US auto supplier to shut down European factories image

American parts maker Cooper-Standard Automotive has a new cost cutting strategy that includes the shutdown of some of its European plants, with the restructuring Plan hitting jobs in Germany and France.

The company – which is not among the top tier suppliers but still has 12 factories in western Europe and 8 in the eastern part – has announced the decision to close or downsize “certain facilities with high costs and unutilized capacity” in the western part of the region, including Germany and France but refrained from naming the unit names. Cooper-Standard made 50 percent of sales in the United States back in 2013, while the European continent represented around 35 percent – with France claiming 10 percent of that and Germany another 8 percent. The supplier is one of the leading global producers of body sealing products and other components, with CEO Jeffrey Edwards saying “restoring our competitive position in Europe is critical to our strategy of driving profitable growth and becoming a top 30 global automotive supplier.”

The parts maker refrained from naming the facilities set to close or downsize, saying that all actions need to be approved after consultation with employee works councils and after they meet other criteria. Cooper-Standard forecasts its restructuring plan would be completed by the end of 2017 with a running cost of $120 million to $125 million that would then yield savings of $50 million to $55 million. The US auto supplier has been on an expansion spree since 2006, purchasing fluid handling systems operations in North America, Europe and China, sealing systems operations in Europe and entering into joint ventures in both China and India.

Via Automotive News Europe