BorgWarner’s Muncie plant to close in 2009

BorgWarner Inc. confirmed this morning that it will eliminate 780 jobs when it closes its Muncie plant in April 2009. The Auburn Hills, Mich., company announced early today that it would shutter the plant to streamline costs, but didn’t divulge details.

Chief executive Tim Manganello, who managed the plant eight years, said the reductions will start this month, according to a Bloomberg report that cited a conference call with analysts.

Sales of sport-utility vehicles that use transmission components manufactured at the plant have declined, he said, and the plant wasn’t operating efficiently. Thus, the closing was “unavoidable.”

“This is personally painful to me,” Manganello said.

BorgWarner told the United Auto Workers union in December that it would close the plant if they didn’t accept benefit cuts.

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