automotive suppliers Forvia is closing its metal division near Detroit and laying off 268 employees, according to a WARN notice to the state.
Clearing of Highland Park is expected to be completed by January 31st.
Employees are represented by UAW Local 155. Union vice president Waymon Halty said the layoffs were only affecting temporary workers and were a result of Forvia moving metal frame work to Mexico.
Halty said it was a cost-cutting decision made years ago.
“We did our best to keep it here in the US,” said Halty. “That department is going to Mexico because it has a lot of cost and productivity issues and quality issues.”
Forvia spokeswoman Misty Matthews said the company is working to fill vacancies for affected employees.
“We plan to move some production from Highland Park to another Faurecia facility to meet our manufacturing and production needs,” Matthews said in an email. “Such changes will help us effectively and efficiently leverage our manufacturing footprint, better serve our customers, and leverage our utilization rates to meet our production requirements.”
Forvia recently changed its name. Faurecia, with North American offices in Auburn Hills. According to the company’s website, he operates 360 factories and R&D centers around the world, including 15 in Michigan and 17 in Mexico.
The company’s Highland Park plant supplies seats for the Jeep Wagoneer program at Stellantis’ Warren truck assembly plant. The automaker announced he in October. cut 3rd shift To “improve production efficiency” in the factory amidst a shortage of microchips.
Halty said the move had a gradual impact on suppliers, but SUV production is expected to rise significantly in the first quarter.
Suppliers such as Fabia have maintained large temporary workforces to cope with volatile market conditions, including sporadic production shutdowns and tight labor markets, Harti said.
The decision to close the Highland Park metals business means fewer local jobs, but the bright side is that full-time employees were unaffected, Halti added.
“It would have been nice to have a department there, but the cost just didn’t make sense,” he said.