Injection molder Strydel closes plant
STRYKER, OHIO - Strydel Inc. shuttered its facility March 24.
Ohio Art Co., Strydel's parent company, had announced in November that it would sell its Strydel assets to May & Scofield LLC of Fowlerville, Mich., by March 31.
According to Ohio Art's quarterly report filed in December, the $1.67 million deal is for the real property, machinery and equipment of Stryker-based Strydel, plus the value of inventory and tooling to be determined at the date of closing. The arrangement also includes all contracts with General Motors Corp. and Norplas Industries Inc.
Strydel had 75 employees, 18 injection molding presses and $6 million in annual sales, according to Plastics News' 2004 ranking of North American injection molders, although the Bryan (Ohio) Times reported that Strydel employed only 49 when it stopped production.
Ohio Art is known for its Etch A Sketch and Betty Spaghetty toys, but in recent times has moved that production overseas. The Strydel plant was making automotive products.
Six-alarm fire destroys Dexx building
TORONTO - Wood/plastic composite producer Dexx Corp. suffered a six-alarm fire that began about 6 p.m. March 30 and lasted until the afternoon of March 31.
The Toronto firm's building was destroyed. As many as 150 firefighters, aided by 45 vehicles, tackled the blaze. One firefighter sustained minor back injuries, Toronto Fire Services spokesman David Sheen said in a March 31 telephone interview. He said it was too soon to determine the fire's cause and the extent of damage.
Dexx makes composite planks for residential, commercial and government applications.
DaimlerChrysler restructuring Smart unit
FRANKFURT, GERMANY - Europe's tiny Smart car is heading down a rough financial road, with executives of its parent company discontinuing some models and revamping others.
DaimlerChrysler AG announced April 1 that it will spend 1.2 billion euros ($1.56 billion) on restructuring for its Smart business unit, halt production of the two-seat roadster this year and end development of a planned sport utility vehicle.
However, it maintained that it will intensify development for the next generation of its Fortwo model, ``including fulfilling the requirements for the U.S. market.''
The Frankfurt automaker did not say whether it will retain the thermoplastic body panels that have been a feature of the subcompact car since it launched in 1998.
The corporate plan calls for reducing fixed costs within Smart by 30 percent in the next two years. Key work in development, purchasing, sales and service will be integrated into other DaimlerChrysler units.
N.C. judge rules against Piston Group
DURHAM, N.C. - Piston Group, an auto supplier owned by former Detroit Piston Vinnie Johnson, lost a $3.9 million judgment in a North Carolina court for not paying its balance from a 2003 acquisition.
The Detroit firm in March 2003 bought the stock of Henderson, N.C.-based Custom Molders Inc., an injection molder with two plants, from Hwa Yong Jo and Hun Yong Jo. The $3.6 million deal called for Piston Group to make monthly installments.
But Piston Group stopped making payments in March 2004, according to a lawsuit filed in August. Durham County Superior Court granted the brothers a $3.9 million summary judgment March 18.
``[Piston Group] claimed the business was not as profitable as they intended for it to be ... but the year before my clients sold it, it had $1 million in profit,'' said William McPherson Jr., a partner at Durham-based McPherson & Rocamora PLLC who represented the Jos.
Custom Molders is one of five operating companies of Piston Group, which reported $200 million in 2003 sales. The company produces interior parts and chassis components, and provides logistics and sequencing services.
``All suppliers are suffering through this tough automotive business climate. The company's policy is not to comment on such matters,'' Piston Group said in a news release.
Piston Group's lawyer in the case did not return calls seeking comment.