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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

AK Steel Imposes Price Hike On Steel Products

November 7, 2012 10:14 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of some U.S. steel manufacturers rose Tuesday, a day after AK Steel Holding Corp. imposed a $50 per ton increase in spot market base prices for carbon flat-rolled steel used in such products as automobiles and appliances. AK Steel said Monday that the increase was effective immediately on new orders.

China Helps BMW Offset European Weakness In Q3

November 6, 2012 2:01 pm | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Strong sales of its luxury cars in China helped Germany's BMW AG overcome weak markets in crisis-ridden Europe. Net profit rose 16 percent in the third quarter to €1.29 billion ($1.65 billion) on a 13.7 percent jump in sales to a record €18.82 billion. The Munich-based carmaker said it was sticking to its forecasts for 2012 sales and earnings to be up on the previous year despite "an increasingly uncertain market environment."

Microsoft, Apple Tablets Have Most Profit Margins

November 6, 2012 1:59 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Microsoft and Apple are garnering the highest profit margins for their tablets, followed by Google and then Amazon, according to research firm IHS. IHS' analysis excludes costs for marketing, sales or operating system-software, which Microsoft has been touting with its device. The research firm obtains the devices independently and breaks them apart to estimate the cost of the components.

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ISM: Manufacturing Continues To Grow

November 6, 2012 7:09 am | by Mike Schmidt. Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

The October registered 51.7 percent, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from September’s reading of 51.5 percent, indicating growth in manufacturing at a slightly faster rate. “This helps to remind people that manufacturing is growing, despite its ups and downs and everything going on around us,” said Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

Auto Industry Could Ease IN Manufacturing Slowdown

November 5, 2012 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Indiana's manufacturing industry has seen its recovery stall, and experts predict things will get worse as many of the state's largest companies feel the effects the European financial crisis and slowing growth in China. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the state lost an estimated 1,400 manufacturing jobs in September.

Boeing Inks Deal To Sell 20 Planes To Kuwaiti Firm

November 5, 2012 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing Co. and Kuwaiti airplane leasing company ALAFCO are saying they finalized an order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s valued at $2.0 billion at their current list price. ALAFCO buys planes and then leases them to airlines. The deal was first announced in July at Britain's Farnborough Airshow

Toyota Quarterly Profit Triples, Raises Forecast

November 5, 2012 10:23 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota's quarterly profit tripled, driven by a recovery from natural disasters, and the company raised its full-year earnings forecast Monday despite a sales slump in China. Toyota Motor Corp., on track to regain the crown of world's No. 1 automaker this year, reported a July-September net profit of $3.2B. The result was better than the $3B quarterly profit forecast by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Jobs Dwindle During Green Power Debate

November 5, 2012 10:21 am | by Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press | News | Comments

Romney and Obama prominently collided during the campaign over the fate of the tax credit. Romney has called for its expiration, while Obama supports its renewal. Amid the gridlock, Vestas has closed offices and laid off hundreds of U.S. workers. Wind businesses from South Carolina to Washington state also have cut jobs.

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Tesla Shares Rise As Company Says Production Grows

November 5, 2012 10:09 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. rose more than 3 percent in early trading Monday as the electric vehicle maker said it was now making enough cars to generate positive operating cash flow. But the Palo Alto, Calif., company's third-quarter net loss grew almost 70 percent, to $110.8 million, or $1.05 per share, compared with a loss of $65.1 million, or 63 cents per share, a year earlier.

Lack of Leadership Seen To Thwart Manufacturing Renaissance

November 5, 2012 7:08 am | by Deloitte | Articles | Comments

The public feels that American leadership is off-course in improving manufacturing competitiveness and that the national economy is weak and fragile, according to a new survey from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute. The survey found that Americans have a jaundiced view of the nation’s overall economic health, with 59 percent indicating that the economy has “not improved or gotten better” in recent years.

U.S. Factory Orders Rise 4.8 Percent In September

November 2, 2012 2:29 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. companies boosted their orders for manufactured goods by the largest amount in 18 months in September, but companies remained cautious in ordering goods that signal plans to expand and modernize. Factory orders rose 4.8 percent in September compared to August, a month when orders had fallen 5.1 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Toyota China Sales Nearly Halved In October

November 2, 2012 2:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday its sales in China nearly halved again in October, for the second consecutive month, compared with the same month a year earlier, amid a Sino-Japanese territorial row. Toyota, Japan's No. 1 automaker, said its October sales in China plunged 44.1 percent to 45,600 units. In September, its sales in the world's largest auto market nosedived 48.9 percent to 44,100 units.

Copper Rises On Manufacturing Gains In U.S., China

November 2, 2012 2:21 pm | by Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The price of copper is higher after manufacturing expanded in the world's two largest economies and Americans spent more money on big-ticket items like automobiles.  It was the second consecutive month of growth for U.S. manufacturing, suggesting the sector should continue to expand based on increased consumer spending.

