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STERLING HEIGHTS, MI-TRW Automotive plans to close its Sterling Heights factory by July 2006. The Sterling Heights facility has approximately 135 employees, and assembles ball joints and steering linkage for the automotive industry. Plans are to consolidate plant operations into other existing TRW facilities.

“We do not have the volume of business to support the manufacturing capacity of the Sterling Heights facility,” says Ron Muckley, vice president of operations for TRW’s braking and suspension business in North America. “We are making every effort to decrease excess capacity and trim costs to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.”

TRW Director of Communications Manley Ford says the plant would eventually be disposed of by TRW, though “that’s still a ways off.” The 49-year-old plant in Macomb County has been running at half its capacity. The plant employed about 1,100 workers in the 1970s and about 500 in the mid-1990s.

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