Accuride’s Camden wheel facility has ceased production, letting go 27 of their 29 employees.
Accuride came to Camden in 2011 when the company bought Forgitron. Accuride operated within the Steeplechase Industrial Park.
The facility is not closing down, it is currently ceasing production, according to Timothy Weir, Director of Public Affairs for Accuride. In Camden, Accuride solely manufactured forged aluminum wheels for the commercial vehicle industry in North America.
Weir and Peggy McLean, Economic Development director in Kershaw County explained the company’s action.
McLean says at the beginning of the year the company laid off a few people, which left the Camden facility with 18 hourly employees and 11 salaried employees. Now that production will cease, all 18 hourly employees were put on layoff and nine salaried employees were terminated.
“We are saddened by Accuride’s decision to cease production at their Kershaw County facility, but remain optimistic that the company will operate the facility again in the future,” McLean said. “This decision was based on market conditions and is not a reflection of local workforce issues.”
“This is not a facility closure or a WARN-notice event. It is an interim action to help Accuride conserve costs during the industry downturn,” Weir said.
Accuride has other aluminum-wheel plants in Erie, Pennsylvania and Monterrey, Mexico. The Erie plant will take over much of Camden’s remaining business for OEM customers.
“We chose to retain and mothball the Camden plant – rather than close it outright – so that we have the ability to resume operations efficiently in Camden in the future, if conditions dictate,” Weir said. “A decision to resume operations would be based on an economically viable recovery of industry volumes or Accuride’s future manufacturing strategy. We hope to operate the facility again in the future.”
McLean said those affected by the layoff are being helped by Accuride officials and the State of South Carolina to locate other employment opportunities in the Kershaw County industrial community.