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U.S. Manufacturing Expands At Faster Pace In October

November 2, 2012 10:14 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturing expanded for the second straight month in October, boosted by growth in new orders and production. The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its index of factory activity rose last month to 51.7, up from September's reading of 51.5. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Canadian Auto Sales On Track For Best Year Ever

November 2, 2012 10:13 am | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

Automakers in Canada had their best October ever, pushing industry sales up nearly seven per cent from a year ago and putting sales on track for what could be a record year. Overall vehicle sales in Canada rose 7.8 per cent year-over-year last month to 135,476, compared with 125,680 in October 2011, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

China Manufacturing Improves In October

November 2, 2012 10:11 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's manufacturing improved in October, adding to signs the world's second-largest economy might be recovering from its deepest slump since the 2008 global crisis, two business surveys showed Thursday. The Chinese numbers are rare good news for the world economy, which has slowed as Europe's chronic debt crisis worsened and the American economy stagnated.

Eqecat: Sandy Damage Could Reach $50B

November 2, 2012 10:10 am | by Matthew Craft, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Widespread power outages and subway shutdowns may wind up making Superstorm Sandy the second most expensive storm in U.S. history, according to the forecasting firm Eqecat. That would rank it right behind Hurricane Katrina. Eqecat said Thursday that the damage from the storm will likely be far worse than it previously predicted, largely a result of Sandy hitting the most densely populated area in the country.

Midwest Manufacturing: Turning Around the 2012 Decline

November 2, 2012 8:15 am | by Tom Bonine, President, National Metal Fabricators | Blogs | Comments

Today’s trend of Midwest manufacturing declining is due to a triple hit: a Chinese ordering slowdown, a languishing European economy, and the domestic U.S. fiscal direction being up in the air with the presidential election. As a result, it’s no surprise that the ability to sell and grow the movement of manufactured goods is suffering, especially on international markets.

Most Automakers Report Sales Jumps Despite Storm

November 1, 2012 1:46 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Most major automakers reported sales increases in October despite losing at least three days of business to the punishing rain and wind from Superstorm Sandy. Toyota said its sales rose almost 16 percent for the month, while Volkswagen reported another strong month with sales up 22 percent. Chrysler sales rose 10 percent, General Motors was up 5 percent and Ford rose slightly.

Chrysler Has Best October In 5 Years

November 1, 2012 1:41 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Chrysler had its best October in five years as sales for the month rose 10 percent despite Superstorm Sandy washing out three days of business on the East Coast. The company said Thursday that it sold 126,000 cars and trucks for the month, led by the Ram pickup, which was up 20 percent, and the Dodge Caravan minivan, which saw sales rise 49 percent.

Fiat Industrial Q3 Profits Up 30 Percent

October 31, 2012 2:04 pm | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Fiat Industrial SpA, the Italian maker of trucks, farming and construction equipment, reported a 30 percent increase in third-quarter earnings Wednesday on "robust" sales of tractors and farm combines. Net profit was €260 million ($337 million) in the quarter ending Sept. 30, up from €182 million last year. Revenues were €6.3 billion ($8.2 billion).

Sales In Asia Help Mazda Return To Profit

October 31, 2012 2:00 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Mazda Motor Corp. says it has shaken off a long spell of losses, turning a 12.2 billion yen ($153.3 million) profit in the July-September quarter, though it revised downward its sales forecast for the year. The Hiroshima-based automaker's profit for the quarter compared with a 14.4 billion yen loss a year earlier. Mazda said its net profit for the first half of the fiscal year was 5.7 billion yen ($71.6 million).

Unemployment Rates Fall In 95 Percent Of U.S. Cities

October 31, 2012 10:28 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Unemployment rates fell in nearly all large U.S. cities in September from August, a sign that recent jobs gains have been widespread. The Labor Department said Tuesday that rates declined in 355 of the 372 metro areas, the most since April. The report also shows that nearly half of cities now have unemployment rates below 7 percent.

GM 3Q Profit Falls 14 Percent

October 31, 2012 10:23 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

A turnaround in South America and a rosier outlook in Europe helped push General Motors shares up in premarket trading Wednesday, even though the company's third-quarter net profit fell 14 percent. GM said it earned $1.48 billion from July through September, down from $1.73 billion a year earlier, as European pretax losses widened and North American profits fell.

Charges Lead To Johnson Controls $8M 4Q Loss

October 30, 2012 2:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Auto parts and building equipment maker Johnson Controls Inc. said Tuesday that it posted an $8 million fiscal fourth-quarter loss, hurt by costs of restructuring its business and a change in how it accounts for retirees' benefits. Johnson Controls said it expects softening global demand and changes in currency exchange rates will continue to limit its growth this year.

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