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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

BMW Sets Monthly Sales Record

April 9, 2013 2:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German luxury automaker BMW AG says it had its best month ever in March, increasing global sales by 3 percent to 191,269 vehicles. For the first three months of the year, sales rose by 5.3 percent compared with a year earlier, to 448,200 units — even though sales slipped in the company's home market, Germany.

Ford: Focus Is Best-Selling Car In The World

April 9, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. says its Focus small car was the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world last year, with just over 1 million sold. More than a quarter of all Focuses were sold in China, its largest market. The U.S. was the car's second-largest market.

Fiat-Chrysler Bearish On Europe

April 9, 2013 10:13 am | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Italian carmaker Fiat, which controls Chrysler, will revise its earnings targets later this month as the European market is expected to decline for a sixth straight year, CEO Sergio Marchionne told shareholders Tuesday. European economies are suffering as governments cut spending and raise taxes to lower debt.

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U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Up

April 9, 2013 8:02 am | by AMT | News | Comments

February U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $385.89 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was up 5.7 percent from January but down 10.6 percent when compared with the total of $431.63 million reported for February 2012.

ISM: Manufacturing Dips, Remains In Positive Territory

April 9, 2013 8:00 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, MBT | Articles | Comments

Although U.S. manufacturing declined in March, it continues a positive push into 2013. “The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Index was 51.3 in March, down from 54.2 in February but is still above 50, the dividing point between growth and decline,” said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).

Toyota Taking On Rivals With Efficiency, New Designs

April 8, 2013 2:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Having drawn lessons from a series of predicaments since the 2008 global economic downturn, Toyota Motor Corp. is focusing on lowering its production costs worldwide and improving its competitiveness in product design as it faces intense competition from overseas rivals.

Fisker's 80 Percent Staff Cut May Send Luxury Co. Under

April 8, 2013 1:05 pm | by Bloomberg | Videos | Comments

Fisker Automotive, a maker of luxury plug-in cars seeking investors to fund operations, said it's firing about 80 percent of its workforce after failing to secure a deal with an automotive partner. Cory Johnson reports on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West.

China Is The World’s Largest Manufacturer, And By An Increasing Margin

April 5, 2013 3:19 pm | by Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Economist, MAPI | Articles | Comments

China1 displaced the United States as the world’s largest manufacturing nation in 2010 and widened its lead in 2011, according to recently published data from the United Nations. Manufacturing value-added in China totaled $2.35 trillion in 2011 while U.S. manufacturing value-added was $1.90 trillion.2

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HP's Chairman Steps Down, Directors To Leave

April 5, 2013 1:55 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairman Ray Lane is stepping down and two other board members are leaving after pressure by disgruntled stockholders stung by the personal computer maker's downfall. The moves announced Thursday comes just two weeks after HP barely rebuffed a shareholder rebellion aimed at Lane, John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson, the two longest-serving members on the board.

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows To $43B In February

April 5, 2013 9:42 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in February as exports climbed close to an all-time high and the volume of imported crude oil fell to the lowest level in 17 years. The gap between exports and imports shrank to $43 billion in February, down 3.4 percent from January's revised $44.5 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Boeing: 1Q Deliveries Unchanged From Year Ago

April 5, 2013 9:37 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing Co. said Thursday that it delivered 137 commercial planes during the first quarter, the same as a year earlier, and it booked orders for 209 more planes. The deliveries included 102 of its 737s, up from 99 a year ago. Boeing has been speeding deliveries of those planes. It's Boeing's smallest commercial plane and in the U.S. is generally used on domestic routes.

Equipment, Software Investment To Grow In 2013

April 3, 2013 12:26 pm | by Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation | News | Comments

 Investment in equipment and software is expected to grow 5.6 percent in 2013, according to the Q2 update to the 2013 Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook released today by the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation. 

