Automotive injection molding giant US Farathane LLC is closing its manufacturing plant in Shelby Township in a move impacting 176 employees.
The plastics supplier told the state it would permanently close the plant at 11650 Park Court by Feb. 29, the expiration of a long-term lease, according to a WARN notice dated Dec. 8.
“Affected employees will have the opportunity to apply and interview for open positions at our other Southeast Michigan plants,” it said.
The Auburn Hills-based company, which was sold to Atlas Holdings LLC by the Gores Group in the spring, indicated the closure was a strategic footprint move.
“… We’ve been at the Utica location for over 30 years,” the company told Crain’s in an email. “We have come to the end of the long-term lease contract and therefore will be exiting the facility. The plant size and layout are not ideal to accommodate our future growth.”
The company said employees being laid off from their positions will be offered jobs elsewhere. “USF has five plants within a 15-mile radius of the Utica facility, and all are hiring,” the company said. “We have already begun facilitating job transfers to these plants for all USF Utica employees that are interested in continuing to work for USF.”
With 18 manufacturing plants in the U.S., Mexico and China, US Farathane is No. 5 in Plastics News' injection molders ranking. It has an estimated molding sales of $900 million and 420 employees.
Gores Group, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm founded by Alec Gores, brother of Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, sold the company to Atlas, which has several portfolio companies in the automotive industry.
“USF has grown sales and employment in Michigan consistently for many years and we will continue to do so in 2024 and beyond,” the company said. “We have been expanding capacity at other Michigan plants, which will allow us to transfer the work and jobs from Utica to other local USF plants.”