BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (June 4) — T&WA Inc., a supplier of preassembled tire and wheel modules in which Goodyear owns a minority share, plans to close its Birmingham plant and lay off 51 employees after Honda Manufacturing of Alabama L.L.C. did not renew a supply contract.
The shutdown will occur by the end of June and is a direct result of Honda´s decision not to renew its contract with T&WA, said Byron Meyer, president of the minority-owned Louisville, Ky., supplier.
Honda had little to say about the change except that, during the past few years, it has been developing proprietary technologies for tire and wheel subassembly. Honda´s Lincoln, Ala., plant assembles the Pilot crossover and Odyssey minivan.
Picking up the Honda contract will be Gulf Shore Assemblies, a sister company of Great Lakes Assemblies L.L.C. in East Liberty, Ohio. Great Lakes and Gulf Shore Assemblies are joint ventures of Midwest Express Inc., a Honda affiliate, and TAG Holdings L.L.C.
Great Lakes, also a certified minority supplier, supplies tire and wheel assemblies for the Honda Accord, Civic and Element and the Acura TL. A new plant is under construction on the Honda campus in Lincoln, a spokesman said.
Meyer said T&WA will continue to supply Honda until the new supplier takes over in July. T&WA´s Birmingham plant, which served Honda exclusively, then will be sold, he said.
T&WA began supplying Honda in 2001. At that time, it also pre-assembled tire and wheel modules for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. in Vance, Ala. But when Mercedes asked T&WA to invest in a facility closer to Vance in time for its 2005 expansion, T&WA said it couldn´t comply.