Vehicle structural component specialist Tower Automotive plans to reduce production at its Greenville, Michigan, plant as part of a company-wide effort to improve operational performance and control costs.

In a statement, the company said it intends to move manual stamping operations and related weld assemblies from Greenville to other existing locations in Elkton, Michigan, and Kendallville, Indiana, where automation capabilities already exist. This will enable the Greenville facility to concentrate on higher-margin business in progressive stampings and complex value-added assemblies.

“The manual operations at Greenville are no longer cost effective and hinder our ability to stay competitive at this facility,” said Tom Pitser, Tower Automotive’s North American head.

Approximately 135 jobs at Greenville will be affected by the phase out of manual press operations and related assembly work, leaving about 165 posts remaining at the plant. The transfer of production to other Tower Automotive locations is expected to be complete by January 2005.