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.
CHARLESTON, SC—Volvo’s decision to open its first U.S. assembly plant in Berkeley County is likely to lure other businesses from the Swedish automaker’s home country. Nearly two dozen of Sweden’s automotive parts suppliers visited South Carolina last week to meet with executives at Volvo and other manufacturers as part of a campaign to expand the burgeoning Swedish car parts industry to other countries.
LAS VEGAS, NV—A second electric car company is planning to build an assembly plant in southern Nevada, and it’s further along in development than Faraday Future. Executives with 2050 Motors, which is showing two car models in Las Vegas this week, are evaluating sites to build a plant in the state.
ANN ARBOR, MI—Robot orders and shipments in North America set new records in 2015, according to Robotic Industries Association. A total of 31,464 robots valued at $1.8 billion were ordered from North American companies during 2015, an increase of 14 percent in units and 11 percent in dollars over 2014.
CHATTANOOGA, TN—The American Council of Employees at Volkswagen’s assembly plant here is supporting the automaker’s federal appeal of last year’s election, in which a small group of employees agreed to align with the United Auto Workers.