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Friday, May 24, 2024

GKN Automotive to close Roxboro plant, lay off 247

A London-based auto parts manufacturer plans to close its plant in Person County and lay off 247 workers, according to a filing with the N.C. Department of Commerce.

GKN Automotive said that the workers will begin losing their jobs on May 19, and that the layoffs will be completed in November.

Some workers will have the opportunity to transfer to GKN’s plant in Alamance County.

A company spokeswoman says it’s consolidating its North American half-shaft machining and assembly operations in the Alamance location.

“At the same time, we will transfer the manufacturing and assembly of our propshafts for ICE vehicles to existing facilities in Mexico, says the spokeswoman. “As a result, we have taken the difficult decision to close our Roxboro facility. Approximately half of Roxboro’s 475 employees will have the opportunity to transfer to our Alamance site and our immediate priority is to support all affected employees through this process.”

The workers are not part of a union, according to the filing.

The jobs being cut include quality engineers and manufacturing engineers, as well as assembly operators, material handlers and quality technicians.

GKN Automotive has 47 locations around the world and approximately 25,000 employees. In the 1950s, GKN made a name for itself as a supplier to Jaguar and the XK120 that won the prestigious Alpine Rally.

In 1988, it became the first international supplier to establish a joint venture in China with Shanghai GKN Driveshaft.

London-based Melrose Industries bought GKN in 2018 for $11 billion after a lengthy hostile takeover fight. Last year, Melrose spun off its GKN Automotive, powder metallurgy and hydrogen businesses, creating a new London-based company, Dowlais, that trades on the London Stock Exchange. It has a market cap of about $1.3 billion.

Chris Roush
Chris Roush
Chris Roush is executive editor of Business North Carolina. He can be reached at croush@businessnc.com.

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