A Norwegian truck parts supplier said Wednesday it would close a Pickens County plant, causing nearly 100 employees to lose their jobs.
Kongsberg Automotive said market forces led to its decision to close six plants worldwide, including shifting its Easley plant operations to a new factory in Mexico. The announcement said 97 jobs are impacted by the decision. Kongsberg makes components at the Easley site for hose and tube assemblies on large trucks and buses.
“A very competitive market in the area of the Easley products has lead this plant to an uncompetitive position,” the company said in its announcement. “This means there is a strong need to become more efficient and reduce costs, which can only be achieved by relocating the Easley manufacturing operations.”
Kongsberg first came to the region in 2007 after it purchased Teleflex Automotive. In 2011, the company moved to a larger Easley facility, citing rapid growth for its products. Company officials were looking at other locations in the U.S. and Mexico before Pickens County officials recommended a site in Easley that had been operated by Confluence Watersports until it moved out earlier that year. At the time, the company pledged to create 300 jobs by 2016. However, that did not occur.
The company has already announced three other plant closures as part of its realignment. The others are part of its powertrain and chassis units in Europe.