Benteler Automotive closes Grand Rapids plant
Benteler Automotive has announced plans to close its Grand Rapids manufacturing plant, at 320 Hall St. SW, which reportedly employs some 220 people.
Current plans are for the facility to continue operation throughout the rest of the calendar year and early into 2014, as equipment is transferred to other operations in Michigan and Indiana.
Earlier this year, Benteler Automotive, which is based in Paderborn, Germany, announced that it was strategically repositioning all of its global manufacturing operations.
Initial analysis indicated that as many as four to five manufacturing operations would likely be closed globally.
After extensive evaluation, Benteler’s Hall Street facility was identified as one of the plants to be closed in North America.
Earlier in May, Benteler also announced plans to close another of its North American operations in Opelika, Ala.
According to a statement issued by Benteler’s Maryam Komejan, company officials did not make the decision in haste.
“We have been studying our manufacturing footprint in (North America) intensively for several months to support our global strategy and to streamline our manufacuting footprint,” said Otto Buschsieweke, executive vice president for Benteler NA. “The decisions we are making now are critical to maintaining and strengthening our ability to support Benteler’s NA customers long-term. This decision clearly has an unsettling impact on our associates at Hall Street — we are very sensitive to that. We are committed to working closely with the UAW, as their representative, throughout the decision and bargaining process to develop a solid plan of support for our people in the weeks ahead.”
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Benteler Automotive currently employs 22,000, has 20 development and sales offices around the world and 74 plants in 29 countries.
It develops and produces complete system modules and product components for the automotive industry, producing critical components for vehicle bodies, chassis, and engines. Its products contribute strongly to the safety and efficiency of vehicles while also reducing their weight/environmental footprint. One recent innovation that Benteler is offering its customers is the lightweight integrated manifold design in production today for modern automotive engines.
Benteler Automotive belongs to the internationally operating Benteler Group — a global holding group comprised of Benteler Automotive, Benteler Steel/Tube and Benteler Distribution.
The Benteler Group employs 30,000 at 170 locations in 28 countries. The company is privately held and has been in operation for more than 135 years.