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4/7/2006 4:38:00 PM
NISCO consolidating Northeast Indiana operation

Pilot News

BREMEN - The future of the Bremen Nishikawa Standard Co. (NISCO) plant won't be announced for at least a week and a half, according to Bonnie Turner, corporation spokesperson.

NISCO, a joint venture between Nishikawa Rubber Company and Cooper Standard Automotive, is a supplier of weather stripping products to the automotive market. There are currently three operations in Northeast Indiana: Bremen, Topeka and New Haven.

However, company representatives have announced the closing of its New Haven plant in Allen County. Turner said there is expansion underway at the Topeka facility, but there are no plans to expand the Bremen facility at this time.

She said she could not comment on the direct effects the New Haven closure would have on the Bremen plant yet.

“There is room for the employees in Bremen,” she said. “We will have the capacity to handle all of our business in those two facilities.”

Turner said there are about 1,200 workers currently in all three plants. “When the move is complete,” she said, “there will be a net increase in employees.”

NISCO has been in Bremen since 1989 and there are around 350 employees currently.

The company, which manufactures the weather stripping materials, is a tier-one auto supplier, Turner said. “A tier-one is a direct supplier to Ford, GM, Chrysler, the big three,” she added.

The company also supplies “transplants” - or imports - like Honda and Toyota, among many other customers. “We supply to quite a few,” she added.

NISCO plans to consolidate its operations over the next 12 to 18 months. While plans are being finalized, consolidation of much of the company's operations into the Bremen and Topeka plants is the major focus of this effort. The main goal of the company, representatives say, is to retain its employees.

“These are challenging times in the automotive business,” Mike Talaga, vice president and general manager of NISCO said in a prepared statement. “We have worked hard to keep jobs in Indiana, and we are committed to finding the best case scenario for all involved.”

Related Stories:
• Nishikawa Standard to consolidate operations, going from 3 plants to just 2
• Topeka plant will expand, add 143 jobs

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