Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) announced that it is realigning solar manufacturing capacity in its United Solar business among its existing facilities as part of its overall cost reduction activities. Effective in the fall of 2010, the company will shift certain final assembly operations from its Auburn Hills, Michigan campus to its Tijuana, Mexico facility. The company will continue to manufacture its proprietary solar cells at the Auburn Hills campus.
Mark Morelli, ECD’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are aggressively reducing our cost structure to operate more effectively in the highly-competitive, global solar market, and, through these actions, we will better utilize our existing capacity in Tijuana, without any additional capital costs. Our Auburn Hills campus remains an essential part of our manufacturing footprint for our solar cells. In fact, we are now retrofitting one of our Auburn Hills manufacturing lines with our next generation technology, and we expect to have this retrofitted line in commercial production in the spring of 2011."
The Auburn Hills actions will result in the elimination of approximately 140 jobs at that campus, and employees affected by these actions will receive severance and outplacement. The company also indicated that it will be adding personnel to its Tijuana facility, including rehiring personnel who had previously been terminated due to global market conditions.