Dana Corporation last night announced four of eight facilities it plans to close during the next two years to consolidate production, balance capacity and take advantage of lower-cost manufacturing locations.

The supplier announced preliminary plans to close eight facilities last month.

The four facilities for the axe are Dana's Syracuse, Indiana, and Cape Girardeau, Missouri, traction products facilities, and the company's Guelph and Thorold, Ontario, Canada, structural solutions plants.

The Syracuse plant employs approximately 65 people and manufactures axle components.  The facility is expected to close by 30 September, 2007.

Cape Girardeau employs approximately 200 people manufacturing axle components and should close by 30 June, 2008.

Guelph has 25 people making front and rear frame structures and is scheduled to close by 28 February next year.

Thorold has 150 staff manufacturing stampings and doors should close by 30 June, 2007.

Production from the Syracuse and Cape Girardeau facilities will be moved to Dana operations in Mexico. Closure of the Guelph plant coincides with the end of a customer programme that comprised all production volume at the facility. The majority of the production at the Thorold operation will be moved to Dana's Elizabethtown, Kentucky, structures plant.

Dana chairman and CEO Mike Burns said: "The decision to close any facility is extremely difficult and regrettable. But to become competitive and emerge from Chapter 11 [bankruptcy protection] as a viable company, it is absolutely critical that we further consolidate work across our facilities to reduce overcapacity and high operating costs."

Burns said that four additional facility closures are expected to be finalised in 2007.

Dana expects to incur charges of approximately $US26m before tax during the fourth quarter of 2006 and additional aggregate charges of approximately $19m in 2007-2009 for total charges of $45m before tax, in connection with the plant closures just announced.