Some workers at BorgWarner Automotive's plant in Muncie believe a layoff last Friday could signal an early end to the plant, according to The Star Press of Muncie.
The Auburn Hills, Mich., company issued the notices to 193 employees - about half the work force - as the annual summer break was about to get underway.
The plant supplies transmission components to General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., which have seen dramatic declines in sales as rising gas prices make their bread-and-butter pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles more expensive to drive.
BorgWarner announced last summer that the plant would close by April 2009. Since last summer, the work force has been whittled to 522 from nearly 800 through retirements, layoffs and resignations.
The plant has been a pillar in Muncie since the 1930s, once employing thousands.