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December 22, 2008

Auto parts maker plans temporary layoffs

Auto industry shutdowns have forced a second Brewer auto parts maker to lay off 45 employees for three to four weeks.

ZF Lemforder instituted the furloughs due to closures at General Motors and Mercedes, which slashed demand for the steering wheel components made at the plant, according to the Bangor Daily News. Friday's announcement that President Bush would pump $17.4 billion into floundering car makers GM and Chrysler was welcome news, but ZF Lemforder anticipates a lag in new orders, a spokesperson told the paper. The Brewer location, which was built in 1980 and employs 210 workers, was the first of German-based ZF Lemforder's 23 plants in North America.

The furloughs come on the heels of cutbacks at another Brewer auto parts manufacturer. Brewer Automotive Components, which employs 117 people, shut down on Dec. 19 for two weeks due to slowed consumer demand, according to the paper.

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