United Technologies Automo-tive Inc. has added a 65,000-square-foot facility for warehousing and injection molded mirror assembly at its Berne, Ind., manufacturing site. In May, UTA transferred all mirror assembly operations from the Berne plant to the new building next door, to accommodate growth in its mirror business during the past 18 months, the company said. The facility also houses finished goods and consolidates warehousing for raw materials, which had been stored at four separate locations within a 40-mile radius of the Berne plant.
Those sites have been closed, UTA spokesman Michael Scholl said in a telephone interview.
The company has no plans to expand injection molding capacity at the plant, where 15 presses make exterior mirrors, grilles and other trim for cars and light trucks, Scholl said. But it currently is ``ramping up'' for a contract to supply Ford Motor Co. with mirrors for all of its 1996-model Taurus and Sable cars. That program will create an undetermined number of jobs, he said.
Ford is UTA's biggest customer.
The firm's injection molded mirror and trim business is split among Big Three automakers, Nissan, Toyota, Diamond-Star Motors, Saturn and New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. A UTA plant in Dayton, Tenn., also manufactures those products.
The Dearborn, Mich.-based company placed No. 2 in Plastics News' recent ranking of top injection molders, with related sales of $509.9 million. Its total sales were about $2.7 billion for 1994.
UTA makes up a small part of parent United Technologies Corp.'s $21 billion in annual sales. UTC of Hartford, Conn., also manufactures jet engines and building systems, such as air conditioning and elevators.
In April 1994, UTC planned a public offering of UTA stock, then later withdrew the issue because of an unstable market, according to UTA spokesman Dave Long.
``The market was fluctuating kind of radically,'' Long said. ``They just were not seeing the value they wanted.''
Now that UTA is ``back in the [UTC] fold,'' he said, ``they plan to keep us as we are.''