Checker Motors Corp. stopped making taxicabs over two decades ago, but the company has soldiered on as a parts manufacturer. That ride has been detoured, though, as the company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The 87-year-old Kalamazoo company filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Friday, Jan. 16.
Although Checker stopped production in 1982, the company still has 246 employees making metal stampings and welded assemblies for all of the Detroit 3. The filing makes Checker the seventh major U.S. supplier to file for bankruptcy protection in the past year, and the 54th this decade.
Escalating raw material prices and dwindling sales for their customers' products were cited as the main reasons for the filing, but another big reason was labor costs. It's reported that a deal with unionized labor couldn't be reached even after a year of negotiations.