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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

AK Steel Projects Larger-Than-Expected 1Q Loss

March 22, 2013 5:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

AK Steel Holding Corp. on Friday projected a larger-than-expected first-quarter loss, saying that a previously expected seasonal increase in spot demand for steel hasn't materialized. The West Chester, Ohio based company produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products for a range of industries, including automotive, construction and infrastructure, manufacturing and electricity.

Dell Deal May Soon Face Competition

March 22, 2013 5:11 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Is Michael Dell's attempt to gain more control over his company about to turn into a financial tug-of-war? The answer could come Friday. That's the end of a 45-day period that Dell Inc.'s board of directors set to allow for offers that might top a Feb. 5 deal to sell the personal computer maker to CEO Michael Dell and a group of investors for $24.4 billion.

Caterpillar Reports Slowdown In Sales

March 21, 2013 1:44 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Caterpillar Inc. said Wednesday that global sales of its heavy equipment fell 13 percent for the three-month rolling period that ended in February, hurt by a steep drop in Asia Pacific demand. That followed a 4 percent decrease for the three months that ended in January and a 1 percent slide for the three months that ended in December, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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Fed Sees High Unemployment Into 2015

March 21, 2013 11:48 am | by The Associated Press | Videos | Comments

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke stayed cautious in his economic projections for 2013, though he showed a little optimism due to lower unemployment claims. Bernanke says unemployment will remain high into 2015, suggesting the Fed will keep short-term interest rates near record lows at least until then.

Bentley Booms, But SUVs Stuck In Garage

March 20, 2013 1:01 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

Premium automotive brands appear to be the only ones doing well these days amid the turmoil in Europe's car market, says Reuters' Julian Satterthwaite. Bentley says it can post higher sales again this year, but a green light for the company's key SUV project remains elusive.

Mitsubishi Electric Looking To Boost Overseas Sales

March 19, 2013 1:47 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The president of Mitsubishi Electric Corp. said Tuesday the company is aiming to strengthen its business in emerging markets to boost its ratio of overseas sales by 5 percentage points from the current level to 40 percent in fiscal 2015.

Ryanair Gives Boeing A Boost With Big Order

March 19, 2013 9:40 am | by Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press | News | Comments

Ryanair has made the biggest-ever order of Boeing planes by a European airline, announcing Tuesday it will buy 175 aircraft in a major boost for the U.S. aerospace giant. Neither side disclosed the purchase price for the 737-800s, but budget carrier Ryanair said it did negotiate a bulk discount off the total list price of $15.6 billion.

KiOR 4Q Loss Nearly Doubles On Startup Costs

March 19, 2013 9:31 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

KiOR's fourth-quarter loss nearly doubled with the start-up costs of a Mississippi production facility weighing on results from the alternative fuel company. It was a better showing than Wall Street had expected and shares edged up on a down day for major markets.

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Airbus Gets Biggest Order Ever From Indonesia

March 18, 2013 10:21 am | by Sarah DiLorenzo, Sylvie Corbet, Associated Press | News | Comments

Airbus signed its biggest deal ever on Monday, an order from Indonesian's Lion Air worth €18.4 billion ($24 billion) that President Francois Hollande said should inspire the struggling French economy and all of Europe. The CEOs of both companies signed the contract for 234 planes in a ceremony at the French presidential palace, a sign of its importance to the government.

Can 10 Million People Be Wrong?

March 18, 2013 9:00 am | by Mark Schmit, Manager, Strategic Partnerships, SelectUSA | Blogs | Comments

Last month Hasbro missed a golden opportunity to immortalize the importance of our country’s manufacturing sector, especially with the renaissance the sector is currently experiencing. Hasbro ran a poll to elect a new game icon to be included in all new editions of the game Monopoly, an All-American game if there ever was one.

Strong Auto Output Boosts U.S. Factory Production

March 15, 2013 1:57 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A strong increase in auto output boosted U.S. factory production last month, the latest sign that manufacturing is helping drive economic growth after lagging for much of 2012. Factory output rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent in February from January, after falling 0.3 percent in the previous month, the Federal Reserve said Friday.

BMW Profits Rise In 'Most Successful Year' Ever

March 15, 2013 1:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German automaker BMW says net profit increased 4.4 percent to €5.1 billion ($6.6 billion) in 2012 — hailing it as its "most successful year" — thanks to a big sales jump in Asia and a better market in the United States. The company, based in Munich, said Thursday that unit sales rose 31 percent in Asia, including a 40 percent rise in China excluding Hong Kong, and 14 percent in in the U.S.

