Ceramic Industry News

Asahi to Cease Automotive Glass Operations at Kitakyushu Plant (posted 4/16/09)

Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. (AGC) recently announced that a meeting of its board of directors decided on April 15, 2009, to cease the automotive glass business at its Kitakyushu Plant by the end of 2009. As a result of marked decreases in automotive glass demand in Japan since last autumn, the capacity utilization of the automotive glass business of AGC has declined to about 50%.

In Japan, AGC has produced automotive glass at three plants: the Aichi Plant (Taketoyo-cho, Chita-gun, Aichi), the Sagami Plant (Aikawa-machi, Aiko-gun, Kanagawa) and the Kitakyushu Plant. Given sharp declines in domestic and overseas demand, however, AGC has decided to cease automotive glass operations at the Kitakyushu Plant by the end of 2009 to optimize its production system and bolster competitiveness. AGC will respond flexibly to changing demand under a complementary system that consists of the two domestic plants mentioned above and its production bases in Asia outside of Japan.

Approximately 170 employees are engaged in the automotive glass business at Kitakyushu Plant. These employees will primarily be transferred to other plants or made eligible for the voluntary early retirement system. Other businesses at the Kitakyushu Plant will continue without change.

AGC expects to incur extraordinary losses of approximately 5.0 billion yen (approximately $50.2 million) in the current fiscal year (ending December 2009) with the closure of the automotive glass business at the Kitakyushu Plant. Visit www.agc.co.jp/english for additional details.

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