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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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).

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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.

U.S. Steel 3Q Profit Doubles Despite Revenue Drop

October 30, 2012 10:28 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S Steel doubled its third-quarter net income as a tax benefit helped balance pressure from price decreases and a challenging global economy. The manufacturer said Tuesday that it earned $44 million, or 28 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That compares with $22 million, or 15 cents per share, a year ago.

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Analysts: Sandy Unlikely To Damage U.S. Economy

October 30, 2012 10:22 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writers | News | Comments

Airlines have canceled thousands of flights, stranding travelers around the globe. Insurers are bracing for possible damages of $5 billion. Retailers face shrunken sales. The economic impact could be more severe if the storm damages a port or a major manufacturing facility such as an oil refinery, Zandi noted.

Ford Earns $1.63 Billion In 3Q

October 30, 2012 10:19 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford's third-quarter profit eased 1 percent to $1.63 billion as European losses swamped record North American profits. Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday its per-share net income was 41 cents, unchanged from the July-September period a year earlier. Before special items, including severance payouts, it earned 40 cents, beating Wall Street's forecast of 30 cents, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

Entrepreneurial Nation

October 30, 2012 8:13 am | Articles | Comments

Ro Khanna spent two years as deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he worked with the country’s most influential labor leaders to rebuild the nation’s manufacturing sector and increase America’s exports. He recently discussed what manufacturers can learn from the aerospace industry, why Solyndra is not a U.S. solar manufacturing failure, and what he sees for the future of American manufacturing.

Chrysler 3Q Profit Up 80 Percent

October 29, 2012 2:27 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Strong U.S. sales powered Chrysler to a healthy third-quarter profit. The company reported net income of $381 million, up 80 percent from $212 million a year earlier. The profit was due mainly to a 13-percent sales increase in the U.S., where Chrysler does three quarters of its business. The company sold nearly 417,000 cars and trucks in the U.S. under the Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Chrysler brands.

Honda Profit Jumps, Lowers Forecasts On China Woes

October 29, 2012 2:16 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Honda's quarterly profit surged 36 percent as Japanese automakers bounced back from last year's tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan, but the company lowered its annual forecasts Monday because of a sales plunge in China. Honda Motor Co. raked in an 82.2 billion yen ($1 billion) net profit for the July-September quarter. Sales jumped 20 percent to 2.27 trillion yen.

Toyota Headed To Record Global Sales

October 29, 2012 10:11 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota is shrugging off a sales plunge in China set off by a territorial dispute and says it is headed to a record year on the back of strong growth in the rest of Asia and the U.S. Toyota Motor Corp. Executive VP Funo acknowledged that achieving the company's target of 9.76M vehicle sales this year will be harder because of the problems in China.

U.S. Industrial Manufacturers Remain Positive

October 29, 2012 8:13 am | by PwC | Articles | Comments

Despite continued uncertainty about the prospects of both the U.S. and global economies, the majority of U.S. industrial manufacturers remain positive regarding the overall revenue outlook for the next 12 months, according to the Q3 2012 Manufacturing Barometer released today by PwC US.

Toyota Widens Global Sales Lead Over GM In 3Q

October 26, 2012 1:59 pm | by Tom Krisher, Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Toyota has widened its global sales lead over General Motors after bouncing back from a series of natural disasters. The company said Friday it sold 7.4 million vehicles globally in the first nine months of this year — 450,000 more than General Motors. While Toyota's sales rose 28 percent in that period, GM's rose 2.5 percent, to 6.95 million cars and light-duty trucks.

Copper Falls On Persistent Global Growth Worries

October 26, 2012 1:56 pm | by Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The price of copper has dropped after unimpressive home sales and orders for long-lasting goods failed to ease questions about demand for the metal. Copper for December delivery dropped 1.75 cents Thursday to finish at $3.5505 per pound. It's the sixth consecutive day that the price has fallen for the metal used in everything from construction to consumer cookware.

Dana Holding 3Q Net Income Falls By More Than Half

October 26, 2012 1:52 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Auto parts maker Dana Holding Corp. said Friday that its third-quarter net income sank by more than half, hurt by soft demand from North American commercial vehicle makers and South America. The company cut its full year guidance, citing expectations of further reductions in North American commercial vehicle production, along with weaker construction demand in Europe.

U.S. Economic Growth Up To Modest 2 Percent Rate

October 26, 2012 10:38 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster 2 percent annual rate from July through September, buoyed by more spending by consumers and the federal government. Growth accelerated from the 1.3 percent rate in the April-June quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Porsche Gain Gives VW A Q3 Profit Boost

October 26, 2012 10:28 am | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

German automaker Volkswagen AG saw net profit rise 58 percent in the third quarter thanks to an accounting boost from its takeover of Porsche. Operating earnings excluding the merger effects fell, however, and the company cautioned about an uncertain economic environment for the rest of the year.

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