Volkswagen CEO Stresses Cautious Outlook

March 14, 2013 1:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Volkswagen's chief executive Martin Winterkorn said Thursday the company faces a challenging year particularly in Europe where many countries are in recession. Winterkorn told the company's annual news and analyst conference that "Volkswagen is feeling the headwinds — especially in Europe."

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MAPI: Slower 2013 Activity To Precede Pickup in 2014

March 14, 2013 1:41 pm | by The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation | News | Comments

Recent trends suggest a reason for optimism for the U.S. economy and its manufacturing sector, according to the quarterly Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation U.S. Industrial Outlook (EO-121), a report that analyzes 27 major industries.

U.S. CEOs Optimistic About Economy, Wary Of Hiring

March 13, 2013 2:09 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies are much more optimistic about their sales prospects than they were three months ago, though many remain cautious about hiring. The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that 72 percent of its members expect sales will increase in the next six months.

U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Down

March 13, 2013 2:02 pm | News | Comments

January U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $370.62 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was down 26.5 percent from December and down 12.2 percent when compared with the total of $422.33 million reported for January 2012.

Government Sells Another Chunk Of GM Stock

March 12, 2013 10:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. government has sold another chunk of its stake in General Motors Co. The Treasury Department says in its February report to Congress that it sold $489.9 million worth of GM common stock last month. The report dated Monday says the government has recovered about $29.8 billion of its $49.5 billion bailout of the Detroit automaker. That means taxpayers are still $19.7 billion in the hole.

Suntech Gets Breathing Room To Make Payments

March 11, 2013 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Solar panel maker Suntech Power Holdings Co. has been given some breathing room to make note payments to certain bondholders after signing a forbearance agreement with them. If Suntech is unable to make payments due on the convertible notes on March 15, the bondholders have agreed not to exercise their rights under the notes until May 15.

China's Auto Sales Up 19.5 Percent In Jan-Feb

March 11, 2013 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's auto sales accelerated in the first two months of this year, rising 19.5 percent over the same period of 2012 in a possible positive sign for an economic recovery. Automakers sold 2.8 million cars in January and February, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported Monday. Total sales, including trucks and buses, rose 14.7 percent to 3.4 million vehicles.

Canadian Solar 4th-Quarter Loss Widens

March 11, 2013 10:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Canadian Solar said Monday that its fiscal fourth-quarter loss widened versus a year ago as solar module shipments dropped and operating expenses increased. Its shares fell more than 3 percent in premarket trading. The Canadian solar power company lost $105 million, or $2.43 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $59.9 million, or $1.39 per share, a year ago.

ISM: Manufacturing Continues Its Positive Start To 2013

March 11, 2013 9:00 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, MBT | Articles | Comments

U.S. manufacturing continues its positive start to 2013. “The PMI is a little bit above my expectations but I try to stay away from expectations and try to focus on the data,” says Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Business Survey Committee.

Analyst: Drop In Unemployment Good For Automakers

March 8, 2013 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Sterne Agee analyst said auto sales have been strongly tied to the unemployment rate for years, and that makes February's drop in the jobless rate to 7.7 percent good news for automakers.  Michael Ward said the unemployment rate has been an indicator of vehicle demand for the past 30 years, and the trend continues to hold up now.

China's February Exports Surge But Imports Fall

March 8, 2013 2:14 pm | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's exports surged more than expected in February in a possible sign of stronger global demand. Exports leaped 21.8 percent, well ahead of analysts' expectations of single-digit growth as companies shut down for the Lunar New Year holiday, data showed Friday.

Small Businesses Feel Sequester Pinch

March 8, 2013 1:45 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

The automatic sequester budget cuts are expected to slash $43 billion in defense spending over the next seven months - 8 percent of the Pentagon's budget. And, as CBS News' Ben Tracy reports, that will impact thousands of small businesses that work in the defense industry.

Toyota Aqua Remains Japan's Best-Selling Car

March 6, 2013 9:46 am | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Aqua hybrid hatchback remained Japan's best-selling car in February for the fifth straight month, selling 24,526 units, up 11.7 percent from a year earlier, industry bodies said Wednesday. Ranking second was the same maker's Prius hybrid hatchback with sales of 23,473 units, down 34.6 percent.

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