The Budd Company, a major automotive supplier, is to phase out manufacturing operations at its Philadelphia plant which makes metal stampings and assemblies such as roofs, doors, fenders, tailgates, liftgates and body side panels.

In meetings with plant management and the United Auto Workers (UAW), company officials outlined the process for the plant’s closure.

A schedule is being developed, but no specific timetable was released.

Some equipment such as tooling and presses will be dismantled and moved to Budd’s Detroit plant. The Philadelphia plant houses 10 press lines and eight assembly lines.

Budd, like most other companies in the auto industry, is facing increasing pressure from customers to cut prices.  The company, which has excess manufacturing capacity at its Detroit and Philadelphia plants, will consolidate the work in Detroit, which is closer to most of Budd’s customers.

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About 10% of the products manufactured at Philadelphia are delivered to customers in the Northeast, but most of the plant’s stampings and assemblies are shipped to the Midwest. The ultimate consolidation of work in Detroit will greatly reduce Budd’s shipping and transportation costs.

Divisional and corporate offices also are being consolidated at the company’s Troy, Michigan, location.

Approximately 600 people are employed at the Philadelphia plant. Many are long-time employees who are eligible for retirement.

The company said it intends to work closely with UAW Locals (branches) 813 and 757 to address the needs of all employees and make the transition as smooth as possible.