Greenville manufacturer to close, puts 475 out of work

Published 5:49 pm Thursday, January 20, 2022

GREENVILLE (AP) — A North Carolina manufacturing plant which makes small engines for windshield wipers, electric windows and other car parts says it is shutting down, putting nearly 500 people out of a job.

DENSO Manufacturing told local economic development officials on Tuesday that layoffs at the Greenville plant will take place later this year and that it will close its doors by January 2023, news outlets reported. The move affects 475 workers, who were told on Tuesday of the impending shutdown.

Since 2019, DENSO’s parent company has been reorganizing, said Brad Hufford, vice president of business development for the Greenville-ENC Alliance. Hufford said he believes that the decision to close the plant is a result of corporate streamlining.

The company said in a statement that the closure was part of an effort to optimize its North American manufacturing operations. DENSO’s closest plant is in Statesville, 229 miles (368 km) west of Greenville.

Bridgette LaRose, manager of corporate communications for DENSO, had no additional comment on the closure.

The Japanese-owned facility opened as ASMO Greenville in 1995. In 2013, DENSO began a $50 million expansion that included an eight-year incentive agreement with Pitt County to add 200 jobs. The county paid the company more than $187,000 annually.