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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Why Is Nissan 'Manufacturing' A Gospel Choir?

June 7, 2010 4:46 am | by Maria Burnham, Associated Press Writer

CANTON, Miss. (AP) — Automobile plants make a lot of noise with welding, stamping and paint machines. But at the Madison County Nissan plant, the new sound is the joyful kind. The plant's three-month old gospel choir has performed for company executives, state officials and the local community.

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Coca-Cola Pays $715 Million To Distribute Dr Pepper

June 7, 2010 4:36 am

ATLANTA (AP) — The Coca-Cola Co. will pay $715 million to Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. for the rights to distribute Dr Pepper and Canada Dry in the U.S. after Coke acquires its largest bottler. Coca-Cola also will distribute Canada Dry, C' Plus and Schweppes in Canada. Those drinks have been distributed by bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.

GM Workers Face Daily Uncertainty, Fear Over Closures

June 7, 2010 4:34 am | by Bobbie J. Clark, AP Writer

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Charlotte and Walt Kowalcyk were going to retire from the local General Motors plant in 2013. He would've had nearly 45 years of service under his belt, while she would have logged 21 years. It would have given them financial security for the rest of their days. Now the Kowalcyks go to work every day under a cloud of uncertainty.

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China's Wages No Longer Viable For Cheap Labor

June 7, 2010 4:31 am

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Recent wage hikes in China could force Taiwanese electronics firms operating there to relocate to other Asian countries, a Taiwanese industry leader has said. Chairman Arthur Chiao of the Taiwan Electronics and Electrical Appliances Association said his group is assisting China-based Taiwanese companies to seek out new manufacturing sites in India, Indonesia and Vietnam in the wake of steadily rising labor costs on the mainland.

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Ammunition Plant Ignored 'Numerous' Safety Concerns

June 7, 2010 4:29 am

COLEBROOK, N.H. (AP) — Court documents regarding a deadly explosion at a New Hampshire gun and ammunition plant indicate evidence of possible violations concerning the storage, manufacturing and handling of explosive materials. The Caledonian-Record reports the state fire marshal's office received two search warrants regarding the MDM Muzzleloader plant in Colebrook.

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Oil Industry: Thousands Of Jobs At Stake

June 4, 2010 5:00 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With a six-month moratorium ordered for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, oilfield companies and analysts are warning of job losses and production delays. In addition, drilling companies could send idled rigs to foreign markets, and new regulation could make producing some fields unprofitable, they said.

Chrysler CEO: Our Products Were 'Inexcusable'

June 4, 2010 4:39 am | by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press Writer

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — The auto industry can't afford to become complacent and must guard against slipping into old habits as it rebounds, the head of Chrysler Group LLC said Thursday. CEO Sergio Marchionne said he worries that he's seeing a reluctance to make the fundamental, structural, traumatic change the industry must make to remain competitive.

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'Shrek'-Themed McDonalds Cups Pulled For Cadmium

June 4, 2010 4:26 am | by Justin Pritchard, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cadmium has been discovered in the painted design on "Shrek"-themed drinking glasses being sold nationwide at McDonald's, forcing the fast food company to recall 12 million of the cheap U.S.-made collectibles while dramatically expanding contamination concerns about the toxic metal beyond imported children's jewelry.

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GM Starts Venture Capital Company For New Tech

June 4, 2010 4:24 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. says it has set up its own venture capital company with $100 million to find new technology. The automaker says General Motors Ventures LLC will help nurture new technology and bring it to market so GM has the latest innovations. GM says former vice president of global product planning Jon Lauckner will head the new venture starting July 1.

CAT Buys Locomotive Maker For $820 Million

June 4, 2010 4:23 am

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. says its Alabama-based railroad service unit will spend $820 million cash to acquire locomotive maker Electro-Motive Diesel. Caterpillar says that its Progress Rail Services division, headquartered in Albertville, Ala.

Survey Shows Little Risk Of Industrial Brain Cancer

June 4, 2010 4:22 am | by Stephen Singer, Associated Press Writer

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The incidence of brain cancer at jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney was the same as or less than for the general population, researchers said Thursday. The researchers, from the University of Pittsburgh and University of Illinois, released the second of three phases of their massive study of 212,513 workers at one of eight Connecticut plants from 1952 to 2001.

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Altria Forks Over $1 Billion To IRS Over Falsified Returns

June 2, 2010 4:57 am

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Altria Group Inc. has agreed to pay about $971 million in taxes and interest in an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service over income tax returns for the years 2000 through 2003, the cigarette maker said in a regulatory filing Tuesday. However, Altria also said in the Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it intends to file administrative claims with the IRS for a refund or credit, and would sue the government if the claims are denied.

Yarn-Making Operation Creates 100 N.C. Jobs

June 2, 2010 4:55 am

BELMONT, N.C. (AP) — A South Carolina textile company plans to open a yarn-making operation in a vacant mill in North Carolina, employing about 100 people. Multiple media outlets reported that Jo-Mar Spinning will start the spinning and twisting operation in the former Helms plant in Belmont.

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Chinese Honda Plant Restarts After Wage Strike

June 2, 2010 4:34 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Honda Motor Co. said a key parts factory in China resumed full operation Wednesday following a two-week strike over wages that forced Honda to halt production at four assembly plants. The strike highlighted tensions between workers and foreign companies that look to China as a source of cheap labor and a fast-growing market amid weak demand elsewhere.

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Toyota Boosting Highlander Production At Ind. Plant

June 2, 2010 4:33 am

PRINCETON, Ind. (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. is boosting production of the gas model Highlander sport utility vehicle at its southern Indiana plant. Toyota spokeswoman Kelly Dillon said Tuesday that production of all of company's gas model Highlanders for the North American market will be shifted in the coming months from one of Toyota's plants in Japan to its Princeton-area plant.

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OSHA Fines Seafood Processor $214,000

June 2, 2010 4:32 am

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — The U.S. government has proposed more than $214,000 in fines against a Canadian seafood processing company accused of violations at a New Hampshire plant. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says inspectors found 17 violations of workplace health and safety standards at High Liner Foods in Portsmouth.

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Tata Inaugurates Plant For U.S.-Bound Nano

June 2, 2010 4:31 am | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer

SANAND, India (AP) — Tata Motors inaugurated a factory Wednesday to produce its super-cheap compact Nano car, nearly two years after violent farmer protests forced the company to relocate. The new factory in India's business-friendly Gujarat state promises to unleash production of the pint-sized car, which Tata plans to export to Europe, and eventually the U.

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Hewlett-Packard To Cut 9,000 Jobs

June 1, 2010 5:11 am

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. said Tuesday it will cut about 9,000 jobs and take $1 billion in charges over three years as it creates fully automated commercial data centers. The Palo Alto, Calif. technology company said it will invest $1 billion in its enterprise services unit, over a multiyear period.

Homebuilder Worried About Shoddy Drywall In 2006

June 1, 2010 5:08 am

MIAMI (AP) — A leading East Coast homebuilder worried about the malodorous Chinese drywall it was using in Florida homes in 2006, but didn't alert most of its customers or government officials, according to court documents. The concern was so great that WCI Communities at one point planned to tear out the drywall and rebuild.

Covidien Buys ev3 For $2.6 Billion

June 1, 2010 5:05 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Covidien PLC said Tuesday it is buying vascular device maker ev3 for $2.6 billion in cash as it continues to remake its business. Covidien, which makes drugs and medical devices, will pay $22.50 for each share of ev3, a premium of nearly 19 percent over Friday's closing price.

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