Hitachi Plant in China Grove to close in September

Published 5:29 pm Monday, July 18, 2022

CHINA GROVE — According to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice filed with the state Department of Commerce, Hitachi Metals North Carolina Ltd. will close its doors permanently on Sept. 30.

The notice, filed July 14, indicates the closing will affect 81 employees.

Companies have to file a WARN notice when there are plans to either close a facility or when massive layoffs are coming. The commerce department states “WARN notices trigger our Rapid Response team into action, providing transition support for the people impacted by the action.”

The plant, founded in 1994, has been in operation at the China Grove location for 28 years and, from information found at the corporate website, is the only plant producing the materials made there.

“Hitachi Metals North Carolina produces arc segment magnets for use in motor applications, primarily in the automotive and general purpose motor markets,” according to the Hitachi Metals America corporate site. The nearest subsidiary plant is in Conway, S.C., and manufactures a different product.

In 2011, the company announced it was adding 65 jobs, at the time doubling the workforce, and there were plans for a $60 million investment over a four-year period.

An unidentified man who answered the phone at the plant Monday said there would be no public comment on the closing; the announcement would be posted on the company website “sometime next week or the week after,” and no further details would be provided. He did confirm that the closing was announced last week and all employees are aware.