Autodie At An End

August 25, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — Autodie International announced last week intentions to close its landmark plant in downtown Grand Rapids if it is unable to find a new owner.

Rumors concerning a potential sale or closing have circulated around the company this year. On Tuesday, Autodie filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with the state labor office, alerting Michigan Works! and government officials of the potential layoff of 250 workers.

This is far from the first WARN for Autodie. It employs barely a third of its headcount from a decade ago. Since that time, the once publicly traded company has undergone a bankruptcy organization, gone private and spun off a successful subsidiary, Kentwood-based Autocam Corp.

In recent years, Autodie has been aggressive at cutting costs, prices and labor, but for the current investor, Italian automaker Fiat, the cost-cutting is at an end. The company has chosen to exit the U.S. tool and die business. If a buyer is not found within 60 days, the massive facility at 44 Coldbrook St. NE in the North Monroe neighborhood will be shuttered.

Fiat purchased the company for $350 million in 1999.

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