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Autoliv consolidating inflator operations

Fewer than 100 workers will be laid off, company says

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OGDEN — Autoliv will consolidate its air bag inflator operations in Utah, moving hundreds of jobs from Ogden to Brigham City in a move that also will lead to fewer than 100 people being laid off.

The Ogden air bag inflator operations employ about 850 people, while 1,400 are employed at the Brigham City location. They are part of more than 4,500 Autoliv employees at six Utah facilities.

"Our decision to move those operations to Brigham City is that it allows us to consolidate our inflator manufacturing under one roof, which will help us optimize our current plant capacity in Brigham City, and that consolidation in turn will also result in reduced costs and greater efficiencies of Utah air bag operations," said Kathy Whitehead, Utah spokeswoman for the Sweden-based company.

"It allows us to centralize our engineering groups and gives us greater ability to focus on our air bag systems engineering rather than components-specific engineering."

The production move will begin as early as November and take six to nine months to complete.

"We don't expect layoffs for associates working on the production lines. Those production lines will be moved from Ogden to Brigham City, and we will offer those associates the opportunity to move into their same positions," Whitehead said.

"As we centralize our administrative functions, we do anticipate there will be some layoffs that will occur within some indirect job classifications, but we do expect that consolidation will affect less than 100 associates within those six facilities within Autoliv."

In addition to the air bag inflator facilities, the company has a pyrotechnic processing facility in Promontory, Box Elder County, with about 390 workers; an initiator plant in Tremonton, Box Elder County, with 500 workers; an air bag module facility in Ogden with more than 1,300 employees; and a 145-worker services parts facility in Ogden.

The Utah operations provide components for companies in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.

Autoliv has 80 facilities and more than 34,000 workers worldwide. Its 2002 sales totaled about $4.4 billion.

Contributing: The Associated Press

E-MAIL: bwallace@desnews.com