U.S. Factory Orders Up 3 Percent In February

April 2, 2013 2:23 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders to U.S. factories rose sharply in February from January on a surge in volatile demand for commercial aircraft. The gain offset a drop in key orders that signal business investment. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that factory orders increased 3 percent in February. That's up from a 1 percent decline in January and the biggest gain in five months.

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Automakers See Best March In Six Years

April 2, 2013 2:18 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

March is turning out to be the best month for auto sales in at least six years. Major automakers including Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, General Motors and Nissan all reported increases, with some reporting their best monthly totals since the start of the Great Recession in December of 2007.

Why Global Carmakers Are Feeling Good

April 2, 2013 1:37 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

The auto market is up, the worldwide economic recovery continues, and auto manufacturers seem to be doing well. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says there is "much more excitement" thanks to profits in the auto industry despite the bad economy in Europe.

Chrysler U.S. Sales Up 5 Percent In March

April 2, 2013 10:20 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Chrysler's U.S. sales rose 5 percent in March as the company sold more cars and trucks than in any month since the Great Recession began in December of 2007. The strong numbers are another sign that Americans are buying cars in increasing numbers as their financial situation improves.

Euro Area Unemployment At Record 12 Percent

April 2, 2013 10:17 am | by Pan Pylas, Associated Press | News | Comments

The eurozone economy has passed another bleak milestone. Official figures Tuesday showed that unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has struck 12 percent for the first time since the currency was launched in 1999.

Camry Battles Spruced-Up Rivals In Midsize Market

April 1, 2013 2:01 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

For nearly two decades, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord have ruled the mid-sized car market. Nobody accused them of being stylish or fast. But the cars rarely broke down, and they held their value better than competitors. For drivers who wanted a family car, Camry and Accord got the job done and were good enough to become two of the best-selling cars of all time.

Survey: U.S. Manufacturing Grew Slowly In March

April 1, 2013 1:59 pm | by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A survey shows U.S. manufacturing activity expanded more slowly in March than February, held back by weaker growth in production and new orders. But factories hired at the fastest pace in nine months, an encouraging sign ahead of Friday's report on March employment.

3D Printing Stocks: Fad Or For Real?

April 1, 2013 12:44 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

3D printing is a very hot sector, but is there a way for investors to play this trend? Turns out, there is. Recent IPO ExOne reported sales that topped forecasts, lifting shares of it and rivals 3D Systems and Stratsys. But this is still a new and risky market.

China's Manufacturing Growth Improves In March

April 1, 2013 9:57 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Growth in China's manufacturing picked up in March in a potentially positive sign for the recovery in the world's second-largest economy. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said Monday that its Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.9 in March from 50.1 in February, which was the lowest reading in five months.

Japan Jobless Rate Up; Prices, Manufacturing Fall

March 29, 2013 2:05 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan's jobless rate edged higher and industrial production fell slightly in February as consumer prices also fell, underscoring the fragility of the recovery of the world's third-largest economy. The government data released Friday showed the main consumer price index fell 0.3 percent from a year earlier as deflation continued.

RIM Sees 4Q Success, But Too Early To Declare A Win

March 29, 2013 10:07 am | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

Research In Motion Ltd., once written off as dead amid fierce competition from more modern mobile devices such as the iPhone, surprised Wall Street Thursday by returning to profitability and shipping more BlackBerry 10 phones than expected in the most recent quarter.

VW's U.S. Chief Expects Sales To Keep Growing

March 27, 2013 2:03 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Volkswagen Group of America expects U.S. sales to keep growing for the next five years, although its chief executive is tempering expectations a little. The group has seen blistering growth in the U.S. since 2007, when it set lofty goals for sales of the Volkswagen, Audi and Bentley brands.

Housing, Manufacturing Give U.S. Economy A Lift

March 27, 2013 10:10 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Gains in housing and manufacturing propelled the U.S. economy over the winter, according to reports released Tuesday, and analysts say they point to the resilience of consumers and businesses as government spending cuts kick in. Demand for longer-lasting factory goods jumped 5.7 percent in February, the biggest increase in five months.

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