Energy Conversion to cut 140 jobs at Auburn Hills

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Solar company Energy Conversion Devices Inc said on Wednesday it would cut about 140 jobs at its Auburn Hills, Michigan, facility and in the autumn, shift some operations to Tijuana, Mexico.

Energy Conversion makes building-integrated photovoltaics, or BIPVs, that are designed to be built into buildings in the form of shingles or windows, in contrast to the photovoltaic panels made by First Solar, Suntech and others that need to be retrofitted on roofs.

The company said it would continue to manufacture solar cells at Auburn Hills.

Last year, Energy Conversion cut about 70 jobs and announced some furloughs to bring production in line with demand. Given the glut of panels in the market, it was forced to slash utilization to as low as 25 percent in the third quarter.

The Rochester Hills, Michigan-based company has posted losses for the past year as demand for its products dropped, and analysts say BIPV companies could continue to languish this year.

Energy Conversion shares were down 3.6 percent at $5.01 in early Nasdaq trading. The stock is so far off 65 percent from an August 2009 year-high.

Reporting by Adveith Nair; Editing by Derek Caney and Maureen Bavdek