Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

November 21, 2012

UPDATE: Cequent employees say that plant will close

GOSHEN — Employees leaving Cequent Performance Products in Goshen this afternoon say they have been informed that the plant they work in will be closed and work there will be moved to a facility in Reynosa, Mexico.

An official announcement from the company has yet to be made.

The possible announcement caps more than a month of speculation following a recommendation from Cequent’s parent company, TriMas Corp. of Bloomfield Hills, Mich to close the Goshen plant.

That recommendation led to employee pickets in recent weeks, as well as shooting and bomb threats at the facility. This morning Goshen police helped guard the plant, which is on the southeast end of Goshen.

The Goshen facility employed approximately 400 people.

Below is the statement that TriMas posted on its website Wednesday that explains its actions about the Goshen plant and other corporation changes.

"TriMas Corporation (NASDAQ: TRS) – a diversified global manufacturer of engineered and applied products – continues its progress and focus on productivity and expanding and optimizing its global manufacturing footprint to better serve its customers.

“Over the past several years, TriMas has launched numerous growth and productivity initiatives across our businesses, with the savings enabling us to fund our growth programs,” said Dave Wathen, president and chief executive officer of TriMas. “As a result, we have been establishing several new plants and moving some production locations in order to increase capacity, better support our global customers in new locations, drive productivity and better leverage a more efficient cost structure. All of these investments are designed to enable continuous improvement for our customers and enhance overall TriMas’ value.”

Major highlights include:

- Adding a specialty dispensing manufacturing plant in Ohio adjacent to a significant customer;

- Opening new branches in the energy business in Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado and Singapore to better support customers’ requirements;

- Adding gasket and bolt manufacturing capability in Brazil;

- Opening a state-of-the-art production facility in Arizona to support manufacture of new products awarded by aerospace customers;

- Consolidating two older plants in Australia into a single state-of-the-art manufacturing facility of trailering and towing products for significantly better efficiencies;

- Doubling the capacity of the manufacturing facility in Thailand to better serve increasing demand of global automotive customers; and

- Relocating the manufacturing from the Goshen, Indiana Cequent facility to the existing Cequent facility in Reynosa, Mexico.

Today, the Company announced the future closure of its Cequent Performance Products’ facility in Goshen, Indiana. This facility currently manufactures hitches, weight distribution systems, fifth wheels, underbed structures and gooseneck systems, and employs approximately 450 people. Manufacturing operations will be relocated to Cequent Performance Products’ existing facility in Reynosa, Mexico. In conjunction with this move, Cequent Performance Products’ warehouse in Huntington, Indiana will also close and an existing Cequent facility in Tekonsha, Michigan will serve as a warehouse. The announced transition will take place throughout 2013.

“While these types of decisions are never easy, we make them with significant consideration. We are focused on providing a smooth transition for our customers and remain committed to providing quality product with speed. For those employees affected by the closure, the Company is committed to working with them during this transition,” said Wathen.

About TriMas

Headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, TriMas Corporation (NASDAQ: TRS) provides engineered and applied products for growing markets worldwide. TriMas is organized into six reportable segments: Packaging, Energy, Aerospace & Defense, Engineered Components, Cequent Americas and Cequent Asia Pacific. TriMas has approximately 4,500 employees at more than 60 different facilities in 17 countries. For more information, visit www.trimascorp.com"

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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