*NEWS*KONICA MINOLTA TO CLOSE N.C. PLANT

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*NEWS*KONICA MINOLTA TO CLOSE N.C. PLANT

 user 2006-01-23 at 9:51:00 am Views: 75
  • #13848

    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.