Springboro company to lay off 88 people

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Springboro company to lay off 88 people

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FILE

A Springboro manufacturer of battery systems announced Wednesday it will lay off 88 workers in late July at its plant.

Robert Bosch Battery Systems, located at 50 Ovonic Way, said it will lay off the workers due to a “significant downturn in business,” according to a WARN notice sent to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The company expects some layoffs to be permanent, while other could only be temporary. The temporary layoffs would exceed six months, and employees would be recalled to work if Robert Bosch obtained additional contract or new business.

Bosch Battery Systems develops, manufactures and markets battery systems for vehicles, from hybrid vehicles to battery-powered electric vehicles. Bosch Battery Systems also offers a full range battery system – all from a single source.

Layoffs will begin July 31, and some of the associates are represented by the IUE-CWA Local 755. There are currently 122 associates at the facility, and the layoffs would leave approximately 34 associates left. Tim Wieland, spokesman for Roberty Bosch Battery Systems, said the company would not comment when asked if the facility will close.

“We do not speculate regarding future plans,” he said. “Business conditions can shift and we are working to minimize the impact.”

Springboro Mayor John Agenbroad said Bosch has laid workers off in the past and rehires them months later. He said the company had not said anything about future plans for the plant, or anything about a potential closure.

“If they intend to do that, we’ve not been notified,” he said. “Hopefully, that’s not in the cards.”

Springboro, located south of Dayton in Warren County, has a diverse portfolio of companies throughout different industries, and Agenbroad said the layoffs wouldn’t impact the city too much economically. Agenbroad said he’s mostly worried about the workers impacted, and hoped they would be rehired quickly or find new work soon.

The company was originally known as GM Ovonic. Bosch acquired the former Cobasys plant from SB LiMotive — a joint venture of German-based Bosch and Korean-based Samsung — in October 2012.

In 2006, the State Controlling Board approved a $750,000 grant for the company, then known as Cobasys, to help buy machinery and equipment for an expanded building to produce batteries for hybrid vehicles. Cobasys said it would invest $137 million in machinery and equipment and expected to create 150 jobs within three years.

SB LiMotive announced in 2010 that lithium ion batteries for the Fiat 500EV would be assembled at the plant. No new jobs were created through the new venture. Prior to that, the plant manufactured nickel metal hybrid batteries for cars.

Then in 2015, the company laid off workers — alerting Warren County officials that 74 workers from the plant would lose their jobs. At that time, they told officials the layoffs would mostly be temporary.

Operations at the plant include creating battery systems for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles, modules for systems, hardware and software for battery management systems and thermal management systems.

Local 755 representatives could not be reached for comment.

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