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Valeo to close German plant, offers staff transfer

PARIS - French auto components maker Valeo plans to close a German factory employing 470 staff under a streamlining program announced earlier this year.

Valeo said production at the parking systems and top column modules plant in Baumenheim, Bavaria would be transferred to its site at Wemding, 30 km away, and the employees concerned would be given the option of being transferred there.

Some of Wemding's production would be moved to a site at Veszprem in Hungary, meaning an overall investment of 23 million euros ($20.87 million), the company said in a statement.

The closure is part of a drive to refocus on core business units, outlined in May, designed to improve profits amid a widespread industry decline.

"This rationalisation will allow the switches and detection systems branch to improve its competitiveness and sustain its strong growth in the development of new products," Valeo said, noting the branch has sales of 815 million euros ($740 million) and employs 6,500 staff in eight contries.

Valeo said in May it was aiming to shed businesses accounting for 10 percent of turnover in order to focus on its most lucrative product lines.

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