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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Analyst Doubles Price Target, Boosts Tesla Shares

February 25, 2014 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. surged 16 percent Tuesday after a Wall Street analyst told investors that Tesla could shake up the electric utility sector as well as the auto industry.                     

French Automakers Seek To Catch Up In China

February 25, 2014 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Their motivation is clear: Europe's auto sales slumped last year to their lowest level since 1995, forcing French brands to join U.S. and European rivals in looking to China to drive revenues. But the timing is awkward.          

Japan Trade Deficit Hits Record $27.4B In January

February 21, 2014 10:08 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan's trade deficit surged to a monthly record of 2.8 trillion yen ($27.4 billion) in January as imports jumped 25 percent, underscoring the challenge the country faces in restoring export-driven growth.              

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Coca-Cola CFO To Retire As Cost-Cutting Ramps Up

February 21, 2014 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Longtime Coca-Cola Chief Financial Officer Gary Fayard will retire in May as the company ramps up its cost-cutting efforts. The world's largest drink maker is trying to keep up with shifting consumer tastes as volume declines in North America reached 1 percent in the most recent quarter.

Mexico To Trump Japan As No. 2 Car Exporter To U.S.

February 21, 2014 9:57 am | by Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press | News | Comments

An $800 million Honda plant opening Friday in the central state of Guanajuato will produce about 200,000 Fit hatchbacks a year, helping push total Mexican car exports to the U.S. to 1.7 million in 2014, roughly 200,000 more than Japan, consulting firm IHS Automotive says.

IHS: 4Q Manufacturing Employment Surges To 4-Year High

February 20, 2014 1:52 pm | by Aparna Soni, Economist, IHS Global Insight | News | Comments

At over 12 million jobs nationwide, manufacturing employment is now the highest it has been since 2009. The sector recovered handsomely from the setbacks it had faced earlier in the second and third quarters and is poised to start the new year on a strong footing.

China's Manufacturing Slows To 7-Month Low

February 20, 2014 9:58 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's economic activity has slowed steadily as the government tries to reduce reliance on investment in industry and infrastructure and encourage more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption.              

Harsh Winter Puts Small Businesses Out In The Cold

February 19, 2014 2:21 pm | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

This has been the snowiest winter nationally in four years and the coldest in three years, costing businesses of all sizes and their employees an estimated $15 billion that can't be made up, according to research from Planalytics, which analyzes the economic impact of weather.  

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Carlsberg: Beer Demand Falling In Europe, Russia

February 19, 2014 10:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Carlsberg says beer sales are likely to fall this year in western Europe and Russia, but continue to grow in Asia. The Copenhagen-based group says its fourth-quarter net sales fell slightly to 15.7 billion kroner ($2.9 billion) as overall beer volumes dropped 3 percent.

Report: Offshoring And Outsourcing A Mixed Bag For U.S. Jobs, Wages

February 19, 2014 10:17 am | by UC Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) | News | Comments

Without solid numbers, many have assumed that most of the offshored jobs go to developing countries where workers are paid near-poverty wages in less than ideal working conditions. However, the researchers said public fear that offshoring to lower-cost countries is putting downward pressure on U.S. jobs may be overblown.

Budget Office: Wage Hike Would Lift Pay, Cost Jobs

February 19, 2014 10:14 am | by Alan Fram, Associated Press | News | Comments

Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 jobs, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday.

Oreo Maker Mondelez Sees Cookie Troubles In China

February 14, 2014 10:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The company, which also makes Cadbury, Chips Ahoy, Ritz, and Trident gum, said its core revenue for the final three months of the year rose 2.5 percent, primarily as a result of higher volume.                  

Renault Earnings Slashed By Over Half In 2013

February 14, 2014 10:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Renault says its earnings were more than halved last year even as car sales began to rebound, as heavy restructuring costs ate into the French car maker's profits.                          

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Cold Weather Causes Factory Output To Drop

February 14, 2014 10:27 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Harsh winter weather led to a steep drop in U.S. factory output in January. Manufacturers made fewer cars and trucks, appliances, furniture, and carpeting, as the recent cold spell ended five straight months of increased production.      

U.S. Businesses Boost Inventories As Sales Slow

February 13, 2014 4:29 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. businesses restocked their shelves and warehouses at a faster pace in December, but sales slowed, a cautionary sign for the economy. The Commerce Department says inventories rose 0.5 percent after a 0.4 percent increase in November. Sales growth fell to just 0.1 percent, from 0.7 percent in November.

Industrial Manufacturing Deal Activity Picks Up In Second Half Of 2013

February 13, 2014 11:30 am | by PwC US | News | Comments

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the industrial manufacturing sector increased in the second half of 2013, with a 20 percent uptick in activity in the final six months of the year compared to the first half, according to Assembling Value, an annual analysis of global deal activity in the industrial manufacturing industry by PwCUS.

U.S. Cutting Tool Consumption Down 11.7 Pct. In December

February 12, 2014 2:12 pm | by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology | News | Comments

December U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $138 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total was down 11.7 percent from November’s total and down 3.9 percent from December 2012.

Fears Of Slowdown Sharpen Focus On Jobs Report

February 6, 2014 1:53 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Stock markets have sunk after signs of weaker growth in the United States, Europe, and China. Turmoil in developing countries has further spooked investors. The upheaval has renewed doubts about the Federal Reserve's next steps.       

U.S. Trade Deficit Up In December To $38.7B

February 6, 2014 1:42 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit increased in December after hitting a four-year low in November. But for the year, the deficit fell to its lowest point since 2009 as exports rose to an all-time high.                  

Ingersoll-Rand Increases Dividend By 19 Pct.

February 5, 2014 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ingersoll-Rand plc said Wednesday that it is increasing its quarterly dividend by 19 percent and announced a $1.5 billion share repurchase program. Shares of the Irish industrial and commercial products maker jumped in trading in reaction.    

Survey: Companies Add 175,000 Jobs In January

February 5, 2014 9:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Payroll processor ADP says companies added 175,000 jobs last month. That's down from 227,000 in December, which was revised lower. But it was much better than the government's official figure of just 74,000 new jobs in December.       

U.S. Factory Orders Down 1.5 Percent In December

February 4, 2014 1:56 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturers saw orders for their products decline in December by the largest amount in five months although the setback for a key category that tracks business investment was not as large as first reported.           

MAPI: January Factory Slowdown 'Worrisome'

February 4, 2014 10:08 am | by Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) | News | Comments

“While U.S. manufacturing continued its growth into the new year, survey data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed that the pace of factory activity slowed considerably. The overall Index fell by 5.2 percentage points from 56.5 in December to 51.3 in January, still signaling overall output advances but at a far more muted pace."

U.S. Stocks Slide On Manufacturing Data

February 3, 2014 1:49 pm | by Alex Veiga, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

U.S. stocks fell sharply in afternoon trading Monday, pushing down the Dow Jones industrial average more than 260 points as investors worried about reports of sluggish growth in the U.S. economy. The decline adds to losses racked up by the market in January.

Ford, GM, Toyota Sales Fall With January Temperatures

February 3, 2014 1:35 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Frigid temperatures and snowy weather generally kept buyers away from auto showrooms last month, with Ford, General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen all reporting declines from a year ago. But Chrysler, Nissan, and Subaru dealers were smiling because sales were up for all three brands.

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