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: Aichi Plant (Taketoyo-cho, Chita-gun, Aichi), Sagami Plant (Aikawa-machi, Aiko-gun, Kanagawa) and 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 in the current fiscal year (ending December 2009) with the closure of the automotive glass business at Kitakyushu Plant. However, AGC is not revising its earnings forecast at this point, since consolidated earnings projections for the current fiscal year (announced on February 6) have factored in extraordinary losses of 60.0 billion yen.
(Reference) Outline of Kitakyushu Plant
(1) Location: 5-1-1, Makiyama, Tobata-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka
(2) Plant Manager: Katsuo Suzuki
(3) Start of operations: 1914
(4) Number of employees: 174
(5) Product: Automotive glass