Sluggish production levels in the North American auto industry are prompting shutdowns and closures for some auto suppliers.
Flex-N-Gate Corp., Key Plastics LLC, Nyloncraft Inc. and Automotive Components Holdings LLC all announced cuts the week of Dec. 8.
General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC and Ford Motor Co. are waiting for word from Washington about a multibillion-dollar bailout to help them survive, but they are not alone in taking hits at their assembly plants. Toyota, Japan-based Toyota Motor Corp. has announced it will shut down some U.S. plants for nine days, and Canadian sites for 10 days.
The slowdowns are in turn impacting suppliers. Flex-N-Gate will lay off 175 people at its newly acquired Salem, Ohio, injection molding plant, according to local news reports.
Urbana, Ill.-based Flex-N-Gate is not commenting, but employees at the plant purchased from the bankrupt Blackhawk Automotive Plastics Inc. earlier this year told local news outlets that the firm informed employees the job cuts reflected the auto industry's slowing production rate.
The site employs about 600.
Key Plastics, based in Farmington Hills, Mich., is closing its York, Pa., site because of similar woes. That plant employs 24.
Mishawaka, Ind.-based Nyloncraft will cut 110 of its 219 employees in Jonesville, Mich., said local news reports there.
Many companies are scheduling, or extending, holiday shutdowns. Automotive Components Holdings LLC of Dearborn, Mich., announced that 260-270 workers at its Sandusky, Ohio, plant will be temporarily laid off from Dec. 15 through Jan. 5, according to local reports. A spokesman cited Dearborn-based Ford's decision to suspend some production temporarily.
The Senate late on Dec. 11 rejected an emergency bill to rescue Detroit automakers, heightening fears that GM and Chrysler may collapse.