European flat glass manufacturer AGC intends to close its plants in Wegberg, Germany, and Fleurus, Belgium by the end of next year.
On February 9th 2022, AGC informed its local works council of its intention to stop production activities in both its Wegberg and Fleurus sites.
Restructuring plans will entail both sites to be shutdown gradually over the next 2 years (2022-2023) with 84 dismissals at the Wegberg site and a collective redundancy at the Fleurus site.
Other staff employed by AGC Glass Germany will not be impacted.
The automotive sector is facing unprecedented pressure with potential consequences on capacity utilisation.
The profitability of the windscreen business has been affected for several years now by competition between glass manufacturers and evolving technologies.
In September 2021, AGC put initiatives in place at its Fleurus site to adapt to foreseen drops in production, but the overall situation of its automotive business in Europe has deteriorated further over the last few months.
Almost two years ago, the AGC’s difficulties in saturating its laminated glass production lines were exacerbated by the pandemic and the on-going semiconductor crisis. Even more recently, there has been a dramatic increase in energy and raw material costs.
These price increases have greatly accentuated the losses of the automotive activity, requiring rapid action to preserve AGC's sustainability in Europe. These include the stopping of unprofitable businesses and the strategic repositioning of AGC’s European production sites.
AGC believe a reorganisation is essential to the survival of the business, and plan to reduce the expected financial losses for the years 2022-2023.
The company will also try to ensure long-term survival by attracting new models in the ever more competitive environment.
A social plan, as well as the related support measures, will be negotiated with the various partners concerned for both sites.