Hitachi’s planned layoffs won’t affect China Grove plant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Susan Shinn
CHINA GROVE ó Hitachi Metals won’t be affected by Hitachi Ltd.’s planned layoffs of 7,000 employees worldwide.
Hitachi Ltd., Japan’s largest electronics maker, has announced annual losses of $7.8 billion ó its worst loss ever.
But the China Grove plant, a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., is still being affected by the economy.
Since it opened in 1990, the plant has made ceramic magnets for use in the automotive industry.
“About 90 to 94 percent of our products are for the automotive industry,” Hitachi Metals President Pat Barton said Tuesday.
The plant has already laid off five employees, and is also taking 13 days off to get inventory down to “acceptable levels,” Barton said.
“The big three are just not ordering automotive parts from our customers,” Barton said.
After the most recent layoffs, Barton said, the company employs 72 workers at its China Grove facility.
Initially, Hitachi invested $40 million in this plant, completing a $29 million expansion in 1995.