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TROY, MI-Intermet Corp. plans to close its Alexander City, AL lost-foam aluminum plant in mid-December. The company is a manufacturer of powertrain, chassis/suspension and structural components for theautomotive industry.

“We are disappointed to be taking this action, especially since the plant has had a remarkable turnaround in the last two quarters,” says Todd Heavin, vice president of the company’s light metals group. “Due mainly to the efforts of our employees, the Alexander City plant has been profitable while producing high-quality products with consistent on-time deliveries. Unfortunately, the launch problems and the subsequent financial losses at the plant late last year and early 2001 caused its two principal customers to question the long-term viability of the facility. They began a resourcingprocess that became too difficult and expensive to retract once the turnaround occurred.”

The company purchased the Alexander City Foundry from Bodine-Robinson Inc. in 1995. Currently employing 117 people, the plant expects total sales of about $40 million for 2001. Intermet employs 6,000 employees throughout North America and Europe.

The company expects to take a charge of about $0.40 per share in the fourth quarter of this year as a result of the shutdown.

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