KMM corporate office cites sales, changes in the industry

CAPAC — A little more than a month ago, management and employees at Keihin Michigan Manufacturing (KMM) were hopeful that a merger with Honda and Hitachi would ensure the local plant’s future.

That sense of optimism melted away on Monday (Feb. 3), when KMM management announced during an associate meeting that the Capac plant will be shutting down in one year.

Based on information in a KMM Corporate press release dated Feb. 4, 2020, Keihin North America, Inc. intends to cease operations at the Capac facility, effective February 2021.

The press release cited “sales reductions” and “dramatic changes affecting businesses in the automotive industry” as reasons for the plant’s closing.

“Even with the strong and steadfast efforts of associates through the organization, especially those at our Michigan facility, we have not been able to expand our business as quickly as hoped, giving us no other recourse but to proceed with this unfortunate business decision.”

The press release indicated that by giving employees a year’s notice of the impending closure can provide them ample opportunity to make the transition.
Additionally, KMM Capac associates will be provided severance packages to include a “transitional” medical benefit and outplacement services.

“We hope to minimize the impact to our valuable partners,” the company stated. “With this support, we are confident we can assist our associates with this difficult transition.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of the Village of Capac and St. Clair County communities for the last 12 years.”

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.