Botetourt County’s JTELKT North America (formerly Koyo Steering Systems) is the latest victim of the depression in the automobile industry, costing the county as many as 260 jobs.
The company plans to close during the first quarter of 2010 because its plants have been operating at dramatically reduced capacity, often as low as 35 percent, according to officials.
JTEKT made adjustments recently (wage freeze, overtime reduction, layoffs, early retirement, among others), but it will begin to slow operations in October with a likely close in February. Production will move to Texas and Tennessee where some employees will be offered opportunities to move.
The company has eight plants and 2,400 employees overall in the U.S. JTEKT was formed in 2006 from the merger Koyo Seiko (operating in North America since 1958) and the machine and driveline company Toyoda Machine Works (operating in North America since 1977). Koyo Steering opened in Botetourt County in 1999.