American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings will close its Malvern, Ohio, manufacturing plant that was destroyed in a fire in Sept.
Malvern plant manager Jason Lowe said in a letter to the community on Friday that the blaze was too severe and that the structural damage to the building was irreparable, according to the local newspaper, The Repository.
"We know that this decision affects many in the community and at AAM," Lowe wrote. "We will continue to work with affected associates to identify employment opportunities within the AAM organization where available."
The Colfor Manufacturing plant caught fire Sept. 22. Reports said that presses caught fire at the plant, which employs 276 hourly and salary associates, but no injuries were reported.
It is not clear which automakers beyond General Motors relied on the driveline and drivetrain systems supplier's plant. GM accounted for 37 percent of American Axle's business last year, according to an SEC filing.
The plant generated $100 million in sales last year, The Repository reported.
The company recorded $8.6 million in net expenses related to the Malvern fire, CFO Chris May said in a call with investors on Oct. 30.
American Axle released a statement that echoed the plant manager's letter:
"In the days following this event, we were hopeful that the damage at the facility could be repaired. But the fire was too severe and the building has significant structural damage beyond repair. Unfortunately, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to close the Malvern manufacturing facility. We know that this decision affects many in the community and at AAM. We will continue to work with affected associates to identify employment opportunities within the AAM organization where available."
American Axle ranks No. 41 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide sales to automakers of $6.53 billion in 2019.