Updated to include the number of Zodiac employees in Rancho Cucamonga and Gainesville
Troubled supplier Zodiac Aerospace plans to shutter its Zodiac Seats California operations in Rancho Cucamonga, and spend the next nine months consolidating them with its Gainesville, Texas and Chihuahua, Mexico facilities.
“We anticipate this consolidation will take six to nine months to fully complete. This consolidation of operations is in line with Zodiac Aerospace’s focus on optimizing the global industrial footprint of the group to leverage performance for our customers,” Zodiac said in a statement provided to Runway Girl Network.
A total 315 employees currently work at the Rancho Cucamonga plant, which specializes in producing passenger seats for regional aircraft. Seats for this sector have been subject to a FAA airworthiness directive, with multiple regional operators affected by new requirements to ensure passenger safety.
Meanwhile, after grappling with long-running production problems, operations at Zodiac Seats US in Gainesville “are now fully recovered, with a continued high level of performance over the last 12 months, with an OTD ratio at 99.9% for more than a year,” stated Zodiac. “This consolidation will make the best use of our available capacity to better serve our customers.”
However, the firm admitted to RGN that while the production difficulties experienced in Gainesville have been resolved, “due to the difficulties” there has been a “decrease in order intake so there is a workforce adjustment, but it is supposed to be temporary”.
Zodiac said it is committed to aiding employees at the Rancho Cucamonga facility in finding employment, and it expects the Gainesville location workforce of 1,225 to “increase slightly” due to the consolidation.
“A comprehensive plan including workshops, interviews, coaching is in place to support our Rancho Cucamonga employees and help them transition to other facilities of the group or to others employers of the area once the operation is complete,” said the firm.
One third of Zodiac’s entire workforce is based in the United States; the company has multiple facilities in California addressing the broader aircraft interiors market. Zodiac Seats California is the only facility in California where the firm produces aircraft seats, however.
Safran signaled its intent to acquire Zodiac, though profit warnings for Zodiac in the spring saw Safran’s offer cut by 15%.
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