Former Ford Glass plant changing hands again

Japanese supplier has deal with Zeledyne for facility, Lebanon warehouse

A Japanese company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Nashville Glass Plant that for decades did business under the Ford brand and was sold by an affiliate of the auto giant less than three years ago.

Central Glass Co. said its deal with Zeledyne also includes the latter's Carlite aftermarket business that includes a distribution center in Lebanon. In all, the move affects more than 500 area workers.

Central Glass, which has been doing business under the Carlex brand in Vonore near Knoxville since 1991, said the two parties will now "begin the process of finalizing ancillary arrangements and satisfying closing conditions." A closing of the sale is expected "early this year."

The sale of the former Ford plant on Centennial Boulevard will end a nearly three-year relationship with Zeledyne that brought with it optimism with aggressive renovation plans. But the factory's workforce has since been cut by a third and rumors of a possible sale first surfaced almost a year ago.

Zeledyne also runs plants in Oklahoma and Juarez, Mexico. Those facilities and its Michigan headquarters employ about 800 people in all.