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Blue Springs mayor reacts to Haldex plant closure

Haldex sign
Posted at 10:54 PM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-11 00:12:40-04

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — Following the announcement from Haldex that it will close it Blue Springs production facility and lay off more than 150 workers, Mayor Carson Ross spoke to 41 Action News on Thursday about the impact of the decision.

Haldex, a Swedish-based manufacturer of brakes and suspension for vehicle, announced Tuesday that it is shifting production to Mexico.

The announcement came following decisions by Haldex to move other production units to countries like India, Brazil, and China.

With the layoffs set to begin two weeks before Christmas, Ross said the closure brings plenty of concerns and questions for employees.

“Do I not have a real Christmas celebration? Do I not buy the presents that I was going to buy?” he said. “They’ll be thinking, ‘What am I going to do to take care of my family?’”

Ross said the announcementwas unexpected and he questioned why the decision was made.

“I was totally surprised and I had no clue this was coming,” he said. “You hate to see an established company like that leave.”

Haldex said the shifting of production to Mexico would save around $25 million Sweidsh kronor, or $2.5 million U.S. dollars, per year.

Ross said the city's focus moving forward would be finding a new company to fill the 60,000 square foot facility.

“You’re right off (Interstate) 70 and you've got access to be able to go to any place in the metropolitan area,” he said. “It’s a nice-sized building for somebody to occupy.”

Haldex said the plant's closure will be complete by the end of 2020.

According to the company's statement, “a few” of the employees impacted by the Blue Springs closure would be offered new positions at other Haldex locations in the US.