Contech to Close Forging Plant

April 30, 2009
Automotive components group failed to sell North Carolina plant to Chrysler
Contech LLC will close its steel forging plant in Albemarle, NC, in August, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice filed by the company. The automotive parts group filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in February, explaining it planned to overcome “significant debt obligations, sell certain non-core operations and address the unprecedented low volumes in the North American automotive industry by rationalizing its operational cost structure.” Michigan-based Contech is a division of Marathon Automotive Group, which acquired Contech from SPX Corp. for $146 million in March 2007. The group produces and machines aluminum and magnesium diecastings, steel forgings, and fabricates tubular steel products. Following the bankruptcy filing, Contech agreed to sell its Walled Lake, MI, tubular products operation to Industrial Opportunity Partners L.L.C. for $2 million, including the inventory of medium- and heavy-duty truck exhaust products. IOP will incorporate the plant to its organization. The WARN notice, a federal requirement for companies that intend to discontinue an operation, explains that Contech tried to sell its forging operation to Chrysler L.L.C., but those efforts ended in mid-April. Because Chrysler is entitled to operate the North Carolina plant for a time, some Contech workers may be needed beyond the period when the current management intends to maintain production.