Metaldyne Closing Michigan Powertrain Operation

Group must be "agile, efficient," says exec

May 10, 2007 — Metaldyne Corp. will close its powertrain and chassis components plant in Farmington Hills, MI, by next April, the company says, citing North American automakers' capacity cuts. It is the latest decision by Metaldyne to optimize its North American organization in the aftermath of being acquired by Asahi Tec Corp.

Asahi Tec Corp. outlined a consolidation plan for the new global auto parts group, one it says is focused on "balancing assets with the changing global market opportunities and the company's expanding Asian businesses."

In March, Metaldyne — which designs and produces metal-based engine components, transmission/transfer case parts, wheel-end and suspension components, and axle and drivetrain products — decided to close a Greenville, NC, chassis parts plant. In April, Metaldyne announced the layoff of 145 employees at a suspension components plant in New Castle, IN, as of July 1, due to the expiration of some supply programs. (Editor's Note: An earlier version of this report mis-stated this detail.)

"Metaldyne must be structured to be agile and efficient," stated president and COO Tom Chambers in explaining to the Michigan plant closing. "These moves will help ensure our competitiveness in the global marketplace and will help us serve our customers more efficiently."

Production programs now in place at the Farmington Hills plant will be transfer to other Metaldyne operations. Chamber said the group is "assessing the competitiveness of our plants to see which operations can best absorb this work."

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