KONICA MINOLTA TO CLOSE N.C. PLANT

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KONICA MINOLTA TO CLOSE N.C. PLANT

 user 2006-01-23 at 9:50:00 am Views: 50
  • #13845

    Konica to close or sell Guilford County plant
    GREENSBORO, N.C. – Konica Minolta Manufacturing USA said it will sell or close its massive paper production plant in Guilford County by March 31, 2007.
    Nearly 260 people would be out of work if the 350,000-square-foot plant closes but company officials hope that some or all of the worker could be retained if the plant is sold to another photography company.
    “This decision was very difficult,” Bob Harris, president of Konica Minolta Manufacturing USA, said in a prepared statement. “We are, quite simply and sadly, making a product for which demand is declining swiftly.”
    Americans made about 8 billion 4-by-6-inch photos in 2004, according to the research firm InfoTrends. But, 66 percent of those were produced on ink jet printers, not the professional machines that use the kind of color photo paper Konica Minolta makes.
    “They’re not closing because they couldn’t get qualified labor,” said Dan Lynch, president of the Greensboro Economic Development Partnership. “That would be the most tragic thing that could happen, from the point of selling the community.
    “They’re selling because of the market shifting.”
    The company is negotiating to sell the plant but Harris would not identify potential buyers.
    The company has produced about 1 billion square feet of color paper a year during the past several years. During that time, employment has dropped from 340 to 258 through attrition but Harris said the company has never laid anyone off.