Dana Corp.'s automotive systems group of Toledo, Ohio, plans to lay off 300 hourly and salaried employees this month and another 200 in the second quarter in response to slow sales of light and heavy trucks.
The majority of the open-ended layoffs will be in North America, said Dana spokesman Gary Corrigan. He would not name the plants to be affected.
'A lot of it reflects the OE build schedule,' Corrigan said. 'DaimlerChrysler and Ford are our two largest customers. If they have any shutdowns, we feel it.'
Both automakers aggressively cut production in December and January as inventories of unsold vehicles grew.
The planned cuts follow layoffs of almost 10,000 Dana employees since last July - 3,000 of them since Jan. 1. The majority of those layoffs were in Dana's commercial-vehicle and automotive business units. Dana has about 75,000 hourly and salaried workers worldwide.
Dana's sales for the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, were $2.7 billion, down 15.6 percent from $3.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 1999. The net loss for the fourth quarter was $84 million, including one-time charges of $86 million. The company broke even in the fourth quarter of 1999 after one-time charges of $144 million.
In addition to automakers' reduced production schedules for light trucks, other factors that hurt Dana's fourth-quarter results were weakness in the U.S. heavy-truck market, a soft aftermarket and a weak euro.
For all of 2000, Dana reported sales of $12.3 billion, down 6.8 percent from $13.2 billion in 1999. Net profit for 2000, including one-time charges of $43 million, was $334 million, down 34.9 percent from $513 million in 1999, when results included one-time charges of $165 million.
'Despite the convergence of so many negative factors impacting the markets that we serve, we will not allow ourselves to accept the kind of financial results we saw this quarter,' said Dana Chairman Joe Magliochetti. 'We have taken and will continue to take decisive actions to better position the company for the challenges we are facing in the near term.'
Dana's plan includes consolidation and closure of plants and warehouses. It will also reduce capital spending, except for new product support.
The supplier is building another plant in North America and another plant outside of North America to support new business. The customer and locations of the plants were not disclosed.