Celgard cutting Charlotte jobs as battery demand lags

Celgard cutting Charlotte jobs as battery demand lags

Print
Email
|

by ELY PORTILLO / The Charlotte Observer

WCNC.com

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 30 at 6:40 PM

Battery-maker Celgard is cutting 40 local jobs, the company said yesterday, as demand for electric vehicles lags expectations.

Company spokeswoman Beth Kitteringham said the jobs lost come from among the company’s 700 Charlotte-region employees. Celgard has plants in Charlotte and Concord, where it makes key components for electric vehicle batteries.

“Demand for (electric drive vehicles) has not increased as quickly as our customers and their customers originally projected,” said Kitteringham via email. She said the decision was taken to align staffing with business needs. “However, the long-term trend for the market remains positive.”

It was not immediately known where the jobs being cut were located, or the nature of the jobs.

Celgard is a subsidiary of Charlotte-based high-tech manufacturer Polypore. In its most recent quarter, Polypore reported that net sales slumped 6.5 percent, to $177.6 million, and profits fell to $14.2 million. That’s down from $23.6 million in profits during the same quarter last year.

Politicians have touted Celgard as an example of a successful clean energy company. Celgard received a $49 million grant from President Obama’s stimulus program, and he made a speech at the company in 2010.

The company also received $18.6 million in state and local incentives to help expansion at its Concord plant. The company opened the 150,000-sqare-foot facility, which it said brought 250 new jobs, in July 2011.

Print
Email
|