WASHINGTON, DC--U.S. manufacturers' output fell 0.4 percent in March, led by a large step-down in the production of motor vehicles and parts, the Federal Reserve announced last week. Factory output aside from motor vehicles and parts moved down 0.2 percent. For the first quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 1.5 percent.
FREMONT, CA--To meet its self-imposed Septembes deadline for the production of its Model 3 sedan, Tesla is planning to bypass prototyping and bring the vehicle directly to final production. Industry experts caution, however, that the approach poses assembly line risks and will cost millions in production equipment if it fails.
LITTLE FALLS, MN---Indiana-based Wabash National, which makes high-test, lightweight truck trailers, recently acquired the just-shuttered Larson Boat plant here and plans to invest $11 million to renovate and equip the facility. The company hopes to employ 70 people by 2019 and 100 or more within five years.
DETROIT——General Motors' Chief Executive Mary Barra announced Monday that the company has agreed to sell its European manufacturing arm Opel to rival PSA Group, maker of Peugeot and Citron. The announcement prompted claims that GM has shied away from the region due to proposals by the new Trump administration to impose punitive tariffs on importers into the U.S. However, GM will continue to distribute its iconic Chevrolet and Cadillac brands in Europe and will be on the lookout for "future collaborations" in the region.
ALLENTOWN, PA——Process-gases-equipment manufacturer Air Products' spinoff company Versum Materials Inc. announced last Wednesday it is expanding its manufacturing operations in south Allentown and plans to add jobs.
TEMPE, AZ——Manufacturing in the United States expanded in February at the fastest pace since August 2014, as factory managers reported stronger orders and production. The Institute for Supply Management’s index climbed to 57.7, the sixth straight advance, from 56 a month earlier, the group’s report showed last Wednesday.
BOWLING GREEN, KY——The Corvette assembly plant here will shut down for 3 to 4 months beginning in June, and then undergo a multimillion-dollar expansion and retooling for the production of its 2018 models.
EVERETT, WA——More than 1,800 union members will soon leave Boeing under a buyout plan offered last month, the first step in a continuing company job-cutting effort that’s expected to include layoffs later this year. The machinists union said 1,500 of its members applied for a buyout and were approved to leave the company. The engineering union said 305 of its members were approved and are expected to leave the company in April.
DONGGUAN, CHINA—The Changying Precision Technology Co., which focuses on producing mobile phones and automated production lines, used to employ around 650 employees. Today, it has about 60 employees as a result of replacing nearly 90 percent of its human workforce with machines.