Volkswagen's chief executive Martin Winterkorn said Thursday the company faces a challenging year particularly in Europe where many countries are in recession. Winterkorn told the company's annual news and analyst conference that "Volkswagen is feeling the headwinds — especially in Europe."
Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies are much more optimistic about their sales prospects than they were three months ago, though many remain cautious about hiring. The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that 72 percent of its members expect sales will increase in the next six months.
U.S. companies increased their restocking in January from December, an encouraging signal that they expect consumers will spend more this year and help the economy grow faster. The Commerce Department says business stockpiles grew 1 percent in January, up from 0.3 percent growth in December.
General Motors has begun building a new paint shop at its Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan. The automaker says in a release that construction began Tuesday on the 450,000-square-foot paint shop, which is part of a $600 million investment in the plant. Construction is expected to take about two years.
Vestas Wind Systems is putting some of its factories up for sale, but officials won't say if their tower factory in Pueblo is among them. Vestas spokesman Andrew Longeteig said Tuesday there are a number of manufacturing facilities up for sale, but they aren't going to be identified until negotiations are completed.
French carmaker Renault SA reached a potentially groundbreaking deal with leading unions Wednesday that allows it to reduce its workforce and cut costs in exchange for keeping jobs and production in France. Renault and other European carmakers have been struggling to stay competitive globally as Europe's car market flails.
Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices will sell a campus in Austin, Texas and then rent them, generating about $164 million, in an effort to cut its real-estate costs. The company said Tuesday that it's selling the buildings to a division of San Francisco real estate investment company Spear Street Capital.
Orthopedic maker Stryker Corp. said Tuesday that it received a warning from government regulators about quality control issues and unapproved marketing of medical devices. The company said it got the letter from the Food and Drug Administration following a November inspection of its Portage, Mich., facility.
Gov. Terry Branstad offered a fiery defense Tuesday of his administration's efforts to woo an Egyptian company to build a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in southeastern Iowa, seeking to get beyond criticism and negative publicity that have dogged the deal.
Delaware environmental officials say new pollution control equipment installed at a Claymont steel mill will help reduce air pollution in the area. Officials gathered at Evraz Claymont Steel on Monday to tout the completion of the $16.75 million pollution control system.
The parent company of the Lipton Tea is planning to invest more than $96 million to expand its Suffolk facility. Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the investment from Unilever on Monday. The largest tea processing facility in the U.S. employs nearly 300 in Hampton Roads.
A year after his death in a plane crash at the Boise Airport, analysts say Micron is pursuing that vision with patience and determination in its business strategy. "I think they are doing Steve proud," said Betsy Van Hees, senior vice president of equity research for Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency wants to stop a northern Illinois business from restarting operations following explosions and a fire that injured workers. IEPA Director John Kim has asked the Illinois Attorney General's Office to seek a court order preventing FVMS Inc. in Cary from reopening.
Congressman Richard Hanna, whose upstate district includes the plant in Ilion in Herkimer County, says Friday that the contract calls for Remington to make more than 5,000 sniper rifles and millions of rounds over 10 years for the U.S. Special Operations Command.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has charged Komatsu America Corp. with safety violations at its plant in Peoria and proposed an $82,000 fine in the death of an employee. Stanley Musgrave Jr. of Norwood died Aug. 24, 2012, after he was injured two days earlier at the plant.
Italy's labor minister is criticizing a decision by the Bridgestone tire company to close a plant in southern Italy as "serious and without reason." Corrado Passera protested in a letter to the Japanese company, released by the labor ministry Thursday, that the company had failed to work with authorities to find another solution.
At least 10 people were injured, three critically, in an explosion Thursday at a steel castings plant in southwestern Illinois, officials said. The blast happened shortly after 8 a.m. in the cleaning-and-finishing department at the American Steel Foundries plant in Granite City, just northeast of St. Louis.
The compact, narrow design makes the B 80 easy to maneuverable, and its tank’s asymmetrical shape gives the operator a clear view of the brush head. During cleaning the brush head, like the suction bar, is lowered automatically.
Logistics service provider Katoen Natie plans to build a $150 million plastics storage and distribution facility in Baton Rouge that will support the area's chemical plants. The indoor storage and distribution complex is expected to create 210 new jobs.
Levels of cellphone use are lower in Myanmar than in North Korea. The government has made reform of its telecommunications sector, which was long dominated by crony businesses, a priority. Bids from 91 companies from around the world for two nationwide telecom licenses are now under consideration.
Orders were down 1.9 percent compared with the previous month, the Economy Ministry said Thursday. Economists had expected an increase of 0.6 percent, following a gain of 1.1 percent in December. The December figure was revised up from the initial reading of 0.8 percent.
Johnson Controls Inc. said Wednesday that it has hired bankers to explore selling its auto electronics business, but denied a report that it is trying to sell its auto interiors unit. The Milwaukee company makes a variety of auto parts, batteries for cars and other products and building products such as heating and ventilation systems.
General Motors says it will hire 1,000 workers to staff an information technology center in suburban Phoenix. It's the fourth and final center that GM will announce. The others are in Roswell, Georgia, near Atlanta; Warren, Mich., near Detroit; and in Austin, Texas.
In a letter to Inslee, the Department of Energy estimated it will have to eliminate $92 million for its Office of River Protection, which oversees efforts to empty the tanks and build a plant to treat the waste. The cuts will result in furloughs or layoffs impacting about 2,800 contract workers, the agency said.
In addition to the difficult economy, idle factory floors are weighing on European manufacturers. But stringent labor protections have meant few factories have closed in recent years. Hyundai Motor Europe's chief operating officer, Allan Rushforth, says the outlook is murky.