Long-time Lebanon plant announces closure

·2 min read

Dec. 7—A plant long-based in Lebanon announced last week that it will be shutting its doors after nearly 60 years of operation.

The company, formerly known as TRW Automotive, was acquired by the global parts manufacturing company, ZF, on May 15, 2015. The Lebanon plant became part of ZF's commercial steering division.

Last Friday, the announcement was formally made to employees on all three shifts. In an email on Monday, John Wilkerson — the senior communications manager for ZF North America, Inc. — said that all of the 235 associates at the plant that manufacture commercial vehicle steering system components have been informed.

Wilkerson cited consolidation as the reason for the closure.

"ZF is continually assessing its manufacturing footprint globally, and in North America, to remain cost competitive in retaining and gaining new business in the commercial-vehicle market," Wilkerson said. "Consolidation of commercial vehicle steering systems operations continues in the region to enhance our competitive position."

Wilkerson acknowledged that it was unfortunate and said that "the difficult decision of the planned closure of the Lebanon facility needed to be made now to align with consolidation plans."

The closure does not go into effect immediately. Wilkerson said that the timing of the closure will occur by the end of the first quarter in 2022.

Wilkerson explained that the early announcement was intended to be "well ahead of the plant ending date to give employees more certainty regarding the future and allow them to prepare for new employment when the time comes."

"The company will support them in seeking new employment while the plant closes out its customer commitments," Wilkerson said.

As for lateral moves, Wilkerson said that regular communication with the other ZF sites would be maintained and that any potential job opportunities will be shared with the Lebanon employees.

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