DETROIT - United Technolo-gies Automotive said it will shutter four plants this year and next as its adoption of lean manufacturing practices has eliminated the need for about 800,000 square feet of factory space. Altogether some 1,200 em-ployees will lose their jobs as work at the plants is transferred to other UTA sites.
Two of the four plants produce interior trim components using a variety of plastic processes. They are in Morgan-field, Ky., and Holland, Mich.
The 130,000-square-foot Mor-ganfield plant, employing 280, is scheduled to shut down this year. Production of door panels, center consoles and instrument panels will be transferred to Indiana and Michigan plants.
A 275,000-square-foot interior components plant in Holland is scheduled to close by late 1997. About 220 of the 300 workers at the plant will be laid off by late this year. The plant makes foam products, speaker box assemblies, fender liners, package trays and headliners. UTA will transfer carryover work from the Holland plant to facilities in Indiana, Georgia and Michigan.
The other plant closings are both in South Carolina. UTA's wire harness plant in Bennetts-ville, with 264 employees, closed last month. A plant in St. Matthews where 410 people produce switches is slated to close at the end of this year.
UTA announced the plant closings in December and January in the communities affected by the shutdowns.
UTA spokesman Michael Scholl said the closings were not related to any business slowdown, noting that the firm boosted sales last year to $3.06 billion from $2.7 billion in 1994.
UTA of Dearborn, Mich., is a unit of United Technologies Corp. of Hartford, Conn.