CTS Corporation to cut more than 230 jobs in Elkhart

Published: Jun. 9, 2016 at 3:51 PM EDT
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More than a century-old automotive manufacturer is closing its doors in Elkhart. CTS Corporation will relocate its operations on Beardsley Avenue to Mexico and Asia.

The re-configuration of the company will leave more than 230 employees facing layoffs.

Despite efforts by the city to stop the decision, it doesn't seem likely CTS executives will be persuaded on this one.

Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese hoped to come up an incentive plan to keep the manufacturer in 'The City with a Heart.'

“Well it's like a hit in the stomach; we got the news less than a week ago,” said Mayor Tim Neese, (R) / Elkhart.

He met with two CTS executives in a private meeting Wednesday.

“I am certain it is going to happen. CTS was cordial, but the two individuals were very upfront with me,” said Neese.

Neese was told production will move to two sites in Asia, and one in Mexico....the reason, cited in a news release to "simplify operations."

Administrators from CTS declined my request for an interview. Instead, the company's CEO released the following statement:
"We are committed to the fair and respectful treatment of all employees throughout this difficult transition process. We believe that these changes are in the best interest of our company, our customers and our shareholders over the long term,” said Kieran O’Sullivan, CTS CEO.

The current plant will transition into a CTS Research and Development Center, supporting the company’s global operations.

“I did ask the question, could any of the individuals who could presumably lose their jobs, be considered for that particular division, but that would be primarily if not solely an engineering related department,” said Neese.

CTS production in Elkhart will be phased out by mid-2018; however, there’s still confusion among CTS employees. One woman, who declined to go on-camera, tells me the general manager planned a meeting with team members Thursday to debrief them on the situation. I have not yet heard back with what was discussed in the meeting.

An opportunity for the company to re-evaluate this plan is unlikely. Mayor Neese says it was the first question he asked CTS representatives and unfortunately they told him it was too late; the decision was already made.

For the full news release from CTS Corporation on the reconfiguration, click