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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.

Gap widens between tooling demand, capacity

Written by | Sunday, 10 November 2013 22:00 |

Within five years, the gap between tooling capacity and demand from the automotive industry will be nearly $6 billion.

A quarterly index for the office furniture index dipped for October, although business is expected to remain on solid ground.

A new study outlines a path for southern states to play more of a key role in the evolving automotive industry. The prescription: Get what Michigan’s already got — the brains of the auto industry. With the South nipping at the state’s heels, the report suggests Michigan must continue to bolster its supply chain clusters, technological innovation and skilled workforce.

The Brookings Institution’s Mark Muro outlined a three-part plan for states such as Michigan to succeed amid an evolving automotive sector.

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