Declining sales from Detroit's Big Three automakers have convinced Mahle Filter Systems Canada ULC to close its Windsor, Ontario, plant by the end of 2008.
Mahle bought the facility and a related one in Tilbury, Ontario, on June 1 from Siemens VDO Automotive AG of Regensburg, Germany. Windsor injection molds automotive air-intake manifolds, air cleaner assemblies, resonators and air handling ducts.
``This is an essential strategic business decision that will help us to remain competitive in the ever-changing environment of the automotive industry,'' Mahle Filter President Kevin Burke said in a news release.
Mahle will transfer its Windsor production to plants in Tilbury and Santa Catarina, Mexico. No decisions have been made regarding Windsor's equipment, Mahle spokesman Jeff Trent said by telephone.
Trent said Mahle's three air management systems plants in North America have excess capacity. Its Big Three sales have been declining because of lost market share to transplants and imports. Also, Mahle has lost production contracts to rivals in the auto parts sector.
Tilbury will have no net increase in jobs as work is transferred there, he said. The Windsor plant employs about 125. Workers there are represented by Canadian Auto Workers Local 195 and once numbered about 400.
Mahle Filter Systems Canada is part of Mahle GmbH of Stuttgart, Germany. The group makes air and liquid management systems, pistons and related systems. It employs more than 40,000 and logged sales of more than 4.3 billion euros ($5.4 billion) last year.