Citing an “unforeseen rapid decline of orders,” aluminum diecaster J.L. French Automotive Casting has laid off 180 employees at one of its three plants in Glasgow and cut its production schedule there from three shifts to two.
“The speed with which our customers have been reducing their own production expectations has been surprising,” said Tim Kellner, vice president of human resources for the Wisconsin-based company. “Our orders are directly connected to the vehicle build schedules of domestic automakers. Their recent projections of a 28 percent reduction in 2009 vehicle production off of a level that was already below 2007 levels causes a large ripple effect to suppliers like J.L. French. We can’t bring people back to work like we had planned, and we have to change our manufacturing structure.”
In December, 155 Glasgow employees were part of a temporary layoff and were initially slated to return to work on Feb. 12. Those employees, plus an additional 25, are now being permanently laid off, along with some 300 employees at the company’s plant in Sheboygan, Wis.