5 December 2005  Bekaert to close its wire manufacturing plant in Muskegon, Michigan (USA)

Today, 5 December 2005, Bekaert announced its plan to phase out operations at its manufacturing facility for advanced wire products in Muskegon (Michigan). This program will affect approximately 65 positions. Bekaert will be working closely with the workers’ representatives to review its plan and the effects on the employees. At the Muskegon facility, Bekaert produces high carbon specialty steel wires mainly used in various applications for the automotive industry.

Both the softening of the domestic automotive market and the increasing competition of low cost offshore importers are an ongoing trend in North America. Moreover, as a small manufacturing facility, the indirect – regulatory and environmental – costs of operations at the Muskegon plant have become burdensome. In view of these, Bekaert must adapt its cost structure and reposition its manufacturing facilities. 

The actions that will be implemented over the next several months anticipate that production currently being done in Muskegon will be integrated in other Bekaert facilities while other products with less added value will be dropped from Bekaert’s portfolio.  Bekaert will also strive to provide its customers with a seamless transition while pursuing its efforts to enhance service and guarantee efficient supply to its North American customers.