BMW TO INVEST $900 MILLION, ADD 300 JOBS AT SC PLANT SPARTANBURG, SC—BMW says it will invest nearly $900 million and add 300 new jobs in 2012 in its South Carolina plant. This announcement was made during a ceremony to commemorate a major production milestone: Two million vehicles have rolled off the assembly line since the company began U. S. production in 1994. Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW Group Board Member responsible for production, revealed the company’s intention to expand its X-model family. He revealed that production of the new BMW X4 will occur at the Spartanburg plant, spurring significant investment and job creation necessary to prepare the facility for the new model. With the addition of 300 new jobs this year, the plant will raise production capacities up to 300,000 units. By the end of the year, the plant will employ nearly 7,500 people at its more than 4-million-square-foot facility. Since the original 1992 decision to build BMW’s only U.S. plant in South Carolina, this announcement brings BMW Group’s total investment in the state to nearly $6 billion and represents its largest, single investment to date in its South Carolina plant. In 2011, the plant produced 276,065 vehicles for more than 130 markets around the world, representing a 73% increase versus 2010. Seventy percent of the vehicles produced (192,813) were exported, making BMW the largest automotive exporter to the non- NAFTA countries. Sales of the vehicles produced at the plant have met with continued high demand. According to Arndt, throughout the world, more that 117,000 X3s were sold in 2011 representing a 156% growth of this vehicle versus its predecessor. FREDERICK FOWLER JR.: 1933-2012 Frederick V. Fowler Jr., age 78, of Wayland, MA, died February 9, 2012. Born in 1933, Frederick Jr. Was the oldest of four children born to Priscilla Standish Coffin Fowler and Frederick V. Fowler Sr. Of Newton, MA. Frederick Jr. Attended Newton High School and later graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Boston University, class of 1955, where he was a member of Air Force ROTC and Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity. Frederick was married in 1959 and is survived by his wife Nancy White Fowler and son Frederick Fowler III of Wayland, MA; his daughter Cynthia Fowler Francis; son-in-law David Francis and grandchildren, Haley and Kelley Francis—all of York, ME. His sisters Carolyn Cummings of Winchester, MA, and Susan Apsey of Granthan, NH, and his brother Richard Fowler of Natick, MA, also survive Frederick. After completing his active duty Air Force, Frederick began his career as a salesman at the Fred V. Fowler Co. Inc. in 1959, eventually purchasing the company from his father and relocated it from Auburndale Square to its present location on Rowe Street in Newton. Under Frederick’s leadership, the company grew dramatically and today, Fowler Precision Tools are used everyday at thousands of highprecision manufacturing companies across North America. Frederick was active in his industry, serving as president of the American Measuring Tool Manufacturers Association (AMTMA), member of the society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and member of the National Machine Tool Builders Association (NMTBA). Frederick remained an avid pilot his entire life, serving in the Air Force Reserves until 1978, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He owned and flew his own plane for many years and was a member of the National Business Aircraft Association, National Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Air Force Association and Reserve Officers Association. He was also a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. His family would like Frederick to be remembered as the gentleman he was, full of life, energetic, enthusiastic and generous. He will be greatly missed by all those who were blessed to have known him. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Frederick’s name to the Melanoma Research Fund at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Attn: Devon Ficker, 165 Cambridge Street, Suite 600, Boston, MA 02114. For online condolences please visit www.johncbryantfuneralhom.com. (Obituary via the The Wayland Town Crier) U. S. INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURERS EXPECT MODERATE GROWTH IN 2012 NEW YORK, NY—U.S. industrial manufacturers expect continued domestic and international growth in 2012, although forecasts have fallen below 2011 actual growth rates, according to the findings of the Q4 2011 Manufacturing Barometer by PwC US. While uncertainty still prevails and own-company revenue expectations have moderated, optimism about the worldwide economy rose in the fourth quarter of 2011, including a notable improvement in sentiment regarding prospects for the United States, as compared to an all-time low in domestic sentiment in the third quarter of 2011. In addition, U.S. industrial manufacturers continue to forecast increased investment spending in the year ahead, including major outlays in operational spending. Plans for merger and acquisition (M&A) activity also increased, and there was significant emphasis on expansion into new markets. Optimism regarding the prospects of the U.S. economy over the next 12 months rose to 30% in the fourth quarter of 2011—up from only 5% in the third quarter of 2011—and 28% of respondents believe that the U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter of 2011, up 21 points from the prior quarter. However, the majority of respondents, 57%, remain uncertain, rather than outright pessimistic. Among U.S. industrial companies operating abroad, uncertainty also remains high at 64%, with 36% believing that the world economy is declining and 48% reporting that they saw no change. However, 16% of respondents marketing abroad view the world economy as growing in the fourth quarter of 2011, up 9 points from the prior quarter. “While forecasts remain guarded with growth rates trailing prior year actual performance, optimism about the worldwide economy increased among U. S. industrial manufacturers in the fourth quarter of 2011,” says Barry Misthal, global industrial manufacturing leader for PwC. “Despite the improved sentiment, however, the majority of U. S. industrial manufacturers remain cautious regarding the outlook ahead. Expectations for moderate growth in 2012 appear to be balanced by healthy cash levels, improving gross margins and continued strategic investment spending among the major industrial manufacturers. Management teams continue to seek avenues to expand globally and gain market share, while carefully managing their risk exposure.” GROWTH Although the projected average growth rate for own-company revenue for 2012 was lowered from 5% in the prior quarter to 4.4% in the fourth quarter of 2011, 83% of respondents expect positive revenue growth for their own companies in the year ahead, while 7% expect growth to be negative and 10% expect no growth. With regard to the international contribution, industrial manufacturers continue to expect international sales to deliver 38% of total company revenue in 2012, the same as the prior quarter and one year ago. “While optimism about the international economy remains well below sentiment recorded in last year’s fourth quarter, expected sales contributions from overseas operations remain identical with prior year levels,” adds Misthal. “At the same time, plans for spending and M&A activity continue to be a major international focus over the next 12 months. Given ongoing issues facing Asia and Europe, these findings may point to a stabilization of sentiment regarding the global outlook.” Looking back at full year 2011, the composite average growth estimate for own-company calendar year revenue growth was 5.3%, down slightly from 5. 6% projected in the third quarter survey. Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they had positive own-company growth in 2011, with 19% forecasting double digit gains and 68% projecting single digit gains. Eight percent were negative, while only 5% had zero growth. SPENDING Throughout the next 12 months, 67% of industrial manufacturing panelists plan major new capital investments, up 12 points from the third quarter of 2011. The level represents the highest in the past five quarters, with two-out-of-three U. S. industrial manufacturers planning spending. However, the average level of new investment spending is expected to be lower at 4.2% of sales, in comparison to 5.9% in the third quarter of 2011. Ninety percent of respondents plan to increase operational spending, an increase of 5 points from the previous quarter. Increased operational spending is cited for new product or service introductions (57%), information technology (50%) and business acquisitions (40%). Forecasts for research and development spending declined 8 points to 40% from 48% in the third quarter of 2011, while spending forecasts pertaining to marketing, sales promotion and advertising remained low. M&A On the M&A front, 38% of industrial manufacturers say they planned activity, with virtually all of them seeking to pursue acquisitions. Forty percent plan for expansion into new markets abroad, and 40% plan new joint ventures. The number planning strategic alliances rose to 35%, and new facilities abroad increased to 32%. “The increase in planned operational spending, as well as M&A activities reflects an ongoing focus among U.S. industrial manufacturers in investing for growth in the face of an uncertain global outlook,” adds Misthal.
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