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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Ford's 1Q Profit Reaches $1.6B

April 24, 2013 10:13 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. reported a better-than-expected $1.6 billion profit in the first quarter as growing demand in the U.S. and China for its new vehicles helped overcome steep losses in Europe and South America. Ford said Wednesday that first-quarter net income rose 15 percent from a year ago. Worldwide sales rose 10 percent to nearly 1.5 million.

Toyota: Top Selling Automaker Despite China Fall

April 24, 2013 10:11 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota held onto its status as the world's top-selling automaker in the first quarter of this year, although the three-way race with General Motors and Volkswagen is proving tight, as its sales fall in China and Japan. Toyota Motor Corp. reported Wednesday it sold 2.43 million vehicles during the January-March period.

Apple To Dole Out $100B To Shareholders

April 24, 2013 10:06 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Apple is opening the doors to its bank vault, saying it will distribute $100 billion in cash to its shareholders by the end of 2015. At the same time, the company said revenue for the current quarter could fall from the year before, which would be the first decline in many years.

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AK Steel 1Q Loss Narrows

April 23, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

AK Steel Holding Corp. said Tuesday that its first-quarter loss narrowed, as a drop in operating costs offset lower sales. The West Chester, Ohio, company lost $9.9 million, or 7 cents per share, compared with a loss of $11.8 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. The loss was smaller than Wall Street expected. Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 11 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Survey: China Manufacturing Weakening

April 23, 2013 10:22 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing growth decelerated this month, a survey showed Monday, adding to questions about the strength of the recovery in the world's second largest economy. HSBC Corp. said Tuesday the preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers index declined to 50.5 from March's 51.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 represent an expansion.

Automakers Target Chinese Buyers At Auto Show

April 22, 2013 2:21 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Global and Chinese automakers showcased family-friendly sedans and SUVs targeting coveted urban buyers at China's biggest auto show Saturday as competition intensifies in this huge but crowded market. China's vehicle sales rose 13 percent in March, blistering growth by Western standards but down from 45 percent in 2009.

Investors Who Stood By Boeing Reap Reward

April 22, 2013 2:17 pm | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Investors who stood by Boeing during its 787 crisis have been rewarded. Some investors bailed out, spooked by the latest snag with a plane considered to be a key to Boeing's future. Others were confident that Boeing Co. would quickly fix the battery problem and raved about its long-term prospects.

Jaguar Land Rover Enjoying China 'Honeymoon'

April 22, 2013 1:33 pm | by ReutersTV | Videos | Comments

Jaguar and Land Rover: Among the auto industry's most coveted brands and soon to be made in China. Jaguar Land Rover will soon produce its iconic SUVs in China with an unusual choice of local partner, budget carmaker Chery. Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth discusses the alliance and its prospects.

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Survey: U.S. Budget Tightening Not Hurting Business

April 22, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Washington's budget tightening is having a minimal effect on businesses, a survey of business economists released Monday shows. The National Association for Business Economics survey asks how higher taxes and lower government spending effected businesses in the first three months of 2013.

CAT 1Q Profit Shrank; Cuts 2013 Outlook

April 22, 2013 10:05 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A slowdown in the mining business is digging a hole in Caterpillar's profits. First-quarter profit shrank 45 percent. Caterpillar lowered its expectations for full year sales and profits because its mining business is slowing. Sales of Caterpillar-branded mining machines will drop by half this year, the company said on Monday.

Fiat Sticks To Focus On Premium Models

April 19, 2013 4:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Fiat Chairman John Elkann says the Italian carmaker's shift to premium models remains a valid strategy as European sales continue to plummet. Elkann said Friday that Fiat, which owns Chrysler, is proceeding with its plan to launch 17 higher-margin premium models for export by 2016 to revive stagnant Italian production lines.

Boeing Slows 747 Production On Weak Demand

April 19, 2013 4:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing says it will slow down production of its superjumbo 747-8 because of weak demand. Boeing builds two of the planes every month. It's slowing that rate to one and three-quarters per month. Boeing had warned that a slowdown was possible if demand didn't improve. Boeing has orders for 64 of the planes still to be built, including freighter and passenger versions.

