Auto supply manufacturer closing in Charlotte area after opening just two years ago


A Mooresville auto supply manufacturing plant is closing just two years after opening with big plans. More than 50 people will be left without jobs.

Tristone Flowtech USA, which makes automotive battery and engine cooling products, will permanently close its plant at 208 Manufacturers Blvd. on June 29, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) filing. Production operations there ended Tuesday, according to documents filed with the N.C. Department of Commerce.

The company will lay off 51 people, according to the WARN report.

The Germany-based company’s decision to close the North Carolina plant is blamed on the coronavirus pandemic.

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“We regret the business circumstances that have made this decision necessary,” said Jon Hagan, managing director of the Mooresville plant, in a letter filed with N.C. Department of Commerce. “In support of our strategic customers’ needs following the pandemic impacts to our business, Tristone has realized the need to adjust its manufacturing operations to meet the current targets, future customer demands, and better optimize its global footprint, which results of this closure.”

Tristone is shifting existing projects to a facility in Mexico, documents show.

Company officials did not immediately respond for comment Thursday.

The auto industry supplier was awarded more than $1 million in state grant funding in 2017 to open its first U.S. manufacturing operations in Iredell County, the Observer previously reported. Tristone was expected to hire 302 employees over five years, beginning in 2019, to receive the full incentives paid out over 12 years.

The company said then it intended to invest $23 million in the Mooresville project.

No state payments have been made on this grant, N.C. Department of Commerce communications director David Rhoades told the Observer on Thursday.

“Our grant programs are closely monitored each year by both our department and the state Department of Revenue, and payments are not made unless targeted performance and compliance benchmarks are met,” Rhoades said.

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