Intermet Corp. plans to close its Radford Foundry in Radford, Va., before the end of this year. The decision came after a pre-tax loss of $1 million dollars in the first four months this year, combined with weakened sales in the past few years.
The plant, which is running at less than 50 percent capacity, uses a shell molding casting process to produce cast-metal components. This process requires higher energy, materials, and labor costs when compared with other high-volume casting technologies, according to Intermet.
The Radford Foundry supplied parts primarily for the Big 3 and major suppliers, according to an Intermet spokesperson. Intermet has seven iron foundries, three machining plants, and eight light metal casting plants in the United States. It also has three iron foundries in Europe.
Intermet officials will meet with plant employees and representatives of United Steelworkers of America Local 2969 and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 10 to discuss the closure plans.
The Radford Foundry has annual sales of about $37 million.
Intermet Corp., of Troy, Mich., makes powertrain, chassis and suspension, and structural components for the auto industry. The company ranked No. 53 on the Automotive News list of top 150 original equipment suppliers in North America, with original equipment sales of $725 million in 2002.