Good news for recession-battered St. Thomas

Formet Industries, St. Thomas

Magna International (MGa.TO) said on Monday that it has won a contract to make the third generation of frames for General Motors Co’s [GM.UL] full-size light-duty pickups and sport utility vehicles.

Magna said it would not disclose the amount of the contract. It said the new frames would replace GM’s GMT 900, which is the frame for the big Chevy Suburbans, Tahoes, and Silvarados.

The frames will be built at plants owned by Magna’s Cosma unit in St. Thomas, Ontario, and Saltillo, Mexico, which currently make the GMT 900.

It’s back to work for 600 Magna employees in St. Thomas

Formet Industries, St. Thomas

Formet Industries, St. Thomas

From the Times-Journal
Six hundred workers at Formet and Presstran were back on the job Monday, returning after a three-month temporary layoff.
Magna International, which owns both St. Thomas facilities, recalled 500 employees at Formet and 100 at Presstran.
While a spokesperson was not immediately available, last month the company said the start up would coincide with the return of production at GM, big customers for both Formet and Presstran.
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Lear Corp. preparing to file for bankruptcy

Automotive parts supplier Lear Corp. (LEA-N0.48-0.02-4.00%)said yesterday that it is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has lined up financing to fund its operations while under court protection.

Lear, which makes automotive seating systems and electronics, said it is still negotiating with lenders and bondholders for additional support for its restructuring plan. In the meantime, the company said it has a commitment for $500-million in loans to finance its bankruptcy from a group of lenders, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc.

Lear operates three plants in Ontario, including seat-making operations in Whitby and St. Thomas that supply General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. respectively. A third plant in Kitchener manufactures seat components.

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Region’s auto parts plants feeling on edge by collapse

The bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler is sending shock waves through South-western Ontario’s huge auto parts industry.

And although Ford of Canada is still afloat, the company’s St. Thomas assembly plant became a casualty yesterday when it was suddenly shut down for one week. The company blamed a “parts shortage.”
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