Johnson Controls Closing Portugal Plants

Company will close two plants, affecting 225 employees in Portalegre and 650 in Nelas.

Milwaukee (AP) — Johnson Controls Inc. will close two of its three plants in Portugal by the end of next year and cut 875 jobs, the automotive interiors company announced Tuesday.

The Milwaukee-based company will close a plant in Nelas that makes seat covers and one in Portalegre that specializes in making foam.

The closures come as the company sees increasing costs in its seat cover sector, and an oversupply of both seat covers and foam, Johnson Controls said.

The company said it has slowed production of seat covers over the past few years and could not secure new business. Other company plants will absorb these plants’ current manufacturing levels in the coming months, the company said.

Johnson Control’s third plant in Portugal, one in Palmela that makes seats, will remain open.

The company will look to find jobs in its other European plants for the affected employees, approximately 225 in Portalegre and 650 in Nelas.

Portugals’ secretary of state for industry, Antonio Castro Guerra, said the government would send a letter to the company encouraging dialogue on the matter.

Johnson Controls, which also makes building control systems, has 136,000 employees in more than 125 countries.

Shares of Johnson Controls rose $1.77, or 2.6 percent, to close Tuesday at $71.19 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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