The automotive aftermarket has been hit hard in recent years, and the latest casualty of the economic downturn is Crane Cams. According to a report by the Florida News Journal, the 56-year-old manufacturer closed its doors yesterday and laid off the majority of its employees. Any calls to Crane to follow-up on the story have been shuttled off to the company's voice-mail service, although the Florida e-paper did talk to Dennis Burgess, who declined to comment.

Ronald Dorn, a former employee, said that workers were told to expect lay-offs in the coming weeks, but there was no talk of a full-scale closure.

Crane Cams and Crane Technology Group – purveyors of some of the finest valvetrain components in the U.S. – were founded by Harvey J. Crane in 1953, became an employee-owned entity in 1979 and was sold to Mikronite Technologies in 1985. The company has endured a series of small layoffs in recent years, cutting its workforce down from 220 employees since 2006. Rick Michael, Volusia County economic development director, said that the city was working to keep Crane in the community and was shocked by the company's closing. Thanks to all who tipped in.

[Source: News-JournalOnline via FordMuscle]