Kamkorp to buy Ford's Think car unit
AURSKOG, NORWAY - Ford Motor Co.'s plastic-body electric car, the Think, may have a new lease on life.
The carmaker has inked an agreement to sell the unit, including its Norwegian production plant, to Kamkorp Microelectronics Ltd., according to Dec. 19 wire service reports in the United States and Europe. Kamkorp has offices in Singapore, Britain and Switzerland.
Ford announced in August that it would close the Think division - including the plant in Aurskog that rotational molds the Think City's body - and instead concentrate on fuel cells.
Kamkorp has extensive holdings in electric-powered vehicles, including the Frazer-Nash, which was used during the 2000 Olympics. The companies have not disclosed a purchase price. Norway's news agency NTB reported Ford has told government officials there that the new owner plans to continue production and development and will retain the rights to the vehicle name.
Supplier Hayes emerging from Chapter 11
NORTHVILLE, MICH.-Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. is preparing to emerge from Chapter 11, trading some of its debt for new stock.
The automotive supplier, which includes a unit in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, injection molds air-intake manifolds. The company filed a year ago for protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., citing $1.7 billion in debts.
On Dec. 16, the Northville company announced plans to emerge by mid-2003. Creditors and the bank still must approve the plan, which involves reducing fixed costs and divesting some noncore assets. The firm is best known as a wheel supplier to the auto industry, with annual sales of more than $2 billion.
Thermoformed Products gets new name
MUSKEGON, MICH. - Thermoformed Products Inc. has changed its name to Ameriform Inc. The Muskegon company, a custom thermoformer and sheet extruder, decided the new moniker better identifies its capabilities, said President Daniel Harris.
The family-owned company, which makes parts for automotive and outdoor-recreation markets, operates a 165,000-square-foot plant in Muskegon and an adjacent warehouse.
Criminal queries over in MBA death
MARTINEZ, CALIF. - The Contra Costa County district attorney's office has closed a criminal review of an October 2000 fatality at MBA Polymers Inc. in Richmond, Calif. The death of forklift operator Jeremiah Spritz, 26, from smoke inhalation after a fire and explosion prompted the routine investigation.
``I did not feel we had sufficient evidence to go forward with a criminal prosecution,'' said Lon Wixson, deputy district attorney in Martinez.
An administrative law judge now will consider 11 serious citations and an eight-item general citation stemming from the fire. The judge's findings will go to an appeals board of the state Industrial Relations Department. The citations were issued in April 2001 and appealed by MBA, a durable-goods recycler.
OSHA probes Thermal Care after death
NILES, ILL. - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating Thermal Care Inc. after the death of an employee earlier this month. James Plante, 31, died Dec. 5 or Dec. 6 from closed-space asphyxia, said Cmdr. Dan Halley with the Niles Police Department.
Officials have ruled the death an accident, but cannot determine the exact date of death. Plante was cleaning up after hours Dec. 5, a regular routine for the seven-year employee. Another employee found Plante's body Dec. 6. Plante apparently had been cleaning the inside of a water tank for the Niles-based auxiliary equipment maker.
``He was very meticulous,'' Halley said.
OSHA has six months to conduct its investigation, said Diane Turek, area director with OSHA's office in Des Plaines, Ill.
``We're still looking at the evidence: company programs, training records, injury and illness reports, and interviewing employees,'' Turek said in a Dec. 20 telephone interview.
Thermal Care Inc. employs 110 at the facility, where it makes industrial water-cooling equipment. It is owned by publicly held MFRI Inc., also based in Niles.
Callahan resigns from Pixley Richards
PLYMOUTH, MASS. - Joseph Callahan has stepped down as president and chief executive officer of Pixley Richards Inc., a post he had held for 18 years. Callahan resigned Dec. 11, citing personal reasons, said Richard LaViolette, director of sales and marketing for the Plymouth injection molder.
Callahan had been with the company since 1978, LaViolette said. Pixley Richards expects to have a replacement named during the first few months of 2003.