Harvey Industries to permanently shut down Aiken plant
Harvey Industries is permanently shutting down its die casting plant on University Parkway. Thursday was the last day of work for 157 of the facility's more than 200 employees, according Plant Manager Johnny Johnson.
There is a possibility that the jobs of about 50 of the remaining employees could be saved, he said, if a deal can be worked out between two of Harvey Industries' customers and R.E. Phelon.
Before the remaining employees lose their jobs, some pre-existing orders must be fulfilled and the assets of the plant liquidated, Johnson said. The building where the plant is located is leased.
The loss of the plant's major customer, Chrysler Group, led to the decision to close the facility. The plant produced components for automobile transmissions for the Chrysler Group and that represented 80 to 85 percent of the facility's production, Johnson said.
In a letter to Aiken Mayor Fred Cavanaugh, dated Nov. 21, Johnson wrote: Harvey (Industries) was informed on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, at approximately 6:00 p.m., that Chrysler Group LLC ('Chrysler') was terminating all of its 'executory' purchase orders effective immediately. On Monday, November 18, 2013, Harvey reached out to Chrysler seeking clarification on Chrysler's intended actions. Chrysler confirmed the evening of November 18, 2013, that all orders would cease immediately. As Chrysler is the main customer of the plant, its actions will result in the closing of Harvey's plant.”
Johnson further wrote that “all terminated employees will be paid all earned wages and agreed-upon benefits upon termination.”
Harvey Industries' corporate offices are in Livonia, Mich. The manufacturing company specializes in aluminum castings, machining, assembly and polymer injection molding. Its products include intake manifolds, cylinder heads, valve covers and oil pans.
Besides the Aiken facility, Harvey Industries has plants in several other locations in the U.S. and Mexico.
Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since January 2013. A native of Concord, N.C., she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.