In the wake of this week’s news that General Motors has entered a planned bankruptcy, it’s time to continue our series of actuating any positive news.  Supply Chain Matters readers will recall that I started this series as a result of my frustration about all of the constant negative news generating from the ongoing global recession, to insure that some positive news developments always remain in this blog.

 So here we go….

Ford Motor Company, which was forced to slash production in the wake of the collapse of U.S. auto sales, indicated that it will now increase production by 10,000 vehicles. Ford’s May sales were higher than in any month since July 2008.  Ford has also reduced its new vehicle inventories to a 56 day supply, a reduction of 210,000 vehicles from a year ago.

Boston-Power Inc., a Massachusetts based lithium-ion battery producer announced plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Auburn Massachusetts that could employ upwards of 600 people. The company plans to manufacture these batteries for laptops as well as plug-in hybrid and electric cars.  The building of the new facility in contingent on securing $100 million in financing from federal and state agencies.  As a life-long resident of Massachusetts I can tell you that any announcement of a new plant opening is very big news for our state.

Sara Lee Corporation indicated that it plans to invest more than $130 million in the re-fitting of a former ConAgra Foods plant located in Kansas City, Kansas.  The new plant will include a modern sliced meat manufacturing operation and is expected to be operational by 2011.

Finally, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) in its May report, issued another positive report of U.S. manufacturing activity.  New orders, an indicator of buying intentions, reached its highest level since November of 2007.  The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was 42.8 in May, up 2.7 points from April.  Five out of 18 industries tracked indicated growth of activity in May.

I’m beginning to find positive stories more easily than in months past, so that may be a hopeful sign that the world economy is at least beginning to turn, albeit in a slow fashion. As always, if you happen to run across these positive notes, please send them our way.

Bob Ferrari