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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Airstream Trailers Can't Keep Up With Demand

December 29, 2014 9:49 am | by Mitch Stacy, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Bob Wheeler still gets the question sometimes when people find out he runs the company that builds those shiny aluminum campers: "Airstreams? They still make those?" Not only are the retro-looking "silver bullet" travel-trailers still being built by...

MI's Population Creeping Up As Autos Recover

December 26, 2014 11:35 am | by David N. Goodman, The Associated Press | News | Comments

After years of declining population, industrial Michigan finally seems to be on track toward growth again, the state's demographer says. The U.S. Census reported this month that Michigan's population rose a razor-thin 0.1 percent to 9.91 million in...

Japan's Top 3 Carmakers Cut Domestic Production In Nov

December 24, 2014 10:37 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan's top three carmakers Wednesday reported weaker domestic production for November, as the lingering impact of the consumption tax hike in April dented sales and their strategy to build more vehicles overseas led to reduced exports in the month. Toyota Motor Corp., the world's largest...

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Airbag Maker Takata Shuffles Top Managers To Improve Response To Recall Crisis

December 24, 2014 10:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Takata Corp., the Japanese maker of airbags at the centre of massive recalls in the U.S. and elsewhere, apologized and said Wednesday that it was reshuffling its top executives, who plan to take pay cuts in response to the crisis. Takata's president... 

$11M In New Equipment Planned For Auto Plant

December 24, 2014 9:52 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An auto parts company is planning to spend nearly $11 million on new equipment for a southern Indiana factory. The Seymour City Council this week approved a 10-year phase-in of property taxes for the investment by Valeo at its automobile lighting factory... 

Is There A New Life For Cuba's Classic Cars?

December 24, 2014 9:38 am | by E. Eduardo Castillo, Kristen Wyatt, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Dairo Tio cruises the streets of Havana in a gleaming black 1954 Buick with polished chrome highlights and the diesel motor from an electric plant bolted beneath the hood. When the brakes failed in his beautiful Frankenstein of a taxi cab, Tio couldn't work for 15 days as...

MAPI Analysis On Durable Goods Drop

December 23, 2014 12:06 pm | by Daniel J. Meckstroth, Vice President, Chief Economist, MAPI | News | Comments

The Census Bureau reports today that new orders for durable goods in November fell 0.7%, following 0.3% growth in October and 0.7% decline in September. Defense order fell 11% in November which, if excluded, meant that nondefense durable goods orders declined 0.1%. The industry detail shows a...

Safety Officials Close Mercedes Fuel Leak Probe

December 23, 2014 10:30 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. safety officials have ended their nearly three-year investigation into more than 280,000 Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars, after they found that a fuel leak that causes a gasoline odor in the vehicles poses no risk to drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday that it found tiny...

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10 Car Models That May Not Make It Another Year

December 23, 2014 10:12 am | by USA Today | Videos | Comments

This year yielded a bumper crop of exciting new cars, trucks and SUVs, but what about those that haven't been so great? USA Today reports on cars that may not make it another year and are in danger of being discontinued after the 2015 model year...

U.S. Orders For Durable Goods Drop 0.7% In Nov

December 23, 2014 10:06 am | by Josh Boak, The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. factory orders for long-lasting manufactured goods slumped in November, largely due to falling demand in the military and defence sectors. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that orders for durable goods dropped 0.7 per cent last month, the third decline in the past four months. Much...

GM Pickup Production In MO A Boon For Other Plants

December 22, 2014 1:31 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Production of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks at the General Motors plant in Wentzville is providing an economic boost not just in the eastern Missouri town but throughout the region. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that since GM began producing the midsize pickups this...

CA Puzzles Over Safety Of Driverless Cars

December 22, 2014 12:01 pm | by Justin Pritchard, The Associated Press | News | Comments

California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles are safe. It's a rare case of the law getting ahead of an emerging technology and reflects regulators' struggle to...

