Canadian auto parts maker Magna International has started the shut-down of a gear assembly plant in Syracuse, New York — a move that will ultimately eliminate 1,400 jobs. Magna International recently joined Ford Motor Co. in a high-profile announcement that it will build fully electric cars designed by Ford. But for now, Magna is giving up a core manufacturing component from the old-school business model.
“We’re initiating a wind-down plan for the site,” says Marc Neeb, Magna’s executive vice-president of global human resources. He added the shut-down will take some time while the company holds discussions with employees, suppliers and customers.
Negotiations with the United Auto Workers union representing workers at the Magna site in Syracuse, NY, reportedly broke down, and the mega-supplier said it would close the plant because workers would not agree to a contract that would keep the plant competitive.
If the facility that employs 1,400 closes, it would be one of several Magna plants scheduled for closure this year, underscoring how the industry slowdown and shifting consumer tastes have quickly affected once-healthy suppliers. The domestic automakers are broadly shifting production away from body-on-frame SUVs to crossovers built on passenger-car architectures.