Somersworth, New Hampshire – ContiTech Mobile Fluid Systems is restructuring its plant in Somersworth, gradually winding down production of silicone hoses at the US site.
The restructuring, to March 2016, will affect 220 temporary jobs and change the focus of the site to plastics blow-moulding, said a recent ContiTech statement.
Somersworth, it explained, will concentrate on the production of blow-moulded parts for the North American automotive industry. The products are finding increasing demand in applications such as turbocharger lines.
"The production of blow-moulded parts has a great deal of growth potential,” said Shane Stradinger, managing director of ContiTech Thermopol LLC.
Over the next few months, said ContiTech, the company will release approximately 220 temporary workers and reduce the workforce to approximately 735.
The company added that the relocation of the silicone business was unlikely to result in job losses as the employees would be integrated into the plastics business.
ContiTech acquired the Thermopol plant in Somersworth in 2007, along with approximately 150 employees. The company said that it has invested approximately $15 million (€13.8 million) in the construction of the plastics site over the past five years.
Separately, ContiTech North America announced in November its plans to close down its belt-making plant in Bowmanville, Ontario by mid-2016.The closure will affect 135 employees.
The company cited “the continuing global economic downturn in mining sectors and particularly in the coal industry” as the main reason behind the decision.
The Hanover, Germany-based company said in a statement that it faced excess conveyor belt capacity throughout the North American region and worldwide and that a review of its manufacturing footprint and production capabilities had led to the decision to close the plant.