Magna Atreum Howell Plant Back in Business Six Days After Fire

Mar 09, 2011, 18:01 ET from Magna International

TROY, MI, March 9 /PRNewswire/ - Following a fire on March 2, 2011, at the Magna Exteriors and Interiors Atreum Howell plant in Howell, Michigan, company officials today announced that all Howell employees have been called back to work and the plant is meeting its customer parts requirements through a combination of 80 percent production at the Howell facility and 20 percent production at another Magna location being used on a temporary, emergency-need basis.

Bob Brownlee, President, Magna Exteriors and Interiors North America said: "Crews have been on-site and working around the clock to get this plant back up and running, and we now have as much of our manufacturing capacity as possible back on-line in Howell.  Between the Howell plant and the off-site location, 100% of Howell's customer requirements are being fulfilled.  With any situation like this, there are still some challenges to overcome, but we believe we are in a good position to quickly respond and manage any further issues that might arise."

Over the past weekend, a wall was constructed to divide the Howell facility into a production zone and a reconstruction zone.  On Sunday, March 6, production at Howell began on a limited basis, then resumed fully on Tuesday, March 8, just six days after the fire occurred.  With on-site coordination and expertise, equipment as well as some tooling was repaired, rewired, cleaned and restarted in order to restore the supply of parts to Magna's customers.

"Given that 40 percent of the facility sustained some level of damage and 25 percent of the production area was destroyed in the fire, executing a recovery plan in just six days was accomplished through the relentless effort, expertise, determination and coordination of many companies and people," said Tom Skudutis, Global President, Magna Exteriors and Interiors.

"Magna has many internal resources that have been deployed to help in this situation," said Don Walker, CEO, Magna International.  "In addition, the extraordinary help and support we have received from many of the external resources and services has been tremendous.  Those resources and support, combined with the help and cooperation of our customers, has been nothing short of phenomenal."

The company would like to sincerely thank the following:

Local fire departments, police and EMS; the American Red Cross and the Livingston County Transportation Complex; Michigan Works; the Magna Howell employees who continue to do whatever it takes to meet customer requirements; the Magna group office employees and Magna employees from numerous other divisions who have come to support the effort; the numerous contractors who continue to work relentlessly to reconstruct the facility; local governments and their representatives; and Magna's suppliers and customers, whose partnership and cooperation has been invaluable.

About Magna Exteriors and Interiors

Magna Exteriors and Interiors is a full service global supplier of exterior and interior systems.  We design, engineer and manufacture front and rear end fascia systems; sealing systems; exterior trim; class A composite panels; top systems; engineered glass; under hood & underbody components; structural components; sidewall and trim systems; cockpit systems; cargo management systems; overhead systems; and carpet and loadspace systems for automotive, commercial truck, consumer, and industrial markets.  We also manufacture sheet molding compound (SMC) material, EpicBlendSMC™, in multiple formulations.

About Magna International

Magna International ( is the most diversified automotive supplier in the world. We design, develop and manufacture automotive systems, assemblies, modules and components, and engineer and assemble complete vehicles, primarily for sale to original equipment manufacturers of cars and light trucks in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Our capabilities include the design, engineering, testing and manufacture of automotive interior systems; seating systems; closure systems; metal body and structural systems; vision systems; electronic systems; exterior systems; powertrain systems; roof systems; hybrid and electric vehicles/systems as well as complete vehicle engineering and assembly.

Magna has more than 96,000 employees in 256 manufacturing operations and 82 product development, engineering and sales centers in 26 countries.

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