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Tepid sales of electric vehicles (EVs) has one West Michigan advanced battery manufacturer acknowledging that it can’t live up to its initial growth projections.

Both Steelcase Inc. and Herman Miller Inc. expect to maintain their current momentum as they progress through the first part of this year.

Manufacturers take the good with the bad

Written by | Sunday, 05 January 2014 20:44 |

While the state of Michigan owes nearly its entire recovery to a resurgence in manufacturing, that’s not been the case in the Grand Rapids area, according to economist George Erickcek.

In an era when manufacturing companies struggle to find engineering talent, one state-supported program offers a partial solution by putting the skills of retired professionals to work.

The automotive industry is in very good shape as we come to the end of 2013 and look ahead to 2014. Production of light vehicles in North America this past year was a little stronger than we anticipated, with just over 16 million cars, light trucks, and sport utility vehicles assembled as compared to our projection of 15.7 million.

Steelcase, Herman Miller report higher sales

Written by | Wednesday, 18 December 2013 16:59 |

Grand Rapids-based Steelcase Inc. said sales for the three-month period that ended Nov. 22 grew 7.9 percent to $784.4 million. Led by a double-double gain in sales outside North America, the Zeeland-based Herman Miller this afternoon reported sales of $470.5 million for the second quarter of its 2014 fiscal year, up 6.5 percent from the same period a year earlier.

General Motors is heading back to ownership by regular investors outside of the U.S. government. That’s after the government announced recently that it would sell its remaining shares in the company by the end of 2013.

Amid tepid U.S. economic growth, North American shipments for office furniture makers inched up slightly in the third quarter.

As a division of a multi-generational, family-owned company that’s been in business for more than a century, Padnos Plastic Solutions Inc.'s conservative culture supports a strategy based on steady, organic growth, said Ben Irwin, the Holland-based company’s director of finance.

A Grand Rapids-based technology startup firm is on the verge of launching a product that could take it from strictly a service-oriented company into offering a suite of application products.

Unions, shops soldier on after Right to Work

Written by | Sunday, 24 November 2013 18:33 |

Nearly a year after Michigan passed Right-to-Work legislation, parties on either side of the bargaining table say the law has had little impact on skilled trades unions in West Michigan.

Suppliers to the office furniture industry better start paying close attention to the materials going into the pieces they’re making.

Shifting automaker preferences have left large Tier 1 suppliers like Johnson Controls Inc. (NYSE: JCI) rethinking their business portfolios.

A West Michigan startup wants to revolutionize in-store advertising at grocery stores and other retail outlets.

Ford Motor Company is having a good year so far in 2013.

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