Manufacturing's Winner & Loser Of The Week

December 22, 2014 9:40 am | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations | Blogs | Comments

There has been no shortage of manufacturing news this week, from news of a fracking ban to continued automotive recall troubles. However, neither of these news items made the cut for IMPO’s “Winner” and “Loser” of the week. Instead, the titles have been awarded to Toyota and the former Freedom Industries...

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Chrysler To Recall About 288K Ram Pickup Trucks

December 19, 2014 2:27 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Chrysler is recalling about 288,000 older Ram pickup trucks in North America and elsewhere because the rear axle can seize or the drive shaft can fall off. The recall covers Ram 1500 pickups from the 2005 model year. Chrysler says in documents posted Friday by U.S. safety regulators that the...

Honda Opens Museum, Training Facility

December 19, 2014 9:35 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Honda is opening a new training facility in central Ohio, along with a museum that pays tribute to the automaker's history in North America over a half a century. The company unveiled the $35 million Honda Heritage Center on Thursday in Marysville, where its North American operations are...

Toyota Boosting MI Research, Development

December 18, 2014 1:43 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp. is further boosting its research and development work in southeastern Michigan. The automaker announced Thursday that it's investing $126 million in the expansion of its powertrain operations in Ann Arbor Township and consolidating vehicle development operations...

Ford Expands Drivers Air Bag Recall Nationwide

December 18, 2014 9:57 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. has agreed to government demands to expand a driver's side air bag inflator recall to the entire U.S. The move announced Thursday adds 447,000 Ford vehicles to the list of those recalled due to driver's inflators made by Japan's Takata Corp. The inflators can explode with too much force, spewing...

U.S. Consumer Prices Fell 0.3% In November

December 17, 2014 10:24 am | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Plunging gasoline costs pulled U.S. consumer prices lower in November, muting inflation across the entire economy. The Labor Department said Wednesday the inflation reading fell a seasonally-adjusted 0.3 percent last month, after prices were flat in October. Gas costs plummeted 10.5 percent in...

Senate Approves New Auto Safety Chief

December 17, 2014 10:05 am | by Joan Lowy, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed a new administrator to lead the government's auto safety agency, which faces complaints that regulators bungled two high-profile recalls involving faulty ignition switches and exploding air bags. Mark Rosekind, 59, a leading expert on human fatigue, was approved by...

Chrysler Group LLC Changes Its Name

December 16, 2014 1:33 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chrysler Group LLC has changed its name to FCA US LLC, effective immediately. The automaker said Tuesday that the name change follows the naming convention of its parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., which adopted its name in October when it listed on the New York Stock...

Ford Hires Ex-GM Research Head To Analyze Big Data

December 15, 2014 5:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford has hired a former General Motors chief industry analyst to manage data collection and use it to help predict the future. The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker on Monday announced that it has hired Paul Ballew, who most recently led global data operations at the Dun and Bradstreet analytics...

Study Shows Your All-Electric Car May Not Be So Green

December 15, 2014 3:59 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

People buying all-electric cars where coal supplies the power may think they are helping the environment. But a new study says those plug-in vehicles can be making the air dirtier and worsening global warming. Ethanol isn't so green, either. Study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at...

Death Toll From GM Ignition Switches Rises To 42

December 15, 2014 1:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

At least 42 people have died and 58 have been injured in crashes involving General Motors cars with defective ignition switches. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by GM to compensate victims, updated the totals Monday. Feinberg says he has received 251 death claims and...

UAW President: Companies Can Raise Pay While Staying Competitive

December 15, 2014 1:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams says he's not buying the Detroit Three automakers' argument against wage increases for longtime workers. Williams told reporters Monday that keeping Detroit competitive with foreign automakers can't always be done on the backs of workers. He says...

Design For Manufacture: Better Information, Better Pricing

December 12, 2014 12:47 pm | by Kevin J. Dailida, Senior Director of Operations and Supply Chain, Dynisco | Articles | Comments

As business competition intensifies worldwide, it becomes ever more challenging to improve gross margins and operating profits.  Because the Internet provides the ability to obtain comparative pricing on a global basis, supply chain organizations (SCOs) are increasingly pressured to pinpoint the best supplier options...

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