TOKYO—Honda Motor Co. has developed a mass-production automobile assembly line with a main line that incorporates a flowing-cell production system. In a conventional line, each worker takes charge of a single process and installs parts in vehicles flowing on a conveyor. In Honda’s new ARC line, four workers board moving conveyor unit that carries one vehicle and a complete set of parts. The workers assemble the vehicle while moving along the production line together with the vehicle.
DETROIT—A man with a gun was subdued by workers when he slipped past security at a Fiat Chrysler assembly plant here. The morning shift had just started when the intruder appeared at the plant. Before any shots were fired, about eight workers wrestled the handgun out of the man’s hands and then held him until police arrived.
NOVI, MI—The former president of a U.S. joint venture of Nishikawa Rubber Co. has pled guilty to fixing the prices of weather stripping and other auto body sealing products and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
CHATTANOOGA, TN—Volkswagen may soon need to negotiate wages and benefits with the UAW local in Tennessee after the National Labor Relations Board rejected the automaker’s appeal that skilled-trades workers couldn’t organize separately from others at its assembly plant here.
COTTONDALE, AL—SMP Automotive Systems Alabama Inc. is constructing a $154 million assembly plant here. Expected to employ 650 people, the 700,000-square-foot factory will make bumpers, door panels and other parts for Mercedes-Benz.
BARDSTOWN, KY—Thai Summit Kentucky Corp. will invest $110 million to build a new stamping and assembly plant here after signing a deal to supply parts for Ford Motor Co. The company anticipates creating 216 full-time jobs in the coming decade.
OAK RIDGE, TN—Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a 20-kilowatt wireless charging system for electric vehicles. The system is said to be three times more efficient than plug-in systems.