Manchester, Ct.-based Lydall Inc. has announced the ramp-down of its manufacturing facilities in Hamptonville and Yadkinville, temporarily laying off more than 500 employees at those plants.

Lydall makes specialty thermal, acoustic and filtration products for the automotive industry and is Yadkin County’s third-largest private employer, with many of its workers residing in Wilkes County.

The company also has plants in Germany and France, and asked those employees to stay home due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy, according to a corporate press release.

“The decision to ramp-down production at these facilities was not made lightly,” said Sara A. Greenstein, Lydall’s president and chief executive officer. “It was driven by a sharp and immediate decrease in customer demand from the automotive industry and was necessary for the sustainability of our business.”

The press release stated that Lydall is offering support and resources to the employees affected by these actions, including guidance on receiving unemployment or other social benefits.

“Although we are dealing with an unprecedented event in terms of size, scope and scale, we are cautiously optimistic that this is a short-term crisis from which we will recover,” Greenstein added. “While we are quickly responding to the change in demand of our automotive customers, other parts of our business remain stable. Our China operations for all three business segments are seeing an increase in orders and a majority of our employees are back at work.

“To ensure adequate liquidity, we have contingency plans in place, are focused on minimizing operational expenses, strong working capital management and have drawn $20 million on our existing credit facility. We are confident that by making these tough and necessary decisions early on we are better positioned to navigate further uncertainties and business disruptions caused by COVID-19.”

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