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WAYNESVILLE, N.C.—Dayco Products Inc. has begun releasing employees from its Waynesville plant in preparation for a total shutdown by January, meaning the end of 775 jobs there.

Dayco, a division of Mark IV Industries Inc. of Amherst, N.Y., is closing the Waynesville location, which produced Dayflex plastic hoses for vacuum cleaners, as well as nonplastic components for cars.

About 60 workers are to be dismissed from the plant's plastics division by the end of this week, according to local news reports. Layoffs began May 30, according to Kade Spencer, human resources manager for the plant.

The closure, announced as part of a general restructuring by Mark IV in October 1996, eventually will mean the end of 775 jobs in Waynesville, a town of 6,700 in the western tip of North Carolina. All manufacturing jobs will be eliminated by October of this year, Spencer said. Distribution jobs will end in January.

Mark IV plans to move the Waynesville plant's production lines to a new plant in El Paso, Texas.

The company's restructuring efforts are aimed at reducing its work force by 6 percent and realigning manufacturing facilities, according to the company.

Mark IV, which employs 15,000 worldwide, reported annual sales of $2.08 billion for the period ended Feb. 28.