One of two production plants operated by Czech plastic automotive components moulder BTV Plast is to close with a loss of more than 100 jobs
The shutdown of the operation in Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic is part of a consolidation plan introduced by national investment firm Benson Oak Capital which acquired the parts maker last year. Benson Oak already had two other Czech automotive parts businesses in its investment portfolio. The plant closure and resulting headcount reduction were made more urgent in the face of the current global recession has seen a drop in orders at BTV Plast from the automotive sector. The firm's owner aims to consolidate its auto parts businesses with three instead of four operating sites, Benson Oak's founder Gabriel Eichler was reported as explaining. Overall, BTV Plast has 65 injection moulding machines in its press hall ranging from 30 to 700 tonnes clamping force, including a 600 tonne two-component moulding press, from suppliers including Arburg. In June 2007, Benson Oak acquired Czech tier two plastics auto parts supplier Plastkov MR, based in Liberec. It supplied parts to vehicle builders including Renault, Skoda and Volkswagen. At the same time, the private equity firm also purchased Plastkov's sister business of Hlinsko-based ETA, a producer of small domestic appliances and plastic car components. Those moulding operations, now operating as Plastkov Automotive, have 82 injection presses, primarily Engel supplied, from 25 - 600 tonne clamping force producing a range of interior and exterior vehicle parts.