Automotive & Industrial Manufacturing — September, 2012

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Can Automotive Supply Chain Overcome Challenges Facing It?
Anyone in the business of manufacturing automobiles, trucks and automotive components back in the tumultuous years of 2008 and 2009 might be tempted to put their metaphorical transmission into neutral, reveling just a little bit in the success that surrounds an industry that is experiencing something akin to a rebirth. But as sweet as that might seem in the short term, there are significant challenges facing automotive suppliers despite the improving production outlook....

Prices of New Autos Drop as Inventory Shortage Caused by Japanese Earthquake No Longer a Problem
New car prices have fallen from a year ago, primarily because the inventory shortage created by the Japanese earthquake has been entirely erased.
On average, consumers are paying $500 less for a new vehicle today compared with just one year ago, according to Kelley Blue Book,...

Canada, Japan Say Free-Trade Agreement Would Greatly Benefit Both Nations
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda have announced plans to begin negotiating a free-trade agreement aimed at deepening trade and investment ties between the two nations.
The negotiations will build on a recently released Canada-Japan Joint Study, which estimates...

BLOG: Why Europe’s Economic Woes Spell Bad News for U.S. Exporters
Schadenfreude is the act of deriving pleasure from observing the misfortunes of others. It helps to explain our enjoyment of tragedy, comedy and reality TV. It’s also a convenient emotion to access when we read about economies that are in worse shape than ours. We would be well-advised, however, not to submit to the urge to feel superior to the slow-motion train wreck that is the European Union. What’s happening in that dysfunctional coalition promises to have severe consequences for U.S. exporters.
The EU is in the midst of a sovereign debt crisis, the resolution of which is far from clear. Fears of the collapse...

Government Regulations Seriously Impacting U.S. Manufacturing Output, Industry Report Says
Regulations on U.S. manufacturing may reduce output by as much as $500bn this year, according to an industry-sponsored study that cast doubts on President Barack Obama’s efforts to trim red tape in the federal government.
The Obama administration has established an average of 72 regulations on manufacturers annually...

Use of Robotics Grows in Manufacturing and Distribution
A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution. Such factories are a striking counterpoint to those used by Apple and other consumer electronics giants, which employ hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers....

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