Automotive News   |   Automotive News Europe   |   Autoweek   |   Automobilwoche

Automotive News China Newsletter
Register our free newsletter, sent each Monday and Thursday

     Automakers   Suppliers   Auto Show   Comment   Car Cutaway   Newsletters   Press Releases   Register for Newsletter
  Contact Us:   Editorial   Advertising   Subscription Information   |   About Us   Media Kit
Home >> Suppliers Email this story   Print this story
Factory explosion, fire idle Chinese-owned supplier Meridian in Canada
Automotive News | 2018/10/26

For the second time in six months, an explosion and fire have idled production at a North American magnesium parts plant owned by supplier Meridian.

Emergency crews responded Monday night at one of three Meridian Lightweight Technologies factories in Strathroy, Ontario, media reports said. The magnesium diecast manufacturing plant remained closed Tuesday, and it wasnt known when production would resume, Blackburn News reported.

Meridian, headquartered in Plymouth, Mich., near Detroit, was acquired by China's Wanfeng Auto Holding Group in December 2013.

As explosions go, I suppose it was a minor explosion, but certainly enough to do some structural damage to Plant A -- the diecast plant, Greg McClinchey, chief administrative officer of the municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc, told Blackburn.

Two people were struck by falling debris and suffered minor injuries, according to Global News.

The plant was in operation. There were people working at the time. I think it was a minimal crew, McClinchey told Global News. 

Its not immediately known which automakers the Canada plant supplies. Calls placed to Meridian after hours werent immediately returned.

Another fire at Meridian's magnesium products plant in Eaton Rapids, Mich., on May 2 injured two workers and disrupted operations at five automakers, including production of Ford F-series pickups. The disruption of instrument panel components dented F-series availability for part of the summer. 

The fire also affected General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. and BMW of North America. At the time, those automakers declined to say how long output of some vehicles, including the Chrysler Pacifica, Chevrolet Express and BMW X5 and X6 were slowed.

The specialized parts that Meridian supplies make for a situation where having a backup supplier "just isn't an option," Abhay Vadhavkar, director of manufacturing, engineering and technology at the Center for Automotive Research, told Automotive News in May after the Michigan plant fire.

"They're the only supplier in North America that can supply the parts at that volume," he said.

"Unlike other stamped parts, [the F-series bolsters] are highly engineered and something no other supplier could pick up and make in a week."

The Michigan also plant had a history of safety violations, reports said. 

Besides Canada and Michigan, Meridian has manufacturing sites in China, Mexico and the U.K., its website said.

Related Stories
  • Wanfeng eyes U.S. acquisitions amid trade tensions
  •     --Published:2017/14/3
  • GM helps wheel maker Wanfeng grow
  •     --Published:2007/21/3

    Our Newsletter Editions
    Automotive News China produces two email newsletters each week. You can sort your news by the articles highlighted in each of our newsletters here.

    Select your newsletter     


    Automotive News China
    Room 1303, Building 2, Lane 99, South Hongcao Road,
    Shanghai 200233
    Telephone: 86-139-1851-5816
    Fax: 86-21-6495-0895
    Home | Help Center | About Us | Privacy Policy | RSS
    Entire contents © Crain Communications, Inc.
    Use of editorial content without permission is strictly prohibited. All Rights Reserved.