Corp. has not secured new work to replace the seating contract for the revamped '02 Windstar that it lost to Corp., says Vice Chairman Jim Vandenberghe.
He says there is still time to find a new contract.
On the decision to move assembly of second-row Windstar seating from theplant in Oakville, Ont., to Romulus, MI, Mr. Vandenberghe says there was too much product at the Canadian plant, too much clutter, and quality was an issue.
Employment levels in Oakville remain solid, he says.
As for the Peregrine plant in Windsor that Lear bought in April 1999, the supplier remains optimistic it can turn the half-empty facility around. Lear became the plant's fourth owner sinceof Canada sold the trim facility in January 1997. Lear knew it was buying a book of declining business, but says there are new orders in the works.
Lear's sales in Canada have grown from $100 million in 1985 to almost $1 billion today and the number of Canadian employees has increased fivefold from about 650 to 3,200. Windsor is Lear's largest Canadian plant.
Like most players in the auto industry, Mr. Vandenberghe is upset that Lear stock is trading at half what it was a year ago, despite sales, revenue and profits that have more than tripled since the company went public in 1994.