Chinese Cars Still In The Slow Lane To Global Market

April 19, 2013 4:02 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

China's auto market is the biggest and most important in the world today says Reuters' Jane Lanhee Lee. The world's largest auto market is their playground, and now China's carmakers have set their sights overseas. The president of market research group J.D. Power discusses their prospects.

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U.S. Unemployment Aid Applications Rise To 352K

April 19, 2013 10:13 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits increased just 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 352,000. The slight gain kept applications at a level consistent with solid hiring and suggests March's sluggish hiring may be temporary.

Chinese Automakers Struggle Against Global Rivals

April 18, 2013 2:10 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

These should be good times for Chinese automakers as they prepare to show off their latest models at the Shanghai auto show. Their home market is the world's biggest and growing. But independent automakers such as Chery and Geely are being squeezed by bigger, richer global rivals including General Motors and Nissan that have moved into turf the Chinese makers considered their own: low-priced models for local tastes.

Purell's Long Path To Success

April 17, 2013 4:42 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

Now the top pick among careful parents and germaphobes alike, Purell's market success wasn't always so obvious. After a decade of rising sales and steady marketing, the anti-bacterial hand sanitizer has become wildly successful, surpassing analyst predictions on its way to the top.

Apple Stock Falls On Supplier News

April 17, 2013 1:56 pm | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Shares of Apple Inc. fell below $400 for the first time in a year and half on Wednesday, after a supplier hinted at a slowdown in iPhone and iPad production. The stock was down $21.89, or 5.1 percent, at $404.35 in early afternoon trading. Earlier in the day, it hit $398.11, the lowest level since Dec. 2011.

Daimler Selling Rest Of EADS Stake

April 17, 2013 10:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Automaker Daimler AG says it is selling its remaining 7.5 percent stake in EADS, the parent company of aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Daimler helped found EADS but now is cashing out to focus on its core business of making cars. It sold a 7.5 percent stake last year. The Daimler stake of 61.1 million shares would be worth about 2.3 billion euros at Tuesday's price of 37.20 euros a share.

Toyota's Hybrid Vehicle Sales Pass 5 Million

April 17, 2013 10:11 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota's global sales of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles have surpassed 5 million in a milestone for a technology that was initially greeted with skepticism. The Japanese automaker, which said Wednesday it had sold 5.125 million hybrid vehicles as of the end of March, started selling the Prius, the world's first mass produced hybrid passenger car, in 1997.

GM To Roll Out New Line Of Smaller Pickups

April 16, 2013 2:20 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

General Motors plans to roll out a line of completely revamped midsize pickup trucks, with gas mileage and features designed to take sales from Toyota's market-leading Tacoma. The trucks will replace the aging Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Mark Reuss, GM's North American president, said Tuesday that the trucks will be able to do 95 percent of the work that a big truck can do.

Cars, Utilities Lift U.S. Industrial Output

April 16, 2013 2:18 pm | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. industrial output rose in March as cold weather kept utilities busy generating heat and a surge in auto production helped offset broader weakness in manufacturing. Production at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose 0.4 percent in March from February, the Federal Reserve said.

U.S. Industrial Manufacturers Optimistic

April 16, 2013 1:10 pm | by PwC | News | Comments

U.S. industrial manufacturers remain positive regarding the outlook for the U.S. economy in the year ahead, while sentiment pertaining to the world economy remains guarded, according to the Q1 2013 Manufacturing Barometer, released by PwC US.

GM 1Q Global Sales Rise To Beat VW

April 16, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors edged out fast-growing Volkswagen in first-quarter sales as both companies try to close the gap with Toyota for the global world sales crown. Toyota, which is scheduled to release first-quarter numbers next week, dethroned GM to retake the top spot in 2012, a year in which VW posted record sales and came within 190,000 vehicles of beating GM.

U.S. Declines To Label China Currency Manipulator

April 15, 2013 1:40 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Obama administration declined to label China a currency manipulator, although it said that China's currency remains significantly undervalued. The decision came in a twice-a-year Treasury report on whether any nations are manipulating their currencies to gain trade advantages.

Pratt & Whitney Expects More Orders

April 12, 2013 3:30 pm | by Kelli Kennedy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Pratt & Whitney's military program likely will take a dip as the company transitions from the legacy military engines it's known for making, but engine orders will pick up in a few years with an increase in production of joint strike fighter engines, the company's president said Thursday.

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