PISCATAWAY, NJ-The company known best for toilets, car parts and air conditioners has announced today (Dec. 28) that it is implementing an operational consolidation and streamlining plan that will leave 1,200 people without jobs in the new year and one of its manufacturing plants’ doors closed. This quarter the company will take a pre-tax charge of approximately $82 million, but company spokespeople say this will be fully offset by the sale of its Calorex water heater business. The changes are expected to spell annual savings of $52 million, according to the company.

This October the company has announced record third quarter sales, operating margin and earnings. At the time, chairman and CEO Frederic M. Poses had commented, “Looking ahead, we’re on track to achieve our annual 15% earnings growth target as well as our sales, margin and cash flow goals.”

Now he comments in the latest announcement, “These changes will eliminate job duplications and bring our operations closer to customers, enhancing our efficiency and competitive position across all business lines.” He added that he believed the $52 million annual savings would be on an “ongoing basis.”

American Standard was created from the 1929 merger of the American Radiator Co. and the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Co. It acquired Westinghouse Air Brake Co. in 1968 and The Trane Co., a manufacturer of HVAC equipment, in 1984. After Black & Decker Co. attempted a hostile takeover in 1988, management led a buyout, making the company privately held. It resumed its publicly traded status in 1995.

Now the company and its joint ventures operate manufacturing facilities in 36 countries, with a current roster of 58,000 employees. Spokespeople for the company declined to name the specific plant to be closed.

Plumbing Products has its group headquarters at 1 Centennial Ave. here with additional offices in Belgium and Hong Kong. Automotive Products has its group headquarters in Belgium and Air Conditioning Products has its group headquarters in Tyler, TX. The executive main headquarters for the entire company is located here.

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