Thermoformer Durakon Industries Inc. will close its manufacturing complex in Lapeer next year to consolidate U.S. production in Tennessee.
The closing, set to occur before the end of the first quarter of 2003, will impact about 200 employees. The company will retain its corporate office in Lapeer. In a notice about the closing to the state of Michigan, the company did not list an exact date for the shutdown, only noting it would occur early in 2003.
The firm, the second-largest producer of thermoformed pickup truck beds in North America, decided to close the plant when it could not reach wage and benefit concessions with its Lapeer workers.
In a brief statement, company executives said they were forced to make the decision ``because of competitive factors in the marketplace.''
Durakon has annual sales of about $98 million and 500 employees. Private equity group Littlejohn & Co. LLC of Greenwich, Conn., purchased it in 1999.