Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Last 747 for Japanese airline to land in Tupelo on Thursday

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Biz Buzz speculated two weeks ago that the final Boeing 747 belonging to All Nippon Airways (ANA) could very well be headed to Tupelo and Universal Asset Management.

This is the retired ANA 747 that will be landing in Tupelo Thursday.

This is the retired ANA 747 that will be landing in Tupelo Thursday.

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Toyota recalling nearly 6.4 million vehicles, including Corollas

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Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 6.39 million vehicles, including the Corolla, which is built at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi facility in Blue Springs. The Japanese automaker is recalling the vehicles globally for a variety of models, which include 30 models in Japan, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. Toyota logo 2

From the Associated Press:

No injuries or crashes have been reported related to the recalls announced Wednesday. But two reports of fires are linked to one of the problems, a defective engine starter that can keep the motor running.

Some vehicles were recalled for more than one problem. The recall cases total 6.76 million vehicles for 27 Toyota models, the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia, produced from April 2004 through August 2013.

The Pontiac Vibe, which is a General Motors Co. model, is also involved because Toyota and GM made cars at the same plant in California and the recalled model is the same as the Toyota Matrix. It was recalled for a problem with a spiral cable attached to an air-bag. It is unrelated to a separate GM recall over ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.

Subaru is partly owned by Toyota, and the model was the same as the Toyota Ractis.

For the recall, Toyota also reported problems with seat rails, the bracket holding the steering column in place, the windshield-wiper motor and a cable attached to the air-bag module.

The recalls affect a large range of models, including the Corolla, RAV4, Matrix, Yaris, Highlander, and Tacoma. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

April 9, 2014 at 11:06 am

FMC Technologies’ Tupelo plant sold

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FMC Technologies is selling its material handling products business, which includes what it calls its Tupelo plant (it’s actually near Saltillo), to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners FMC Technologies logo

It will rename the business Syntron Material Handling, and it will have its headquarters in Tupelo, the company said.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to be completed in the second quarter.

According to LLCP:

The material handling business, part of FMC Technologies’ Energy Infrastructure segment, has a long history of providing bulk material handling solutions to industries worldwide. The business – which is headquartered in Tupelo, Miss., and has operations in Changshu, China and Salt Lake City, Utah, and sales personnel in Germany, Mexico, Singapore and Canada – manufactures a diversified product line of conveyor and vibratory equipment used to load, transport and feed bulk materials.

FMC Technologies will retain its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) systems business supplying material handling systems and equipment to various industries around the world. It is headquartered in Chalfont, Pennsylvania, and has a sales office in Santiago, Chile. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

March 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Toyota to pay $1.2 billion fine over sudden acceleration issue

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Toyota Motor Corp. has reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in which the Japanese automaker would pay a fine of $1.2 billon over  safety issues with some of its vehicles several years ago.

From the Associated Press

The government announced a $1.2 billion settlement with Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday and filed a criminal charge alleging the company defrauded consumers by issuing misleading statements about safety issues in Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

Attorney General Eric Holder said it is the largest financial penalty of its kind ever imposed on an auto company. Under a deferred prosecution agreement, an independent monitor will review policies, practices and procedures at the company.

The action concludes a four-year criminal investigation into the Japanese automaker’s disclosure of safety problems, which focused on whether Toyota was forthright in reporting problems related to unintended acceleration troubles.

“Rather than promptly disclosing and correcting safety issues … Toyota made misleading public statements to consumers and gave inaccurate facts to members of Congress,” Holder told a news conference.

Toyota said that at the time of the recalls, “we took full responsibility for any concerns our actions may have caused customers, and we rededicated ourselves to earning their trust,” said Christopher P. Reynolds, chief legal officer of Toyota Motor North America. “In the more than four years since these recalls, we have gone back to basics at Toyota to put our customers first.”

Toyota said it had “made fundamental changes to become a more responsive and customer-focused organization, and we are committed to continued improvements.”

Starting in 2009, Toyota issued massive recalls, mostly in the U.S., totaling more than 10 million vehicles for various problems including faulty brakes, gas pedals and floor mats. From 2010 through 2012, Toyota Motor Corp. paid fines totaling more than $66 million for delays in reporting unintended acceleration problems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration never found defects in electronics or software in Toyota cars, which had been targeted as a possible cause.



Written by Dennis Seid

March 19, 2014 at 12:23 am

Exclusive: Cooper Tire looking to upgrade Tupelo plant

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is seeking $20 million in state money, plus another $18 million from Tupelo and Lee County to upgrade its plant in Tupelo.

As reported today by the Daily Journal’s Bobby Harrison, Cooper promises to keep at least 1,300 jobs for 10 years.

The company, which has been in Tupelo since 1984, currently employs 1,600 with an annual payroll of $80 million.

Cooper is looking at investing $140 million worldwide for a modernization plan that would include Tupelo. Cooper Tire logo

An excerpt from the story:

David Rumbarger, CEO of the Lee County-based Community Development Foundation, said the hope is to lure Cooper to spend those modernization funds at the Tupelo plant. Rumbarger and Cooper officials met with Gov. Phil Bryant and legislative leaders about the possibility of passing legislation during the ongoing session to commit the funds to the Cooper project.

Cooper CEO Roy Armes said the goal is “to modernize our facility to make it more globally competitive.” Cooper also has plants in Mexico and China that Tupelo is in competition with for the company’s planned $140 million investment.

Read more of Bobby’s story by clicking here.

ICYMI: Pontotoc ethanol plant still on drawing board

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If you missed the story in Sunday’s Journal, it seems the proposed $100 million ethanol plant in Pontotoc is still on the drawing board, five years after being announced.

Enerkem's Edmonton, Alberta, Canada plant, which the Pontotoc planned is modeled.

Enerkem’s Edmonton, Alberta, Canada plant, which the Pontotoc planned is modeled.

An excerpt from the story:

Five years have passed, and a planned $100 million ethanol plant is no closer to being built.

Little has changed from a year ago, when company officials said they were committed to the project and were working to “move the project forward.”

For now, though, Enerkem Mississippi Biofuels is stuck in park.

Enerkem Inc., EMB’s Canadian-based company, said last March said it expected construction to begin in the second half of 2013.

That hasn’t happened. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

February 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm

China gets the gold for gold-buying

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Last year, the U.S. consumers bought more than 190 tons of gold – that’s more than 380,000 pounds of gold. Today, that’s worth more than $7.9 billionGold bars

But that’s chump change compared to China, which gobbled up more than 1,120 tons of gold last year. That’s 2.24 million pounds, or $35.84 billion worth of the yellow metal.

China’s hunger for gold was ahead of India, which has in recent years been the biggest buyer of gold. Even in second place, Indian consumers bought nearly 975 tons of gold.

Said the Los Angeles Times:

Consumers bought a record 3,863.5 tons of gold jewelry, coins and bars worldwide last year, up 21 percent from 2012, according to data released Tuesday by the World Gold Council, a market development organization for the industry.

Demand was up 32 percent in China.  in India, demand was up 13 percent. U.S. consumers bought 190.3 tons, an increase of 18 percent from 2012.

But the global growth in consumer purchases was offset by an outflow of 881 tons from exchange-traded funds. That was a key factor in reducing overall gold demand by 15 percent last year, the report said.

The Federal Reserve and other central banks also reduced their gold purchases. They bought 369 tons, down 32 percent from the previous year.


Written by Dennis Seid

February 19, 2014 at 4:31 pm