Carmakers Lead U.S. Manufacturing Comeback

Jul 2, 2013 8:02am

Morning Business Memo…

Look for fresh signs of improvement for American manufacturers. Nowhere is the comeback more evident than in exports by the auto industry. American and foreign auto firms with U.S. factories are adding jobs and production. Cuts in labor costs, a favorable exchange rate, and a boost in productivity are all making U.S. industry more competitive versus foreign imports. New factory orders may show an increase when the government releases its monthly report today. The Institute for Supply Management – the people who do the buying for businesses – says manufacturing grew modestly after a rise for new orders and stronger production.

Honda is boosting production at American plants, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Japanese car maker “says it expects to export more vehicles from North America – with nearly all of them coming from its U.S. factories – than it brings in from Japan by the end of 2014.”

U.S. auto firms are releasing vehicle sales for June. May was an especially strong month, with GM, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota and Nissan all reporting sales gains. Last year was the first time that more than 1 million cars and light trucks were exported from U.S. plants – the highest on record.

AT&T has a new patent for a system that could allow users to send e-mail that will self-destruct. Writing in Forbes, Matt Hickey calls it “email-on-a-yo-yo string”. This new type of e-mail could be used by organizations that want to control information to keep it from getting into the wrong hands. AT&T’s patent describes a scheme “that would allow the sender of an email to control that message’s behavior after it has been sent, such as to whom it can and can’t be forwarded and can even the message’s lifespan,” says Forbes. Messages could be remotely “self destructed” if needed.

A shakeup for Zynga. The former star of social gaming has brought in Don Mattrick, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox business, to lead the company. The maker of “FarmVille” has been struggling as its online games wane in popularity. Zynga recently announced that it was cutting 520 jobs – about 18 percent of its workforce. Mattrick’s move to be CEO at Zynga is a blow to Microsoft, which is preparing for the launch of its first game console in 8 years.

Stock market futures are up this morning after a gain for Wall Street yesterday. 2 out of 3 stocks rose yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow Jones Index gained 65 points.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesabc

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