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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Panasonic, Tesla Eye Joint Plant In U.S.

February 26, 2014 8:04 am | News | Comments

Panasonic Corp. is considering setting up a new plant jointly with Tesla Motors Inc. in the United States to make lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, sources close to the matter said Wednesday. The Japanese electronics maker is mulling asking Japanese materials makers to set up bases at the new plant to create integrated production of batteries, the sources said.

GM Adds 842,000 Vehicles To Ignition Switch Recall

February 25, 2014 2:31 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

GM says a heavy key ring or jarring from rough roads can cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position and shut off the engine and electrical power. That can knock out power-assisted brakes and steering and disable the front air bags.

Consumer Reports Names Tesla Model S Its Top Pick

February 25, 2014 12:58 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The magazine cited the Model S's sporty performance and technological innovations, including its 225-mile (360-kilometer) range. But it acknowledged that the car is expensive. Consumer Reports paid $89,650 for the Model S it tested.     

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Tomko Named President Of Honda In Alabama

February 25, 2014 8:41 am | News | Comments

A new executive will lead Honda's operations in Alabama. Honda Manufacturing of Alabama says Jeff Tomko will take over as company president on April 1. Tomko is replacing Tom Shoupe, who becoming executive vice president and chief operations officer of Honda of America Manufacturing Inc.

French Automakers Seek To Catch Up In China

February 25, 2014 7:50 am | News | Comments

French automakers Renault and Peugeot are looking belatedly to China to revive their flagging fortunes but picked a tough time to try to expand. Three decades after Volkswagen became the first global automaker to produce cars in China in 1984, Renault SA announced plans in December for a Chinese factory.

UAW Official Says Union Remains Financially Strong

February 24, 2014 2:29 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The man who appears poised to take over leadership of the United Auto Workers later this year says car companies' fears about the union's demise are unfounded. Membership has dropped from a peak of 1.5 million in 1979 to 382,000 at the end of 2012, although it's been rising slightly since 2009.

Ford Updating Focus Compact To Boost Slow Sales

February 24, 2014 12:41 pm | News | Comments

Ford is updating its Focus compact car with new features and a more fuel-efficient engine as it tries to boost sluggish U.S. sales. There are cosmetic changes inside and out. Under the hood, the Focus gets the 1-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine that's now available in Europe.

High-Tech Mich. Hub Could Create 10,000 Manufacturing Jobs

February 24, 2014 9:57 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The White House announced Sunday the The American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), set to open this spring in metro Detroit. It’s the latest hub in the Obama administration’s National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), and it’s expected to bring 10,000 jobs to the region within the next five years.

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Scania Owners Hesitant About VW's $9.2B Bid

February 24, 2014 9:24 am | News | Comments

Minority shareholders of Swedish truck maker Scania say they are hesitant about Volkswagen's 6.7 billion-euro ($9.2 billion) offer to take over the rest of the company. Swedish pension fund AP4 said in a statement Monday it will review the offer but that "it is not obvious that the price now offered is best in the long term."

Detroit Automakers Worry About UAW Money Struggles

February 24, 2014 8:00 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

They worry that the 382,000-member UAW could be absorbed by a more hostile union. Such a merger could disrupt a decade of labor-management peace that has helped America's auto industry survive the financial crisis and emerge much stronger, according to a person with knowledge of executive discussions.

UAW Appeals Volkswagen Workers' Rejection

February 21, 2014 4:28 pm | by Erik Schelzig and Tom Raum, Associated Press | News | Comments

In an appeal filed with the National Labor Relations Board, the union asserted that "interference by politicians and outside special interest groups" had swayed the election.                       

IoT Fixes Tesla’s Fire Recall

February 21, 2014 4:19 pm | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued two recalls, one from Tesla and one from GM, both were associated with problems that could cause fires. The major difference? Tesla’s fix only required a WiFi connection, while GM required owners to bring their vehicles in for service.

Manufacturing.net Rewind: The UAW Loses; Military Experiments With Pizza

February 21, 2014 3:26 pm | News | Comments

Check out some of this week's top headlines from across Manufacturing.net, from a military pizza prototype that can last for up to three years to the Republican's fighting unionization at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee. Also, Obama wants new fuel standards for trucks and Apple may have its eye on Tesla.

