EASLEY — Around 100 people will be out of a job soon following the announcement that Kongsberg Automotive, a manufacturing plant in Easley, will be closing up shop and relocating their South Carolina operations to Mexico.
The news came on the heels of a company announcement to stockholders in 2017 that Kongsberg was “outlining a plan for improving performance” — which, at the time, was being reported that the closures would involve plants in Europe.
In all, six manufacturing facilities for the company are being shuttered or relocated world wide, including the shop in Easley which currently employs 97 people, according to the company.
“True to this plan, KA (Kongsberg Automotive) has decided that the Easley plant in the US will be closed, and that operations at the plant will be discontinued during the first quarter of 2018,” a press release issued to stockholders and released on the company’s website read. “A very competitive market in the area of the Easley products has lead this plant to an uncompetitive [sic] position. This means there is a strong need to become more efficient and reduce costs, which can only be achieved by relocating the Easley manufacturing operations. The majority of production and equipment will be moved to a new KA facility in Mexico.”
Pickens County Council Chairman Roy Costner stated on social media that he had spoken to County Administrator Gerald Wilson on Thursday about the closure and that Wilson would be “looking into this.”
Currently, the Easley facility manufactures and supplies products for the company’s Fluid Transfer Systems (FTS) business unit, providing engineered hoses and tube assemblies for makers of commercial and industrial vehicles worldwide.