Auto supplier closes tech center
A global auto supplier is consolidating an electronics operation in the region into its corporate location, resulting in job cuts and the relocation of up to 175 employees.
Van Buren Township-based Visteon Corporation said last week that it plans to close its Holland Technical Center, at 915 E. 32nd St. in Holland, by the end of the year as it integrates operations into its corporate offices and innovation center.
Jim Fisher, director of corporate communications at Visteon, said since purchasing the former Johnson Controls electronics building last July, the company has been taking steps at other global locations to integrate its engineering resources and facilities.
“We are essentially doing the same thing in the U.S., and the two are relatively close to each other,” said Fisher of the Michigan-based facilities. “It is an opportunity to be more responsive to our customers by bringing together these resources.”
With a number of customers located in the Van Buren Township area and proximity to transportation infrastructure, Fisher said the southeast Michigan location was the ideal place to integrate the two facilities into a single efficient operation.
Matthew Cole, senior director of engineering at Visteon, said while both facilities have “premier services,” the company can be more responsive and drive quality and growth by the consolidation.
“We recognize the impact on the workforce in Holland and the local community,” Cole said. “We are committed to supporting our employees as we work through this transition.”
The Holland-based facility has roughly 240 full time and contract employees specializing in electronics.
The employees are eligible and encouraged to pursue positions at other locations, including at the company’s corporate office and innovation center in Van Buren Township.
“We would like to retain many of the employees,” Fisher said. “There will be some positions eliminated or absorbed, somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 to 60 positions essentially absorbed by this move. But we expect to retain 175 positions, and we hope many of the employees in Holland will be interested in those and interested in relocating.”
Visteon will provide relocation assistance for employees interested in transferring to a new location, while people who don’t relocate are eligible for a competitive severance package and company-paid outplacement assistance.
“We plan to close by the end of this year, and we don’t anticipate eliminating or moving any jobs before September 1, which is really when we will start to see a significant transition,” Fisher said. “I can’t emphasize enough we realize it is sometimes difficult to be looking at a transition for employees, but we do feel we have a very talented and experienced workforce there, and we hope many of them will stay with the company.”
Visteon acquired the Johnson Controls’ automotive electronics business, which included the Holland Technical Center, as of July 2014, for $265 million to enhance the company’s position in the growing vehicle cockpit electronic segment.
Visteon leases roughly 100,000 square feet in the facility, which provides customer support and engineering services to global manufacturers.