Plastic Omnium consolidating operations in US

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Photo by Plastic Omnium SA Plastic Omnium SA's plant in Greer, South Carolina, will consolidate operations from a plant in Anderson, South Carolina.

Plastic Omnium SA, a French auto supplier of front-end modules, exterior panels and trim and fuel system components, is consolidating operations in South Carolina.

All current production at its Anderson plant will be consolidated into its 600,000-square-foot facility in Greer, company spokesman Tarick Dali said in a 5 March emailed statement to Plastics News, PNE’s US-based sister publication.

Dali called the consolidation Plastic Omnium's "largest industrial project in company history in Greer."

The Greer facility will become the flagship location for Plastic Omnium, he said, and will be the company's pilot plant for digital manufacturing and Industry 4.0 technology. The company expects the location to employ 650 people by the end of 2019.

Employees at the Anderson plant were told 28 Feb about the company's plans to transfer current production to the Greer plant at the end of June, Dali said.

"The current workforce will have the opportunity to remain with the company by transferring to Greer," Dali said.

Plastic Omnium has partnered with Anderson County officials and other workforce organisations to provide services to those not transferring to Greer. Severance packages will be provided to dislocated employees, Dali said.

According to a 22 Feb news report by the Independent Mail, 350 jobs will be eliminated as part of the consolidation to Greer. Eighty of those jobs are eligible for transfer to Greer, the report said.

Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns told the Independent Mail that 175 employees will continue working at the Anderson plant.

Dali declined to provide additional details beyond the emailed statement. Multiple requests for comment to the county administrator's office were not returned.

The Greer plant supplies large exterior painted body parts for the BMW X3, X4, X5, X6 and future models as well as parts for automakers Volvo Cars and Daimler AG, according to a 2017 news release. The plant was part of a $300m (€265m) investment by Plastic Omnium that included the construction of four new plants in the United States, creating nearly 1,000 jobs.

The construction projects are part of a global €2.5bn investment program through 2020, as Plastic Omnium positions the group as a pure automotive player.

The company's US operation, Plastic Omnium Auto Exteriors LLC in Troy, Mich., ranks No. 15 on PN's annual listing of North American injection moulders, with estimated sales of $475m (€419m) in 2017. Its fuel tank business, Plastic Omnium Auto Inergy Division is No. 4 in Plastics New's ranking of blow moulders in North America with an estimated $1.2bn (€1bn) in sales.

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