DETROIT -- Engineered Plastic Products Inc. closed last month, part of a continuing contraction in the auto supply industry.
The Ypsilanti, Mich., plastics injection molder entered Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit in March. At the time, the company expected to find a new owner and continue production.
Although some companies expressed interest in buying the assets, none showed up at a June 26 auction to bid. Plastech Engineered Products Inc., of Dearborn, Mich., had been one of the interested parties.
Engineered Plastic's equipment was sold to vendors, and customers quickly began moving molds and business to competing companies.
"It's a cold reality, but the traditional suppliers to the (North American automakers) are finding there is too much capacity out there," said Tim Dumond, a director with Stout Risius Ross, a Farmington Hills, Mich., consulting group involved in the Engineered Plastic Products' case.
Engineered Plastic Products posted sales of $63 million last year and had 548 employees. It made interior trim at two sites in Michigan -- Ypsilanti and Owosso -- and in Lima, Ohio.
The company had launched an expansion at Lima in 2005 for additional business.
But the expense of that project, along with rising resin costs and lower prices for parts, ate away at the minority-owned supplier's bottom line.
Engineered Plastic was a supplier to the Chrysler group and General Motors, where it made plastic interior trim on the Pontiac G6.
Customers had built an inventory of parts before the June 26 auction and began moving business and molds to other companies within days of the decision to end production, Dumond said.
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