Afternoon Coffee: Toyota and Mazda Plan $1.6 Billion US Investment, Mercedes-Benz to 3-D Print Parts for Trucks

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Toyota and Mazda announced Friday they would jointly build a $1.6 billion factory in the U.S., Bloomberg reports. The two companies will also collaborate to develop electric vehicle technology, according to a Japanese regulatory finding.

Make or Buy 

Mercedes-Benz announced Wednesday it is using 3-D printing to create metal spare and replacement parts for trucks, FleetOwner reports. A follow up from the automaker's efforts to print plastic or composite spare parts for trucks, Mercedes-Benz said the first aluminum parts it hasp printed “excel with almost 100% density and greater purity than conventional die-cast aluminum parts."

Potato Cartel

Forget Russia collusion; potato collusion is the real story. According to California State University Northridge business law professor Melanie Stallings Williams, U.S. potato growing cooperatives used drones and satellite images to reduce the amount of potatoes grown in the country during the early 2000s in an effort to increase prices — up to 49% in some cases.

Jobs Day

And finally, an economic update: The unemployment rate dropped to 4.3% in July as employers added 209,000 jobs, Reuters reports. Still under scrutiny was wage growth, which grew 0.3% in July, the biggest increase in five months.

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