German automotive supplier Benteler Automotive Corp. is laying off more than 1,000 people across its West Michigan operations.
The company expects the layoffs to affect 673 people in Grand Rapids, 185 people in Galesburg and 160 people in Holland, according to WARN notices the company filed with the state for each facility.
Benteler cited “impacts on the global supply chain related to the Coronavirus and the needs of our customers” for the temporary layoffs, which are expected to take place before April 13.
A Benteler spokesperson acknowledged an inquiry from MiBiz but did not offer comment as of press time.
Additionally, auto supplier Mann+Hummel USA Inc. also notified the state last week that it was laying off 377 workers at its plant in Portage. The company cited the “sudden and unexpected” closure of its OEM customers’ factories for the layoffs.
The move follows the shutdown of all automotive OEM manufacturing plants in reaction to the coronavirus. Detroit’s Big Three automakers began temporarily closing factories on March 18 in an effort to protect workers and curb the spread of the virus. At the time, the automakers expected plants to be closed until March 31. Ford Motor Co. announced today that it is delaying its planned restart of certain North America plants indefinitely.
The shutdown of Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles directly idled about 150,000 workers. As the crisis lingers on, it is unclear how many more people throughout the auto industry’s complex supply chain are affected.
Since the announcement to temporarily close OEM factories, auto suppliers and manufacturers in Michigan have also been instructed by the state to restrict the number of workers present in-person on the job and cease operations that are not part of the “critical infrastructure” necessary “to sustain or protect life.”