Blue Springs plant to close and move jobs to Mexico, laying off more than 150 employees

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- More than 150 people will soon be out of a job in Blue Springs.

Haldex, a company that makes brake parts, is closing its doors and shipping the jobs to Mexico.

"Nobody wants to see anybody lose their job. The mere transition, stress and strain on families, not necessarily knowing even if you've got things lined up, you still want to provide for your family in and of itself is still a traumatic experience," said Clyde McQueen with the Full Employment Council.

Haldex started shipping jobs overseas to Europe, Asia and South America last year, and the company now said to "streamline manufacturing," the remaining 154 positions at its Blue Springs plant are jobs going to Mexico.

If there's a silver lining, there's a major demand for those workers right here in the Kansas City metro.

"Any person with  certification, there's a huge demand for those skilled workers. In fact there's a huge demand for machinists.  We know companies right now in need of them," McQueen said.

Because the plant's in Missouri, any laid-off worker there is eligible for services from the Full Employment Council, including employment search help, new job training and even getting new work supplies paid for.

"By all means, we want people to stay here so we'll do our utmost to make sure we find good employment for them retained here and also employment that'll help them sustain their livelihood," McQueen said.

Several workers at Haldex told FOX4 they've been asked not to talk to media, but did indicate they'll get severance packages.

Haldex released the following statement about the changes:

"Haldex will continue to streamline the production of brake adjusters by moving the production from the United States to Mexico. The process began in 2018 when machining of brake adjusters in the US was moved to India.

"In a final step, the assembly is now being moved from the plant in Blue Springs (Missouri), USA to Mexico. Brake adjusters are Haldex's largest product and they will from now on be manufactured in China, India, Hungary, Brazil and Mexico.

"By co-locating the production of brake adjusters with the production in Mexico, Haldex’s largest production facility globally, and thereby producing more products in one facility, economies of scale are achieved. The manufacturing cost in Mexico is also significantly lower than the cost in USA.

"The cost saving is estimated at SEK 25 million on an annual basis, once the move is fully completed. A total of 154 employees are affected, of which a few will be offered new positions within Haldex's US operations. The move will start immediately and will be completed during the fourth quarter of 2020.

"During the fourth quarter of 2019, earnings will be impacted with SEK 27 million as one-off costs related to the change in production.

"Haldex has the financial target of reaching ten percent operating margin in 2022, excluding investments in new technology. During the second quarter Haldex announced closure of two of its US based Friction centers, resulting in SEK 6,5 million in annual savings and SEK 5 million in one-off costs."

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