Injection molder Par Industries LLC will close an auto parts plant in Amherst, N.Y., one of two facilities Par's parent bought out of bankruptcy more than a year ago.
The site will be shut down by mid-January and its 156 workers laid off, according to a notice filed Nov. 6 with the city of Amherst. Par, based at another Amherst facility released a statement that said the firm plans to exit the production of heating, venting and air-conditioning parts for automotive applications. The Amherst plant primarily produced those HVAC parts.
The firm cited the plant's lack of profitability. A small portion of the plant's work will be shifted to the remaining Amherst plant.
Until May 2002, the soon-to-be-closed plant and the second Amherst facility had been part of Ultra Tool & Plastics Inc., which had been owned by Renaissance Plastics Co. of Hudson, Ohio.
Renaissance entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2002 and ultimately sold the Ultra Tool assets to another northeastern Ohio company, Solon-based Viking Industries LLC. Viking assigned the facilities to its Par Industries unit, which had two existing plants before the purchase.
Meanwhile, Par told state officials that it will close an auto supply plant making rubber and metal parts in Medina, Ohio, by Dec. 12.
The dual closings will leave Par with the second facility in Amherst and one in Lockport, N.Y.
Both Amherst and New York state had attempted to keep the facility open by offering incentives, Amherst town supervisor Susan Grelick said Nov. 13.
The state gave Viking $712,805 in April 2002 for worker training at Par's Lockport plant and at another injection and compression molding subsidiary, Viking Polymer Solutions LLC of Albion, N.Y.
The training money helped thwart the potential layoff of 215 people at the two facilities, according to a news release from the New York Labor Department.
In Amherst, government officials have had less success. ``We tried to reach out to the company after hearing that they were contemplating leaving the area,'' Grelick said. ``But so far, we haven't had any luck talking to someone there.''
Several calls by Plastics News to Viking and Par were not returned.
Ultra Tool recorded about $34 million in sales in 1999, the last year that figures were available. The company was formed in 1964 and purchased by Renaissance in 1998.