Without buyer, Zeledyne glass plant faces shut down
BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
5/11/11 at 3:28 AM
Zeledyne's Tulsa glass plant could be shut down this summer if the company doesn't find a buyer.
Workers at the former Ford Auto Glass plant have been informed by Zeledyne LLC that the company's lone customer will stop taking orders sometime this summer and that work will cease.
"If a buyer isn't found, employees will be laid off," said Della DiPietro, a spokeswoman for the Allen Park, Mich.-based company.
The struggling plant has about 300 employees, down from more than 500 when it was bought by local investor Robert Price in 2008.
The company is not projecting a final day of production, but Zeledyne is not actively seeking more contracts for the facility, DiPietro said.
Zeledyne ceased glass production at the plant last year and laid off more than 200 people, but more than 300 workers were kept on to cut and finish glass.
The company also has a plant in Juarez, Mexico.
The plant has been a major manufacturer in Tulsa since Ford Motor Co. opened it in 1974. Ford spun off the glass division in 2000, but the subsequent recession and decrease in automotive demand squeezed the factory out of contention.
Price bought the factory in 2008, hoping to invest about $100 million for upgrades.
As late as 2009 the company invested $4 million to build a new glass-cutting line. In 2008 it had opened a new $30 million furnace and float line.
However, Zeledyne has decided it no longer wants to remain in the glass business, DiPietro said.
The company is looking for a buyer for the 1.4 million-square-foot plant, and DiPietro said there has been some interest as the economy improves.
Original Print Headline: Zeledyne glass plant may shut down
Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380