | by Farid Hossain, Stephen Wright, Associated Press | News | Comments

In the aftermath of a building collapse that killed more than 530 people, Bangladesh's garment manufacturers may face a choice of reform or perish. The shoddily constructed building's collapse has put a focus on the high human price paid when Bangladeshi government ineptitude, Western consumer apathy and global retailing's drive for the lowest cost of production intersect.

Unemployment At 4-Year Low, Markets At New Highs

May 6, 2013 1:21 pm | by The Associated Press | Videos | Comments

The United States economy showed last month why it remains the envy of industrialized nations: In the face of tax increases and federal spending cuts, employers added a solid 165,000 jobs in April. The U.S. economy is now boasting the lowest unemployment rates in four years.

An Opportunity For Intelligent Device Manufacturers

May 6, 2013 8:00 am | by Steve Schmidt, Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy, Flexera Software | Articles | Comments

Opportunity beckons intelligent device manufacturers. They must evolve their products from fixed function and disconnected systems to flexible and seamlessly connected devices. Making products smarter will provide a wide array of benefits.

Survey: China Manufacturing Growth Is Slowing

May 3, 2013 5:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese manufacturing growth slowed in April as global demand weakened, adding to signs its shaky recovery might be weakening, a survey showed Thursday. HSBC Corp.'s purchasing managers index fell to 50.4 from March's 51.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show an expansion in activity.

U.S. Factory Orders Down 4 Percent In March

May 3, 2013 5:08 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories fell in March by the largest amount in seven months but a key category that signals business investment plans managed a small increase. Factory orders dropped 4 percent in March, reflecting a big plunge in the volatile category of commercial aircraft, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

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U.S. Employers Add 165K Jobs In April

May 3, 2013 9:59 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and hiring was much stronger in the previous two months than the government first estimated. The job increases helped reduce the unemployment rate from 7.6 percent to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.

New Cars Key To GM Profit

May 3, 2013 9:54 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

New cars were key for General Motors' in the first quarter. New trucks will be the key to the rest of this year. Two new Opels — the Mokka subcompact SUV and Adam small car — helped GM stanch its first-quarter losses in Europe, while the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Malibu sedans took China by storm. GM's worldwide sales rose almost 4 percent in the first three months.

Electric Car Maker CODA Files For Bankruptcy

May 2, 2013 2:17 pm | by Robert Jablon, Associated Press | News | Comments

Electric car maker CODA Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday after selling just 100 cars and said it plans to quit the auto business altogether. The Los Angeles-based parent of CODA Automotive filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court in Delaware. A consortium of debtors plans to acquire CODA for $25 million, according to a company statement.

U.S. Trade Deficit Falls To $38.8B In March

May 2, 2013 2:11 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March for a second month as the daily flow of imported crude oil dropped to the lowest level in 17 years. The deficit with China hit a three-year low. The trade deficit decreased to $38.8 billion, an 11 percent drop from February's $43.6 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Ford Adding 2,000 Workers To MO Plant

May 2, 2013 2:10 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. said Thursday that it's adding 2,000 workers to the Missouri plant that makes the F-150 pickup because of surging U.S. truck demand. The company plans to add a shift with 900 workers in the third quarter of this year to make pickups. That's in addition to the 1,100 workers Ford will hire to make the new Transit van. Those workers will start in the fourth quarter.

GM CEO: Volt Will Be Profitable

May 2, 2013 9:11 am | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson tells Fortune that the second generation of the Chevy Volt will be cheaper to make and profitable. Looking to the future, GM hopes to have a half million cars on the road with some form of electrification by 2017.

Chrysler, Ford, GM, Nissan April U.S. Sales Up

May 1, 2013 2:07 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Ford, GM, Chrysler and Nissan all reported double-digit U.S. sales increases last month, signaling the best April for car and truck sales in six years. A rebound in pickup truck sales led the way, especially for the Detroit automakers. Small businesses are replacing aging trucks that they've kept since the Great Recession.

U.S. Manufacturing Growing At A Slower Pace

May 1, 2013 2:03 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factory activity expanded at a slower pace in April, held back by weaker hiring and less company stockpiling. The report is the latest sign that economic growth may be slowing this spring. The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its index of manufacturing activity slipped to 50.7 last month.

Amid Low Prices, Alcoa Weighs Production Cutbacks

May 1, 2013 2:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Alcoa Inc. said Wednesday that it might reduce production because of a slump that has cut aluminum prices by more than one-third since they peaked in 2011. The reduction could affect up to 11 percent of Alcoa's aluminum-smelting capacity, a cut of 460,000 tons of capacity. The company has already idled 13 percent of its capacity.

Ram Truck Demand Drives Chrysler Sales

May 1, 2013 10:18 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Strong demand for the Ram pickup truck helped drive Chrysler's sales up 11 percent last month as the company posted its best April in six years. The increase is another sign that Americans continue to buy cars and trucks despite high unemployment and mixed economic signals.

Nissan Cuts Prices On 7 U.S. Models

May 1, 2013 10:09 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Nissan is cutting prices on seven of its 18 models in the U.S., hoping its cars and trucks will show up in more Internet searches by shoppers. The price cuts vary with the amount of equipment on each model and run from 2.7 percent, or $580, on the top-selling Altima midsize car to 10.7 percent, or $4,400, on the Armada big SUV.

Apple Sells $17B In Bonds In Record Deal

May 1, 2013 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple Inc. sold $17 billion in bonds Tuesday in a record deal spurred by the company's plan to placate its frustrated shareholders. The Cupertino, California-based company sold the bonds in its first debt issue since the 1990s to raise money to pass along to shareholders through dividend payments and stock buybacks.

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