Engine will rev for the last time at Mr. Gasket | NevadaAppeal.com

Engine will rev for the last time at Mr. Gasket

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Ken Taylor, front, manufacturing manager for Mr. Gasket, works in the shop on Wednesday.

A car parts manufacturer that has operated in Carson City for nearly 40 years is laying off its workforce and moving its operations to Cleveland.

Dennis Rogers, executive vice president and chief operations officer for Mr. Gasket Inc., said the consolidation was spurred by economic pressures from foreign competitors.

“The same economic pressures that caused the closure of GM & Ford factories has led to this facility’s closure,” he said Wednesday.

The Carson City plant will close Dec. 31. The privately owned company is headquartered in Cleveland.

Eric Zimmerman is one of the 73 workers losing his job. He has worked at Mr. Gasket for 30 years. Employees were told about the closure Tuesday.

“People were shocked, but I knew it was coming, I could feel it,” said the 47-year-old machinist. Zimmerman started at the plant just after high school. “I’ve been through four owners. People talk. I see this as an opening, another opportunity.”

Mr. Gasket makes automotive replacement parts for the high-performance industry at 550 Mallory Way. Some hints about the company’s uncertain future came in February, when Mr. Gasket closed its shifter manufacturing division here after selling it to a competitor for an undisclosed amount.

Zimmerman said the company is working with Nevada JobConnect to place employees. Mr. Gasket will also host a job fair for local employers.

Alma Macias, 35, would like to continue working in product assembly. She is expecting her third child – a boy – next week. Her co-worker, Pauline Diaz, 34, has worked at Mr. Gasket for eight years. They work on the distributor line.

“We worry,” Diaz said. “We’re waiting, that’s it.”

Mr. Gasket will be storing up inventory through the second quarter. At the start of the third quarter, equipment and departments will be moved to the company’s 250,000-square-foot building in Cleveland. It employs 160 there. Some Carson City employees could be transferred to the headquarters.

The company’s engineering and marketing departments will remain at a small office here.

“In July we’ll be starting the process of physically moving equipment and that’s when jobs will start to be eliminated,” Zimmerman said.

Mallory Ignition moved to Carson City in 1969. In 1998, it was acquired by Echlin Inc., which made it a division of Mr. Gasket.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.