Magna closes Newmarket, Aurora plants; 850 jobs lost
Auto parts giant Magna International announced today that they are closing two plants north of Toronto, eliminating 850 jobs by next June.
Canada's largest auto parts company is shutting down two Toronto-area plants, with the loss of 850 jobs, in the latest blow to the beleaguered Ontario manufacturing economy.
Magna International Inc. (TSX: MG.A) said today it will close two plants from its Decoma body parts division. About 850 workers in Aurora and Newmarket, two bedroom communities north of Toronto, will be affected by the shutdown of Decoma's Exterion unit by next June.
At Magna, the Detroit Three restructuring has squeezed the Exterion division and many of Magna's other businesses, producing losses at the 51-year-old company, which employs more than 80,000 people around the world and is controlled by businessman Frank Stronach.
"The difficult decision to close the facility came after a careful evaluation of the facility's financial status, future business and open capacity in other facilities," the global company said in a brief statement.
"Those factors, combined with the difficult economic conditions facing the North American auto industry due to reduced domestic production and customer demands, have made the Exterion operations no longer viable."
Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton said the Magna shutdown suggests that smaller, financially weaker auto parts companies in Ontario may be near collapse and will need provincial help to survive.
"Magna is huge, it's got the size, the financial and political connections to last through some very tough times," Hampton said. ``So when Magna starts closing down parts plants, that tells you that there are a lot of small manufacturers who are at the edge of the cliff and they're not going to be around much longer.
"It's time for the McGuinty government to stop blaming Ottawa and stop blaming Washington and come up with a strategy, otherwise we're going to see the loss of tens of thousands more jobs in the auto parts sector."