Saint-Gobain: closure of Belgium windscreen factory due to continued European auto glass demand downswing

  Autoglass

With auto sales continuing to decline, and Europe facing the ongoing debt crisis, Saint-Gobain has announced plans to close a Belgium-based windscreen factory, impacting 263 jobs. Saint-Gobain management indicated such decisions could be imminent when the company released its latest 2012 fourth-quarter financials in late February.

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Saint-Gobain has announced plans to close a Belgium-based windscreen factory
Saint-Gobain has announced plans to close a Belgium-based windscreen factory, impacting 263 jobs, due to European auto glass business constriction. Auto sales, in fact, have continued to decline as the European market continues to deal with the ongoing debt crisis.
"The intention comes in the wake of profound deterioration of the automotive market in Europe (new car registrations down 24% in five years)," according to a company statement. "In Belgium, carmakers have recently announced the stoppage of assembly lines. The decline in car production has resulted in an additional drop in volumes for the Auvelais plant with its turnover down 60% since 2006, worsening an already seriously negative financial situation."
Though the management and staff have made ongoing efforts to adjust to the economic situation and improve manufacturing performance, their efforts have apparently been "insufficient," according to the management team.
Saint-Gobain management indicated such decisions could be imminent when the company released its latest 2012 fourth-quarter financials in late February.
Officials report 6.6% in like-for-like sales in flat glass, driven by difficult economic factors, such as contraction in this unit's main markets, including automotive, construction and solar, in Western Europe, as well as slow trading in Asia and emerging countries, lower float glass prices and increasing raw material and energy costs.
The global company rolled out cost cutting measures which represent...




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