Oppenweiler, Germany – ContiTech AG is planning to shut down its hose assembly plant in Oppenweiler, in central Germany by the end of March 2022, the company has announced.
Phased downsizing will start at the end of 2020 at the facility, which employs 312 people, the German parts supplier announced 19 May.
The dismantling and relocation of the lines and machines will begin in phases from the turn of 2020/21, ContiTech said.
The closure of the unit, which develops and manufactures refrigerant lines for the passenger car and commercial vehicle sectors, is part of a €150-million “margin improvement programme” announced by ContiTech in 2018.
Continental originally disclosed plans to cease production at the facility in June 2019.
Since then, the number of employees have been reduced from 340 to 312 as a result of "natural staff turnover, scheduled retirements and cutting back contract staff," the company said.
Following negotiations with employee representatives, ContiTech said it had agreed to help provide training support for 12 months to its staff “without any interim period of unemployment.”
Sales figures in Oppenweiler have “fallen continually” over the past six years, despite efforts to put the site “on a competitive and profitable footing,” ContiTech said.
Despite moves to upgrade the plant, through partial automation and process improvements, the unit has been loss-making “for many years”, said Christian Pfistner, the financial director at the site in June last year.
“That is not going to change in the future, either. This step is therefore a necessary response,” Pfistner added.
Operational since 1975, the manufacturing unit was established by Kühner and taken over by Continental at the beginning of 2000.