Trinova Corp., which in February offered eight plastic molding and assembly plants for sale, has closed one of the sites it expects to sell.
The company's Mooresville, N.C., plant shut down at the end of March due to a lack of work, said Trinova spokesman Richard Rump. The plant primarily had molded plastic interior trim components for General Motors Corp.'s Astro minivan, which is no longer in production. No new contracts replaced the Astro project, Rump added.
The 153,000-square-foot plant had 200 employees. A skeleton crew was all that remained of the staff, and production had ceased, Rump said. Because its plants are for sale, employees could not be relocated to other facilities, he added.
Equipment figures were not available for the Mooresville plant, which performed thermoplastic injection and compression molding. However, the company has said that its six plastic trim plants for sale had presses with clamping forces of 50-1,500 tons. The other two plants for sale perform metal stamping, painting and assembly work.
Industry sources estimate the Mooresville plant had more than 20 presses.
The interior trim plants mold display products, instrument panel clusters, radio bezel assemblies, air-vent assemblies and other trim products.
The Maumee, Ohio, company announced in February that it planned to sell the plants. Each plant is operated by its Aeroquip Corp. subsidiary, also based in Maumee. Trinova executives said the company planned to exit the interior trim business to concentrate on other core operations.
In March, Trinova sold three Aeroquip plants to injection molder Key Plastics Inc. of Novi, Mich. Key paid an undisclosed amount to acquire facilities in Port Huron and Chesterfield, Mich., and Chihuahua, Mexico.
Besides the Mooresville plant, other Aeroquip facilities for sale include plants in Kendallville, Ind.; Spring Arbor, Mich.; and Roedelheim and Beienheim, Germany.
Rump said negotiations are continuing on the five plants with outside buyers.
In other news, the company has been fined $79,000 for emitting a high level of volatile chemicals during automotive painting processes at its Chesterfield plant during 1996. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality inspectors cited Aeroquip for leaking the compounds and failing to keep adequate records of the discharges.
Rump said the company was not in compliance with state and federal regulations but has rectified the problem. The plant was among the three facilities recently sold to Key Plastics.
Aeroquip is 42nd in Plastics News' 1997 ranking of North American injection molders, with estimated sales of $104.6 million.