Automakers and Layoffs and Auto Industry and Ford and Manufacturing & Technology

Ford laying off 249 at doomed east-side steering plant

September 24, 2010

Ford Motor Co. is continuing the process of shutting down a subsidiary’s east-side steering plant, filing a notice with the state that it intends to lay off 249 employees around Nov. 19.

The manufacturing facility at 6900 E. English Ave. is slated for closure by the end of next year. Additional layoffs are expected in December, according to the notice received by the Department of Workforce Development on Thursday.

All hourly personnel will be laid off by December 2011.

The massive, under-used Automotive Components Holdings factory has been targeted for closure for four years. Ford is phasing out the hydraulic steering systems made there in favor of electric power steering. It originally was scheduled to close in 2008, but the United Auto Workers union struck a competitive operating agreement that extended their work.

Ford created Automotive Components in 2005 to buy back the assets of bankrupt spin-off Visteon Corp. Ford tried to sell it and other manufacturing facilities under the Automotive Components umbrella, but failed to line up a buyer.

All told, about 900 Indianapolis Ford employees, including 754 represented by the UAW, are losing their jobs. Union officials have said the plant will keep about 240 hourly employees in place during 2011.

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