Key Plastics consolidates U.S. operations with Indiana plant closure

Automotive supplier Key Plastics (Northville, MI) will close its Hartford City, IN site, consolidating injection molding handled there into its other North American manufacturing sites over the course of 2011. A Key Plastics spokesperson told PlasticsToday that the Indiana plant had injection molding, assembly, and painting capabilities focused on the creation of interior and exterior door handles, as well as additional interior trim and airbag components. The facility has 215 employees, 184 of them full time.

Key Plastics Hartford City, IN
Built by the company in 1993, Key Plastics' Hartford City, IN injection molding facility, which covers 117,000 sq ft, will be closed in 2011.

The spokesperson said those employees would be given preferential consideration for positions at Key's four remaining North American sites. Key Plastics built the Hartford City plant, which covers 117,000 sq ft, in 1993. Some of the facility's equipment will be moved to other Key sites.

Key's business is actually up right now, with overall revenues rising by 33% from 2009 to 2010, and sales at U.S.-based operations climbing by 47% over the same period. The company said this consolidation is being taken to trim excess capacity generated by operational efficiency improvements Key has undertaken over the past 18 months. "While revenues have increased sharply for the company, we have not lost sight that we must constantly improve our cost structure if we expect to compete long term," Terry Gohl, Key's CEO, said.

Key Plastics was in an expansion mode in 2010. The company made two acquisitions in the spring of last year targeting the European market. In March, Key purchases certain businesses and assets from Paulmann & Crone (Lüdenscheid, Germany), and in April, it acquired assets from Germany's OLHO Group, including equipment and inventory from OHLO's Löhne, Germany facility, as well as 100% of the shares of its Janovice, Czech Republic business.

Key Plastics, which is privately held by Wayzata Investment Partners LLC, employs approximately 4100 in North America, Europe, and Asia. Key's remaining North American production sites include its world headquarters in Northville, MI, with locations in Howell and Grand Rapids, MI as well. The company also operates a facility in Felton, PA. Key has two plants in Chihuahua, Mexico, and in Europe is present in the Czech Republic (Tachov and Janovic nad Uhlavou); Germany (Lennestadt, Kierspe, Wachtersbach, and Löhne); Portgual (Leiria, Vendas Novas); and Spain (Borja). In Asia it maintains sites in Shanghai, China and Yokohama, Japan.

When Key Plastics emerged from its bankruptcy reorganization on Feb. 13, 2009, it wiped $115 million in secured debt from its books and received a $20 million equity investment, with Wayzata Investment Partners becoming its controlling shareholder. The company also entered into a new $25 million credit facility, at that time. 


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