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Solar company cuts US jobs, expands in Mexico

Wed, 08/11/2010 - 3:13pm
The Associated Press

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Struggling solar panel maker Energy Conversion Devices Inc. will eliminate 140 U.S. jobs as it shifts some production from Michigan to Mexico to save money.

The shake-up announced Wednesday marks the latest cost-cutting effort aimed at curbing Energy Conversion's losses, which totaled $436 million through the first nine months of its fiscal year ended in June.

Energy Conversion hopes to reverse the trends by shifting some of its assembly operations from an Auburn Hills, Mich., campus to a plant in Tijuana, Mexico. Some manufacturing will still be done in Auburn Hills, although there were be 140 fewer workers after the cutbacks. Management expects to expand the company's Tijuana payroll by hiring back an unspecified number of workers who had been laid off in previous cutbacks.

As part of a restructuring announced eight months ago, Energy Conversion dumped 400 jobs, or about 20 percent of its work force.

Energy Conversion shares fell 15 cents, or 3.2 percent, in Wednesday's extended trading after finishing the regular session at $4.68, down 52 cents.

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