HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Tire cord supplier DuraFiber Technologies has put its three U.S. plants on closure notice and agreed to sell polyester yarn plants in France and Mexico, effectively putting the firm, previously called Performance Fibers, out of the tire cord business.
DuraFiber CEO Frank Papa cited increased labor, energy, transportation and raw materials costs, together with continued market pressures, as reasons for the closure notices in North and South Carolina, saying they have "strained DuraFiber's finances to a point that is no longer sustainable."
Separately, DuraFiber — known as Performance Fibers until 2014 — notified workers July 13 at plants in Salisbury and Shelby, N.C., and Winnsboro, S.C., that those facilities will be idled if a buyer is not identified by Sept. 11. Those plants employ approximately 800 workers.
The company said its decision to close the plants follows a "series of initiatives to lower production costs in response to increased competition in the textile industry, as well as a thorough review of strategic alternatives, including potential asset sales."