Charlevoix Manufacturing to Close

Oct. 23, 2008
Aluminum foundry/machine shop hit by automotive downturn

According to local reports, Charlevoix Manufacturing Co., an aluminum foundry in Charlevoix, MI, will cease operations by year’s end. The Petoskey News-Review reports the permanent-mold foundry and precision machining operation is a victim of declining automotive demand and “outsourcing.”

“We’ve watched about 70% of our business be taken off-shore, basically to China, India, and some to Indonesia,” company president Jim Hater told the newspaper. “The flood of American jobs being taken away really disturbs me.”

The family-owned company was established in 1978. In addition to the automotive OEM and aftermarket sectors, it lists heavy-truck and robotics manufacturers among its customers.

Charlevoix Manufacturing has been downsizing for two years, going from a workforce of 85 to 17 currently. “We tried hard to diversify our product line and we had some success, but I guess just not enough,” according to Hater. “We are all deeply saddened by the whole thing — we just hate to lose them.”