Zeledyne Confirms Plans to Sell or Close Tulsa, Okla., Auto Glass Plant
May 11, 2011

Zeledyne officials have confirmed that its Tulsa, Okla., plant could close in "sometime in the third quarter" unless a buyer for the facility is located, according to company spokesperson Della DiPietro. The news comes just a month after the company completed the sale of its Carlite aftermarket business and Nashville auto glass plant to Central Glass Co.

"The plant will close unless a sale has occurred," DiPietro told glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR™ magazine in an interview this morning.

"There have been conversations going with potential buyers for some time," she adds, though she was unable to name any potential buyers, citing "confidentiality that is associated with any sale."

DiPietro attributes the need for a closure or sale to the ongoing economic downturn. "The global economic decline impacted both the architectural and automotive glass segments, and subsequently Tulsa Plant revenues," she says.

In addition, the plant's main customer, Ford Motor Co., which also was the plant's former owner, recently terminated its contract with the Tulsa plant, according to DiPietro.

Once the plant's work with Zeledyne concludes, either as the result of a closure or sale, the company will be left with one other auto glass fabrication plant in Juarez, Mexico, and its offices in Allen Park, Mich.

DiPietro says while there are no current plans to increase capacity at the Juarez facility once the Tulsa plant's fate is determined, no definite plans have been made.

"At this point we are hoping that a sale will be possible," she says. "In terms of impact on the organization of either sale or closure, no firm plans have been made at this point."

Ford's manager of corporate and supplier communications, Todd Nissen, declined to comment, citing the confidentiality of supplier relationships.

"Supplier contracts are confidential matters," says Nissen.

Zeledyne was formed in 2008 when Tulsa-based investor Robert Price purchased the former Automotive Components Holdings (ACH) glass business and plants from Ford Motor Co. ACH had been created as a temporary business structure by Ford to hold and manage 17 plants that it acquired in October 2005 from Visteon Corp., according to information from Ford.

In 2009, Zeledyne invested $4 million in the Tulsa plant for a new cutting system, and rebuilt its T-2 float glass line there.

Less than a year later, in January 2010, the company announced it would exit the commercial glass business in light of "continuing difficulties in the economy."

Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR magazine for more information as the story develops.

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