Cequent Workers in Limbo on Potential Closure
Though it’s not looking good, a final decision has not been made regarding the closing of a Cequent Performance Products factory in Goshen, Ind., and moving it to Mexico, according to a company official.
The South Bend Tribune reported that if it does close, 450 workers in the trailer-hitch manufacturing factory will be looking for work.
Many workers from the Cequent factory packed a Goshen City Council meeting earlier this week to push city officials into trying to keep the plant open.
They wanted to know if there was any recourse the city could take regarding two tax abatements the company has been given, Mark Brinson, community development director for Goshen, said.
Brinson said the workers were told that the city is limited by the state statute on what it could do to recover taxes that had been abated.
One tax phase-in already has run its course, Brinson noted, and the company did not file for deductions on the active one, “so they did not receive any benefits this year.”
The company already moved one small portion of its operations to Mexico about a year ago.
The company told workers last week about its plans to close the factory, although company spokesman Alan Upchurch told The Goshen News that a final decision isn’t expected until next month.
“The increasingly competitive global market is forcing customers to demand the lowest cost products,” Upchurch told the Goshen paper. A move would also lower shipping costs because many of its customers have assembly plants in Mexico and the southern United States.
Upchurch said if Cequent, a subsidiary of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based TriMas Corp., decided to close the Goshen factory, it would likely take much of 2013 to complete.
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