DURA Proposes Closure of Four Facilities and Sale of Two Businesses

April 1, 2007
As part of its 50-cubed program, DURA Automotive Systems, Inc. (Rochester HIlls, Mich.), is closing four manufacturing facilities: Brownstown, Ind.; Bracebridge,

As part of its 50-cubed program, DURA Automotive Systems, Inc. (Rochester HIlls, Mich.), is closing four manufacturing facilities: Brownstown, Ind.; Bracebridge, Ont.; Hannibal South, Mo.; and Selinsgrove, Pa.

DURA is an independent designer and manufacturer of driver control systems, seating control systems, glass systems, engineered assemblies, structural door modules and exterior trim systems for the global automotive industry. The company supplies similar products to the recreation vehicle and specialty vehicle industries. DURA markets its automotive products to every North American, Asian and European original equipment manufacturer and Tier 1 automotive suppliers.

The 50-cubed program was launched in February of 2006 and established heightened performance goals in quality, worldwide efficiency and profitability. The program is projected to result in the idling of approximately 10 DURA manufacturing facilities worldwide by the end of 2007. The company also anticipates the announcement of further consolidation strategies in the third quarter of 2007.

In 2006, DURA announced planned closures of sites in Llanelli, UK; Brantford, Ont.; Stratford, Ont.; and a U.S. site in LaGrange, Ind., as part of its restructuring program. The following additional plants are slated for closure by year-end 2007:

Brownstown, Ind., a 68,400-sq.-ft. plant that manufactures spare tire carriers/winches and toolkits, and currently employs 114 people. Manufacturing of products will be moved to Matamoros, Mexico. It is anticipated that production will cease at the Brownstown facility by year-end 2007.

Bracebridge, Ont., a 120,000-sq.-ft. plant that manufactures manual and power seat adjusters, and currently employs 176 people. Manufacturing will be moved to Gordonsville, Tennessee; and Stockton, Illinois. It is anticipated that production will cease at the Bracebridge facility in October 2007.

Hannibal South, Mo., a 70,000-sq.-ft. facility that manufactures park brake cables, and currently employs 65 people. All primary operations will be transferred to Milan, Tennessee, to be integrated with final assembly work. It is anticipated that the Hannibal South facility will close by the end of September 2007.

Selinsgrove, Pa., a 56,000-sq.-ft. facility that manufactures truck cap windows, and currently employs 61 people. The assembly lines will be moved to Elkhart, Indiana. It is anticipated that the Selinsgrove facility will close by the end of May 2007.

Separately, but as part of the ongoing Chapter 11 restructuring currently underway, the company has announced its intention to sell its jack business, and its hinge and latch business. The proposed divestitures will include the sale of facilities in Butler, Indiana; and Mancelona, Michigan:

Butler, Ind., a 140,000-sq.-ft. facility, manufactures jacks and jack tool kits, and currently employs 181 people. DURA is currently marketing the sale of its jacks business.

Mancelona, Mich., a 173,000-sq.-ft. facility, primarily manufactures automotive latch assemblies and employs 237 people.

Further information regarding these divestitures will be made as sale agreements are reached.

“We recognize the impact that these announcements will have on our employees and these communities,” said Larry Denton, chairman and CEO of DURA Automotive. “The decisions to consolidate facilities and transition assembly lines are extremely difficult but necessary. Our restructuring programs are designed to improve our long-term competitiveness and assist the organization to emerge from Chapter 11 protection in an expedited timeframe.“

DURA currently has a presence in 16 countries with 69 locations, including its manufacturing facilities, technology and customer service centers, and joint venture companies.

On October 30, 2006, DURA Automotive Systems, Inc., and its domestic and Canadian affiliates filed voluntary petitions for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The company and its domestic and Canadian affiliates continue to operate their businesses as Chapter 11 debtors-in-possession.

Source: DURA Automotive Systems, Inc.