The North American automotive industry, which appears to be speeding toward its own demise, has mowed down two more suppliers.
Progressive Moulded Products Ltd. has laid off most of its workforce as it tries to restructure under bankruptcy protection. Meanwhile, compression molder Poly- wheels Manufacturing Ltd. has shut down, according to local news reports.
Concord, Ontario-based Progressive, an injection molder and mold maker, laid off about 2,000 workers at its 10 plants in Ontario and two U.S. facilities, in Missouri and Texas, spokesman Michael Daniher said.
``The company is winding down most of its operations at manufacturing facilities under the Canada Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act,'' Daniher said in a telephone interview. ``The fate of the plants depends on the process under the CCAA.''
Several hundred Progressive employees have stayed on to finish production and help move tools to customers, he added.
Progressive Moulded employed 2,800 when it filed June 20 for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the United States. The company was trying to negotiate agreements between its lenders and customers, but to date has not been successful.
Daniher said a combination of factors led to the widespread layoffs. Major customers have moved their business elsewhere. The company is heavily indebted at a time when North American automakers' sales are plunging. Raw material prices are climbing and the firm was hurt by a strong Canadian dollar.
Similar problems have plagued Polywheels. The firm cited slowing production at a major automotive customer for its closure.
The Oakville, Ontario-based firm shuttered its doors June 30, affecting 250 workers. Officials for the Canadian Auto Workers told local media that the company has informed the union it will file for protection with the CCAA.
The company, founded in 1986, produces parts made of sheet molded compound for the auto, medical, electronics, furniture and sporting-goods industries. One of its major contracts was making heat sheets for General Motors Corp. pickup trucks. GM reported July 1 that truck sales dropped nearly 21 percent for the first six months of 2008, compared with 2007.