08/04/2021

News

Qualcomm slashes 1,500 jobs in California, and its NXP bid faces objections in China

Qualcomm Inc. is slashing at least 1,500 jobs in California, trying to cut costs, at the same time its $44-billion bid to acquire NXP Semiconductors is running into problems getting antitrust clearance from China. The San Diego company, a leading provider of chips for mobile phones, said the layoffs included permanent and temporary workers. The […]

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Hanford official: Faraday Future sets May 21 target to install assembly lines

Kings County officials this week traveled to the Southern California town of Gardena to meet with executive staff of Faraday Future as well as company founder Jia Yuetin to help make plans for the startup’s Hanford assembly plant. Demolition work on the interior of the old Pirelli facility in the Hanford Industrial Park is underway […]

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U.S. Manufacturers Worry Tariffs Could Undermine Recovery

Manufacturing, long the sick patient in the U.S. economy as multinationals outsourced jobs, has added nearly 300,000 positions since the November 2016 election, increasing payrolls in 16 of the past 17 months. That included 22,000 positions last month. Overtime hours are up and orders are on the rise, making the current stretch among the strongest […]

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Europe’s Coming Gigafactory Boom

By 2020, at least seven new gigawatt-size battery factories are scheduled to start operating in Europe, writes Zak Derler of Climate Home News. European companies, such as car manufacturer Daimler, invest in their own regionally-based gigafactories to meet the battery demand for electric vehicles in the continent and the world.

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What Economists Don’t Know About Manufacturing

Manufacturing, and especially the initial production of new technologies, must be seen as part of the innovation system. It is an autonomously creative stage in which a new product must evolve through prototyping, product definition, and production design from an idea into both a marketable and produce-able good. This often requires a re-examination of the […]

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U.S. Factories Report Strong Demand, as Tariffs, Prices Threaten Expansion

U.S. factories reported robust demand for their products in March but say rising prices for materials, tied to new tariffs, threaten to slow the industry’s expansion. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday its index of factory activity settled at 59.3 in March, down slightly from 60.8 the prior month. Any reading above 50 indicates […]

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What if China corners the cobalt market?

It is widely known that more than half of the world’s cobalt reserves and production are in one dangerously unstable country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. What is less well known is that four-fifths of the cobalt sulphates and oxides used to make the all-important cathodes for lithium-ion batteries are refined in China. (Much of […]

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Homegrown agricultural technology company moving headquarters to Texas

A publicly traded company that started in the Sacramento region, moved away and came back once before, is again taking its headquarters out of the area. RiceBran Technologies, which moved to West Sacramento from Scottsdale, Arizona, only last year, will relocate to Houston in the second quarter, CEO Robert Smith said on a conference call […]

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Volkswagen Vows to Overtake Tesla With World’s Largest Electric-Car Fleet

Volkswagen has pulled into Tesla Inc.’s rearview mirror and vowed to overtake the electric-car pioneer with an extensive rollout of battery and hybrid models over the next five years, as well as new production facilities around the world. The German car maker—which is the largest world-wide, with sales of 10.7 million vehicles last year—said Tuesday […]

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TreeHouse Foods closing Visalia plant next year

The Illinois-based company, which has 40 plants across the U.S., Canada and Italy making pre-packaged foods and beverages, announced earlier this month its plans to close the Visalia plant at 9945 W. Goshen Ave. as part of a larger downsizing due to declining sales. . . . The Visalia facility produces pretzels and cereal snack […]

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Manufacturing in U.S. Expands at Fastest Pace Since May 2004

U.S. factories expanded in February at the fastest rate since May 2004, indicating sustained strength in manufacturing as demand remains solid, figures from the Institute for Supply Management showed Thursday. The latest advance extends a series of healthy readings in the survey-based measure of manufacturing that’s being fueled by improving global economies and firm business […]

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Nestle moves hundreds of jobs out of costly California including layoffs in Oakland

Nestle’s decision to move hundreds of jobs out of California promises to fuel reflection among Bay Area business and civic leaders on the challenges of operating in California, with its high-priced housing and traffic congestion.

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How Tesla’s hunger for tax breaks continues in California

Tesla Motors Inc., as part of its bid to expand electric vehicle manufacturing facilities in California, on Tuesday is up for another sales-and-use tax exemption on nearly $1.2 billion of equipment and machinery. The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority, a little-known arm of the state Treasurer’s Office, is scheduled to consider expanding a tax break Tesla already receives at its meeting in Sacramento. Agency officials put the value of financial assistance Tesla is requesting at $98.5 million for the total Model 3 project. Tesla used $14.8 million in state tax credits for the Model 3 through June 30. California officials estimate a net of $1.67 million in fiscal and environmental benefits to the state.

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Lithium battery maker to employ hundreds in Kentucky plant

A maker of lithium batteries is promising to provide an economic jolt to the Appalachian region, announcing plans Friday to relocate from California to Kentucky and build a factory employing hundreds of workers in an area reeling from the coal industry’s decline. EnerBlu Inc. announced it will invest $372 million and create 875 full-time jobs in eastern Kentucky with the production facility in Pikeville. The company also will move its headquarters from Riverside, California, bringing another $40 million investment and 110 administrative, research-and-development and executive jobs to Lexington, Kentucky’s second-largest city.

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Tesla troubles: Can California impose its blue values on the green economy?

In the waning hours of the legislative session, Democrats pushed through new labor requirements widely viewed as retaliation against Tesla, the electric car maker embroiled in a union-organizing campaign at its Fremont plant. Labor unions got lawmakers to insert two sentences into a cap-and-trade funding bill requiring automakers to be certified “as fair and responsible in the the treatment of their workers” before their customers can obtain up to $2,500 from California’s clean vehicle rebate program. At the time, Democrats openly wrestled with the concern that the United Automobile Workers, which is trying to maintain its role as the auto industry makes big bets on electric vehicles—was expanding its unionization campaign from the factory floor to the Senate floor. Sen. Steve Glazer of Orinda said the state should not “hold our environmental projects hostage to a fight with one progressive employer.” Sen. Connie Leyva of Chino countered that California shouldn’t want companies to succeed at the expense of workers.

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