ST. THOMAS ONT. -- It’s not the news some families in St. Thomas and London wanted to hear after a tough year already.

St. Thomas auto parts supplier GKN Sinter Metals announced to its employees Thursday it’s shutting down the St. Thomas plant on Michigan Boulevard.

According to St. Thomas Mayor Joe Preston. The company said demand for its product is waning. He said he learned Thursday in a conversation with the plant manager that the company plans to consolidate operations at other locations.The move affects between 150 and 160 employees. 

Preston said the plant will wind down operations over the next 18 months. “Of course industries in London and St. Thomas tend to share workforces so not everyone is from St. Thomas. But it will be a fairly long time for the closure, it will take a while for it to happen, but I’m not sure that makes it any better, still knowing at the end of the day it will happen.”