Mr. Gasket division buyout spurs layoffs for capital operations
Appeal Staff Writer
Recent layoffs at Mr. Gasket in Carson City are not an indication that the national manufacturer is scaling back its capital city operations, a top executive said Wednesday.
Andy Mazzarella, chief financial officer of Mr. Gasket Inc., headquartered in Cleveland, said the company closed one of its manufacturing divisions here because it had an excellent buyout offer.
“A company approached us and wanted to buy a product line, and we sold it,” he said. “As a result, a number of machines left the facility. There was about six people who lost their jobs, but they were mostly temps.”
Ken Taylor, manufacturing manager in Carson City, said he still has about 60 employees working under him after selling the Hurst Shifter Division, a top product in the performance-car industry.
“It’s been in the works for six to seven months,” he said about the job losses. “People were down for a couple days, but we’re back up to normal production.”
Mr. Gasket makes automotive replacement parts for the high-performance industry. About 80 people work in its 550 Mallory Way building. The privately owned company sold the shifter division for an undisclosed amount to a competitor, B&M Racing & Performance of Chatsworth, Calif., on Jan. 12.
“It was one of those offers that we can’t refuse,” Mazzarella said.
Mr. Gasket has operated in Carson City since it purchased Mallory Ignition about six years ago. The CFO said the company’s next move will be to consolidate offices and manufacturing into a smaller portion of the 125,000-square-foot building. The remaining square footage could be leased out to another business.
Mazzarella said the company’s peak business time is in the summer, when it’s likely more jobs will be added. Layoffs typically occur in the fall when business is slow.
Hurst is a leading manufacturer of performance and racing shifters for the manual and automatic transmission markets, according to B&M’s Web site. Mr. Gasket owned the brand for about 20 years.
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