Swedish auto parts maker closing plant

September 20, 2008

Autoliv Inc., a Sweden-based manufacturer of air bags and other auto-safety equipment, said yesterday that it will close its plant in the northeastern Indiana town of Columbia City, throwing 380 employees out of jobs beginning this year.

The work will be consolidated at a Utah plant because the company doesn't foresee the American auto market recovering soon enough to justify keeping the Indiana plant open, according to The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne.

Only about 13 million vehicles were produced in North America last year compared with 16 million three years ago.

The non-union facility opened in Columbia City in 1998, and in 2004 Autoliv said it would expand the plant to more than 600 workers. However, dwindling demand for the air bags resulted in a decline in employment at the plant.

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