DETROIT -- Intermet Corp., once one of the world's largest independent makers of automotive castings, is liquidating.
The company has ceased operations at two Virginia metal-casting plants, its last remaining foundry operations, a company official said.
Operations ended late last month at the Lynchburg Foundry Co. in Lynchburg, Va., and New River Foundry in Radford, Va., said the official, who asked that his name not be used.
In August, the Fort Worth, Texas, company filed for conversion of its Chapter 11 reorganization into a Chapter 7 liquidation with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
Intermet had gone through Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004-05. This time the supplier was burning through cash at a rate of $250,000 per day, so it tried to reject contracts, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents.
That led to an administrative freeze on the payment of millions of dollars of pre-petition receivables from customers such as the Detroit 3, according to the documents.
Said one document: “The cavalier manner in which these debtors have handled ongoing negotiations will likely result in the severance of many -- if not all -- of these customer relationships, which account for well in excess of 50 percent of [Intermet's] gross annual revenue.”
Intermet's Lynchburg factory has operated for more than 100 years. It was manufacturing brake calipers and crankshafts used by the Detroit 3 and Toyota Motor Corp.
Intermet was heavily dependent on the U.S. auto market, particularly SUVs.
At least 20 suppliers tracked by Automotive News filed for bankruptcy in U.S. courts last year as North American automakers cut production by 32 percent from 2008 levels. But that figure is only a snapshot and doesn't include smaller supplier suppliers or companies that went out of business without filing for protection.
The company, with estimated sales of $823 million in 2006, ranked No. 59 on that year's Automotive News list of the 150 largest suppliers of parts to North American automakers. Intermet was not ranked in the most recent listing, based on 2008 sales.