Transportation-based-manufacturing company American Trim LLC plans to close its sole injection molding subsidiary, Indiana Die Molding LLC, blaming overseas competition.
Indiana Die gradually will lay off its 75 workers and anticipates closing entirely by July 31, plant manager Gerald Born said March 31. Workers were given the news March 30, he said.
The Fort Wayne, Ind., facility molds exterior and under-the-hood components, serving the heavy-truck and automotive markets, and also makes consumer products. Customers include Dana Corp. and Eaton Corp.
The company found it no longer could compete with work going to China, especially in the heavy-truck market. The firm experienced price pressures and the erosion of its once-healthy customer base, he said.
``We tried to get some government contracts, and we picked up a few,'' he said. ``But it was nothing like the business that we lost.''
The company had been family-owned until 1999, when it was sold to American Trim, based in Sydney, Ohio. American Trim, a maker of metal and ceramic decorative parts for the automotive, appliance and truck markets, was founded as a joint venture between Alcoa Inc. and Lima, Ohio-based Superior Metal Products Inc. American Trim bought Alcoa's 36 percent share of the business last year.
American Trim also owns Stolle Products, a Sydney-based metal stamper and fabricator. Stolle exited injection molding in 1996, selling its injection presses to DP Manufactured Products Inc. of Grantsville, W.Va.
Indiana Die peaked three years ago at about $11 million in sales and 115 employees, and now records about $5.5 million in sales annually.