Auto Service World
News   March 1, 2006   by Auto Service World

Affinia Shedding Manufacturing Plants


Affinia Group Inc. has announced the closure of three plants and its intention to sell three more, including two in Canada, as part of a restructuring program.
The company will close its McHenry, Ill., drum and rotor plant, and Erie and North East, Penn., plants before the end of 2006.
Affinia also announced its intent to sell businesses located in Sudbury and St. Catharines, Ontario and Waupaca, Wisc. The facilities are involved in manufacturing brake discs and drums.
The moves are part of a previously announced restructuring program.
According to company officials, the plant closings, along with the consolidation of brake component manufacturing in Litchfield, Ill., will result in a net loss of 360 positions.
Affinia employs more than 12,000 people worldwide.
“While these plant closures are in the best long-term interests of our company, we regret the disruption in the lives of our affected people, and we are working to mitigate the impact,” said Terry McCormack, president and CEO with Affinia Group. “Dislocation packages include job training and counseling, as well as severance pay and health benefits based on longevity with the company.”
Affinia Group adopted its international restructuring program during 2005, recognizing the rapid growth of automotive aftermarket parts manufacturing in offshore locations.
In December 2005, Affinia announced the closure of its Southampton, United Kingdom facility, and today announced the consolidation of hydraulics and drum and rotor production into its Litchfield, Illinois facility.
“We are aggressively moving to complete our strategy of becoming a true international aftermarket manufacturer and distributor. However, we intend to maintain a significant North American manufacturing presence and also manage strategic initiatives, such as research and development, parts specifications and channel relationships, in North America,” McCormack said.
“We have come to a point where our competitive environment is forcing us to take actions we had hoped to avoid. In order for Affinia to remain competitive in the global economy, we have to take advantage of lower costs for select aftermarket components in production locations around the world.”


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