Part of the reason for creating the position is that the Greensboro, N.C.-based company is trying to send the message that its closure of three U.S. apparel-fabrics plants last year did not represent a complete exit from the apparel market. The mill, which also produces automotive and home furnishings textiles, continues to manufacture apparel fabrics in Mexico.
“Our real focus is rebuilding Guilford’s apparel business. We have made the conscious decision to exit apparel fabric manufacturing in the States. We have two plants in Mexico, we feel that’s where our future is and that’s where we can compete,” Lunsford said. “I’m not sure the market understands we still are in the apparel business.”
Lunsford, who previously served as vice president of manufacturing for apparel, reports to president and chief executive John Emrich.
Prior to joining Guilford in July, Lunsford was executive vice president of manufacturing at the former Dyersburg Corp., which has since liquidated. Before his four-year stint at Dyersburg, Lunsford worked for Dan River Inc.
The Mexican plants Guilford operates in Mexico City and Tampico produce stretch knitted fabrics.