Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc. plans to close its Griffin, Ga., automotive body sealing plant next summer and transfer production to other facilities.
The shutdown, slated for June 30, will affect about 350 employees - 313 hourly, the remainder salaried - in Griffin, according to Barry Von Lanken, manager of marketing services.
The Novi, Mich.-based company was in a position where it had too much capacity for industry demand within sealing applications, Von Lanken said. Cooper-Standard has been evaluating its competitive position since it was purchased late last year, and the company determined it did not have the business to support 11 North American facilities, he said.
An investors' group partnership formed by Cypress Group and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners purchased the company from Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. late last year for $1.17 billion.
Cooper-Standard supplies primarily the Big Three auto makers in North America, Von Lanken said. The consolidation will involve a gradual phaseout and will not affect any service to customers, he said.
The firm is evaluating the possibility of closing or downsizing other plants in the future, Von Lanken said.
``We'll use the remaining capacity to the fullest,'' he said. ``We want to stay profitable and competitive and not hurt ourselves by having too much capacity.''
Cooper-Standard also is determining where to relocate production from Griffin. The plant mainly manufactures automotive door seals and weatherstripping from synthetic rubber and plastic, Von Lanken said. Cooper-Standard's closest facility to Griffin is in Goldsboro, N.C.
The Griffin plant has been in operation since the 1980s, when it was owned by Standard Products Co. Cooper bought Standard in 1999.