Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

AUDIO – For Nordson — “Get ‘em right, or get ‘em out”

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Throughout the current recession, many of the companies’ executives at this week’s Reuters Manufacturing and Transportation Summit have found an opportunity to review, pare back and possibly add on to their existing business mixes.

Such is the case for Edward Campbell, chief executive of Nordson Corp, which has a uniquely diversified set of businesses under its umbrella and is looking at what makes sense for them going forward.

Campbell makes the clear point that if something isn’t working for Nordson long term, the company has a responsibility to really consider whether that is a business they should be in.

Nordson makes a wide range of precision dispensing, testing and inspection, surface preparation and curing products. Its products can be found in everything from appliances to autos to bookbinding to furniture. It operates in three segments: adhesive dispensing systems, advanced technology systems and industrial coating and automotive systems.

AUDIO – What’s going on with the economy? Ask a trucker.

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That was the advice from truck manufacturer Navistar International Corp’s CEO Dan Ustian at this week’s Reuters Manufacturing and Transportation Summit in Chicago.

Ustian said the current slowdown has been worse and deeper than expected — even though the trucking industry had a sense that things were starting to go south as far back as 2007.

AUDIO – For the automakers — No Chapter 11, please

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The plans are in.

Now comes the waiting, which, as Tom Petty can tell you, is the hardest part.

Now that General Motors Corp and Chrysler LLC have filed their plans of reorganization to the U.S. government and have started what looks like a long and not-painless process to make themselves smaller, more profitable and better suited to the current U.S. demand for new cars.

For Bill Diehl, chief executive of manufacturing consulting firm BBK, one thing that he would not favor would be a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by one of the two troubled automakers.

Diller to profitable companies: Lay off the layoffs

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IAC Chief Executive Barry Diller took several groups to task at the Reuters Media Summit, but he reserved special disgust for CEOs at profitable companies who add to the country’s rising unemployment rate.

Also targeted by the former Hollywood executive were “incredibly, shockingly stupid” Big 3 auto executives, the Internet’s strange and growing dictionary, and Hollywood’s lack of creativity.

Video – Siriusly passionate

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Sirius XM Radio Chief Executive Mel Karmazin was literally wearing his passion for XM on his sleeves as he showed off his cufflinks to reporters at the Reuters Media Summit on Wednesday in New York.

The head of the satellite radio provider also said that unlike other media companies, Sirius will be able to boost revenues in 2009 but he also expressed concern about the potential of a bankruptcy in the auto industry.

Automaker stocks underperform

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Share prices for GM and Ford – the only components in the S&P 500 Auto index – have been underperforming the broad market for the past four years as sales began to slump and both automakers started to slash costs and cut costs — Source: S&P, Thomson Reuters Proprietary Research

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Ask a Car Maker …

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The U.S. autos sector has hit a wall like some kind of crash test dummy – record gas prices, rising supply costs and sales hitting a 15-year low. Can car makers ride it out?

Reuters journalists will interview car companies, including some from the Big 3 , next week as part of our Autos Summit 2008. We will ask why investors should hang on, and is the sector about to hit the wall?

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