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Borgers to concentrate U.S. production in Norwalk

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Oct 17, 2018 at 4:00 AM


An automotive industry supplier has announced plans to end operations at its facility in Alabama and concentrate production in the United States at its Norwalk location.

Borgers Ohio Inc., headquartered in Germany, opened the plant on Industrial Parkway in 2015, its second U.S. location. The factory produces luggage compartment trims and outer wheel arch liners made for General Motors.

This week, Borgers officials revealed production in Vance, Ala. — the company’s other U.S. location — will be reduced in the coming months before the plant is closed by the middle of 2019. That will leave Norwalk as the location of Borgers’ only facility in the United States.

Below is the company’s press release about the changes:

In the future, the automotive supplier Borgers will concentrate its production in the USA at the location in Norwalk, Ohio.

The Ohio plant has the best preconditions to optimally meet the increasingly complex requirements of customers in the automotive industry. In addition to state-of-the-art production facilities, efficient plant layout that is strictly oriented to production processes and good logistical connections, the location offers above all, space for future growth. Since its opening in October 2015, the Borgers factory in Norwalk has worked so successfully that the production area had to be doubled to around 28,000 m² less than two years later.

"This rapid growth is to a large extent due to the efforts of our employees whose high motivation and commitment have made a major contribution to the success of the site," emphasizes Jochen Harmeling, president and CEO of Borgers USA. "But also beyond that it is confirmed almost every day that it was the right decision to come to Norwalk. From the very beginning, we have received a great deal of approval and support from the various businsess institutions and politicians, but also from the many people living in the city, and this has not changed.”

Since its foundation, Borgers USA has repeatedly received the "Golden Maple Business Achievement Award.”

The Norwalk Economic Development Corporation thus acknowledged the significant contribution the German company made to the economic development of the region. By setting up in Norwalk, Borgers brought urgently needed jobs to a region characterized by a high unemployment rate.

In Borger’s Vance, Ala. facility, the situation is quite different. Here, too, Borgers USA currently still produces acoustically effective components for motor vehicles. However, production at this site will be gradually reduced in the coming months before the plant is closed in the middle of next year. In recent times, production could only be maintained with the greatest difficulties and high financial losses, as employees of all levels of qualification can hardly be recruited due to the high number of companies settling in the comparatively sparsely populated region. Moreover, fluctuation is comparatively high.

Another decisive factor in the strategic decision to concentrate Borgers USA's production in Norwalk was the fact that Mercedes-Benz USA was changing models and did not place any more orders for the new vehicles with the Borgers plant in Vance.

"Since the main part of the production for Mercedes in Vance ceased in September, it is a logical consequence to concentrate our business in Norwalk now, especially as there is sufficient space there due to the expansion that was just inaugurated in July 2017,” Harmeling said. “With this 'strong' and very economically working location, we are very well positioned in the future to supply our customers from the automotive industry with high-quality products manufactured on state-of-the-art facilities."

The internationally operating and steadily growing Borgers Group, headquartered in Bocholt, Germany, has a total of 23 locations in Europe, China and the USA. In 2017 more than 7,600 employees generated sales of 902 million euros. The largest business area is the automotive division; the group also includes the tool and machine construction specialists Olbrich and R+S Technik.

Borgers has practically been an automotive supplier since its foundation in 1866, even if at that time it was still carriages equipped with padding. Today, the company develops and produces particularly lightweight trim and carrier components and insulations based on natural fibres and recycled plastics for almost all well-known car manufacturers and all vehicle types — from small convertibles to heavy trucks.

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