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Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz (J.P. MOCZULSKI/J.P. Moczulski/Reuters)
Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz (J.P. MOCZULSKI/J.P. Moczulski/Reuters)

Linamar to shut British plant Add to ...

Auto parts maker Linamar Corp. plans to shut down a British parts plant in Wales and transfer production elsewhere.

Canada's second-biggest auto parts company said Wednesday it's beginning consultations with the Unite trade union on the planned closing of the British plant.

Linamar said it did a review of the money-losing plant's operations and concluded it has no viable commercial future. The move will affect 208 workers.

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Consultations between companies and unions on such shutdown proposals in the U.K. are usually for a 90-day period.

“We deeply regret the impact that this decision will have on our employees, their families and the community,” Linda Hasenfratz, Linamar's CEO, said in a release before stock markets opened.

“Linamar has pursued discussions on an ongoing basis relative to ensuring the facility was in a competitive position for the future. However, these discussions ultimately were not successful. It is our intention to start consultations immediately and we are committed to attempting to reach an arrangement that mitigates the impact of these job losses as best possible.”

Linamar bought the factory from U.S. auto parts maker Visteon in mid-2008 – the Canadian company's first foray into manufacturing in the United Kingdom.

At the time, Linamar said it planned to grow the business with new products such as camshafts, flywheels and connecting rods.

Originally built in 1960 for fridge manufacturer Prestcold, the plant was acquired by Ford in the mid-1960s before being transferred to Visteon, a major parts maker spun out from the No. 2 U.S. car maker.

The Lassco plant, (Linamar Automotive Systems Swansea Company), is located in Swansea, Wales.

Linamar makes components, modules and systems for the world's car manufacturers and power generation markets as well as Skyjack scissor-type lift work platforms for industrial customers.

The southwestern Ontario company has close to 11,000 employees in 37 manufacturing plants and other operations in Canada, the US, Mexico, Germany, Hungary, the U.K., China, Korea and Japan.

With a file from Globe and Mail staff

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