WOOSTER, OH—Gardeners may look at dandelions as weeds, but the auto industry may soon see them as a gold mine. Tire makers and auto parts suppliers are investigating whether dandelions and other plants can be used as alternatives to rubber trees for producing natural latex.
MILLS RIVER, NC—GF Automotive and Linamar Corp. will invest $217 million to build a new assembly plant here for lightweight powertrain components. The facility is expected to create 350 jobs during the next five years.
CLEVELAND—Ford plans to invest $145 million to upgrade its engine assembly plant here so it can build the next-generation, 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and expand the lineup of cars and trucks that are offered with the popular engine.
WASHINGTON—Orders for big-ticket goods surged in January. The Commerce Department said Thursday that new orders of durable goods increased 4.9 percent last month, topping the median estimate of 2.9 percent that economists had been expecting.