GF Automotive, a Corporate Group of Georg Fischer Ltd, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, will shift the bulk of its pressure casting operations from its site in Montreal, Canada to its light-metal foundry in Suzhou, China. GF Automotive will thus cease operation in the NAFTA region by July 2009. GF Automotive products for the NAFTA area will in the future be manufactured in China. The 60 employees will be gradually released as a result of this transfer. The transfer will be so organised as to avoid any supply interruption for our customers. The decision has been motivated by the sharp deterioration of economic conditions in North America in recent months and is in line with the review of all GF Automotive sites announced by Georg Fischer in November 2008. The transfer will not result in any major charge to the 2009 financial statements.
A small portion of the operations for which customers request local production will in future be carried out with local partners. The foundry in Canada produces pressure-cast light-metal components for the automotive industry and other industrial segments and generated sales of about CHF 10 million in 2008. The automotive industry accounts for about three quarters of the total.
Owing to the plant's subcritical mass as a result of the steep fall in new orders, it is no longer possible to run the Montreal facility cost-effectively. The shift of the most important operations to the modern light-metal foundry in Suzhou is yet another measure taken by Georg Fischer swiftly to adjust to the tougher economic situations and thereby cut its costs.