The auto industry's downturn is continuing to hit plastic suppliers, with an Ohio injection molder announcing plans to shut down, while a Michigan company in Chapter 11 is seeking a buyer for its operation.
Centrex Corp. of Findlay, Ohio, announced May 2 that it will close within 60 days, citing reduced sales.
Meanwhile, Kalkaska, Mich.-based Eagle-Trim Inc., a structural reaction injection molder with about $40 million in annual sales, is seeking a fast-track sale of its holdings through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit.
"It's a tough time for automotive," said Anthony Pierfelice, a consultant for Eagle-Trim.
Centrex, with nearly $20 million in annual sales, found itself with a "deteriorating financial condition" and few options, Centrex Chairwoman Betty Jean Poole-Holmes said in a written statement.
The bulk of the company's sales have been to one unspecified automaker.
"Due to intense competition and overcapacity in this industry, Centrex has been unable to operate at a profit," the company stated.
The business, founded in 1942, has 235 employees and 25 presses.
The 190-employee Eagle-Trim filed for protection under Chapter 11 on April 25. The producer of interior trim parts for the automotive and commercial truck business was a part of Eagle-Picher Industries Inc. from 1954 to 1998, when it split off from the Cincinnati-based corporation.
In March 2000, Eagle-Trim purchased injection molder South Bend Plastics Inc. of Mishawaka, Ind., an operation with about $10 million in annual sales to a variety of industries, including automotive, appliance and furniture.
Eagle-Trim found itself short of cash when the automotive downturn hit starting last year, according to Pierfelice of Amherst Consulting's Midland, Mich., office, who was brought in to advise the business.
The company's biggest customer, General Motors Corp., has agreed to provide support and future contracts to Eagle-Trim's next owner, he said, which should help speed up any transactions. GMA Capital LLC of Farmington Hills, Mich., is overseeing the sale.
The Chapter 11 filing does not affect South Bend, but the company likely will change hands as part of the sale of Eagle-Trim, Pierfelice said.
Eagle-Trim makes door panels, spare tire covers, headliners and other trim products.