NUMMI's looming shutdown has caused another economic domino to topple: Injex Industries Inc., an East Bay company that supplies the auto factory, will eliminate nearly 400 jobs and might close altogether.
Hayward-based Injex Industries makes plastic parts for the vehicles at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont. On April 1, that work will cease at the same time the auto plant shuts its doors.
"We've been supplying NUMMI for 25 years," said Ebi Mogharei, plant manager at Injex. "From day one, we've been there."
Injex will lay off 387 employees, according to official documents filed with state and regional labor agencies. Mogharei confirmed the number.
"The impact is devastating, not only in the Bay Area, but all over California," said George Morariu, recording secretary for United Auto Workers Local 76, which represents Injex workers.
Some industry watchers believe the auto factory's closure could imperil 40,000 to 50,000 jobs in California.
A few weeks ago, Toyota Tsushu America said it would eliminate 104 jobs in Fremont and close a facility that produced and handled recycled parts for NUMMI.
"The plant shutdown is having an economic impact on the whole region, not just at NUMMI," Morariu said.
About 4,700 NUMMI workers will lose their jobs when the auto factory closes in April.
For a quarter-century, the plant has been a joint venture between General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp.
Injex provides large plastic components used in the vehicles that have been made over the decades at the NUMMI factory. Those big plastic parts are being used in door panels, glove boxes, instrument panels, the dashboard console, and so forth.
"We hope to keep some of the plant open, but it is probable the entire factory is closing," Mogharei said of the Injex job cuts. "NUMMI was our only customer."
The Injex executive believes that government officials aren't doing enough to help workers cope with the crushing blow of losing their jobs.
"There is a lot of talk by the federal and state government about helping the automotive industry, but it's not happening fast enough, and the amount of assistance is not enough," Mogharei said. "They talk about a stimulus package and this and that, but not enough is happening."
Injex is helping its employees with job training, resume creation and job hunting, he said.
For now, though, Injex executives will primarily focus on producing high quality plastic components for the NUMMI vehicles and to find ways to drum up new customers for Injex.
"It's not easy in this economic environment to get new business," Mogharei said. "But everybody is still hopeful that some jobs could be saved."
Contact George Avalos at 925-977-8477.