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EPA Removing Tons Of PCB-Laden Soil From N.Y. Site

February 21, 2014 2:15 pm | by Michael Virtanen, Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal officials report removing 335,000 tons of PCBs, contaminated soil and other material from the shuttered General Motors Co. factory in northern New York, finding more waste than expected in the Superfund cleanup.     

Winning In The Complex Build-To-Order World of Auto Manufacturing

February 21, 2014 12:20 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Webinars | Comments

Automotive OEMs are introducing new models at a dizzying pace, with an increasing number of end-configurations. With heavy penalties for quality and on-time delivery issues, automotive suppliers and logistics partners must deliver zero-defect products on-time. How can they get the job done reliably and to the OEM’s built-to-order (BTO) specifications?

Museum Plans To Display Sinkhole-Damaged Cars

February 21, 2014 10:36 am | News | Comments

Curious to see the damage that a huge sinkhole inflicted on eight classic cars at the National Corvette Museum? The Kentucky attraction plans to give visitors a close look. Museum spokeswoman Katie Frassinelli says the cars will go on display before they're taken to Michigan for repairs. She says the museum has heard from people wanting to see the damage.

Bearings Traveling The World Onboard The ‘iglide’ Car

February 21, 2014 9:52 am | Product Releases | Comments

To celebrate 30 years of developing plastic bearings, igus has retrofitted a car with 56 of its iglide bearings and sent the vehicle off on a multi-continent journey to showcase their benefits in demanding applications. The components have been fitted into all areas of the car, including the pedals, alternator, window regulators, convertible top, gearshift, and more.

Chevy Believes Pinched Wire Caused Pace Car Fire

February 21, 2014 8:20 am | by Mark Long, AP Sports Writer | News | Comments

Chevrolet's newest pace cars are painted fire-engine red, somewhat fitting since the automaker needed a real one last week at Daytona International Speedway. Chevy unveiled its latest pace car lineup Thursday, the same day it said a pinched wire likely caused a trunk fire in the Chevrolet SS pace car.

Bhutan, Nissan Partner On Electric Cars

February 21, 2014 8:13 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has tapped Nissan Motor Co. to supply electric cars for its taxis and government fleet, hoping to reduce reliance on imported oil. Under the agreement announced Friday, Nissan will supply its Leaf electric car and set up charging stations in Bhutan.

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

February 21, 2014 7:47 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.

What Would The iCar Look Like? It's Fun To Dream

February 20, 2014 7:59 am | by Bree Fowler, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

With $158.8 billion in cash on its balance sheet, Apple certainly has the money to buy Tesla, which has a market cap of about $24 billion. Although a pairing of the two companies is a likely long shot and far off at best, it's kind of fun to think about a car made the company that brought us the iPhone and iPad.

Official: UAW No Deal Breaker For Memphis Site

February 20, 2014 7:32 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

Tennessee officials promoting a 6-square-mile "mega site" outside Memphis say it would be ideally suited for a new auto assembly plant — even if its workers are represented by the United Auto Workers union.        

Dongfeng, French Gov't To Invest In Peugeot

February 19, 2014 1:16 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Loss-making French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is getting a 3 billion euro lifeline backed by Chinese investors and the French government in a deal that will see the company's founding family hand over control after more than two centuries at the helm.

Jordan Museum Displays Unique Vehicles

February 19, 2014 12:30 pm | by Jamal Halaby, Associated Press | News | Comments

On a hilltop of the Jordanian capital, a museum with some of the world's most unique cars and motorbikes recounts a century of the ruling Hashemite dynasty's elegant lifestyle. The Royal Automobile Museum was built in 2003 under instructions from King Abdullah II, specifically to pay tribute to the eventful life of his late father.

Is It Time To Go On-Machine?

February 19, 2014 11:36 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

The automotive industry is known for being “guinea pigs,” in the kindest sense of the word. For at least 15 years, these companies have been pursuing an idea that is just now making its way to other industries — it’s the idea of stashing automation and safety controllers on the machine itself, rather than in a centrally-located cabinet. Is it time for other industries to follow suit?

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