Metaldyne Closes Two Plants, Sales Office

May 11, 2008
Machining plants hurt by lower vehicle sales in North America

Metaldyne L.L.C. reports two of its U.S. manufacturing plants have been closed, as previously outlined, along with a sales office. A sales office in Plymouth, MI, has been closed, too. The moves are explained by Metaldyne as “adjustments” of excess capacity “caused by lower vehicle sales from its North American customers.”

The company also identifies a need to reduce its “structural costs” in North America. "The economic dynamics in North America has created production softness for some time in the States, resulting in excess manufacturing capacity," stated Metaldyne chairman and CEO Thomas Amato. "Although these are difficult actions, it is important that we gear our capacity for the production levels we anticipate this fiscal year and going forward."

The plant closings were anticipated nearly a year ago. The Farmington Hills, MI, plant had been primarily a machining operation for automotive chassis and powertrain components. Those processes have been transferred to the Metaldyne plant in New Castle, IN.

The Greensboro, NC, plant had been a machining center for automotive suspension system parts. Those operations have been relocated to another plant in Whitsett, NC.

The functions of the sales office have been relocated to Metaldyne corporate offices, also in Plymouth.

Since early 2007 Metaldyne has been wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Tec, a Japanese metalcaster supplying passenger car, medium/heavy truck, and environmental and industrial segments. Metaldyne has reduced its U.S. manufacturing footprint from 23 to 14 plants over the past three years, a strategy it says is addressing growth outside of North America and rationalizing its U.S. cost structure. It has 18 manufacturing plants in North and South Americas, 12 in Europe, and three in Asia.

Asahi Tec has 13 more manufacturing plants in Asia.

"We see our balanced manufacturing footprint as providing options and value to our customers to support their growth globally," stated Amato.