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Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)
June 17, 2017 Saturday
BUSINESS
458 words
Auto supplier IAC to cut160 workers in Dayton
Mike Pare

A Dayton, Tenn., automotive supplier of door and instrument panels plans to lay off about 160 employees as it transfers some of its business to another plant in the Midwest.

The layoffs at the International Automotive Components plant in Dayton will hit 138 permanent employees and 22 temporary workers, said company spokesman David Ladd.

He said 428 salaried and hourly employees will remain after the cuts, which will take place between July 31 and Sept. 7.

"The plant is not closing," Ladd said in an email.

He said Mercedes and Nissan are the primary automakers who are customers of the plant at 220 IAC Drive, but the company is actively seeking new business for the facility.

Ladd added that the product cycle in the automotive sector is generally three years from the awarding of new business to production launch.

Rhea County has seen ups and downs in its manufacturing sector over the past year or so. In April, Rhea had the state's highest unemployment rate among Tennessee counties at 6.6 percent.

Just last month, a Finnish tire maker announced plans to build a $360 million plant in Dayton to expand its sales across North America.

Nokian Tyres plans to hire 400 workers to produce 4 million tires a year in the first phase of its new tire production plant and the company could add hundreds more workers in future expansions.

"With this investment, we will get the needed capacity for growth," Nokian Tyres' Chairman Petteri Walldén said in a statement.

Construction of the 830,000-square-foot plant is scheduled to begin in early 2018, and tire production is slated to start by 2020.

Earlier this year, furniture maker La-Z-Boy marked the start of work on a $16 million innovation center next to its sprawling manufacturing plant in Dayton.

The center is part of $26 million in improvements the company is undertaking at its largest facility in the United States. About 115 more employees will be added to the 1,400 people who now work for La-Z-Boy.

But Fujifilm Hunt Chemicals U.S.A. Inc. announced last year it was closing its plant in Dayton as part of a corporate streamlining of the Japanese chemical company, idling 84 employees.

That came after the announced closing of one of Dayton's biggest manufacturers, Goodman Manufacturing, with 600 employees losing their jobs.

The IAC plant has been in Dayton for about 40 years, according to the company, operating as Lear and UTA before becoming part of IAC in 2007.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.

About IAC

IAC is a global supplier of automotive interior components and systems. The company's 2016 sales were $6 billion. The company operates 77 manufacturing facilities in 18 countries. IT employs about 31,000 people around the world and is headquartered in Luxembourg.
June 17, 2017
      
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