Auto supply chain growth could mean more jobs

Posted on 08 Nov 2017 and read 206 times
Auto supply chain growth could mean more jobsMoves by vehicle manufacturers to buy more parts in the UK could generate thousands of additional skilled jobs in the West Midlands, the head of one of Britain’s biggest industrial employers said on a visit to Coventry.

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty House Group, said the country’s automotive supply chain had a huge opportunity to grow in the years ahead and satisfy the rising demand from UK-based car makers for components produced closer to their manufacturing bases (www.libertyhousegroup.com).

The international metals and industrials entrepreneur was speaking during a visit to formally welcome a 230-worker engine and powertrain components plant as a member of the Liberty Group, following its recent acquisition in a three-plant buy-out that secured the future of nearly 600 jobs in the Midlands and Essex.

Liberty now employs around 5,500 people in the UK, more than half of whom are involved in the automotive supply chain (and over 2,000 of them based at plants in the West Midlands).

The group is a Tier One supplier to five of the major car-makers and a Tier Two supplier to other big-name producers, as well as a brake manufacturer for Formula One.

Mr Gupta referred to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showing that, after many years of decline, the UK component content in British-made cars has risen from under 36% to 44% in the past five years.

He added that major car manufacturers have stated their desire to continue increasing the UK-made content of their vehicles, and this trend is likely to accelerate after Brexit.

His views were outlined to workers and industry representatives during a reception to inaugurate the former Amtek vehicle-components plant in Coventry as Liberty Aluminium Technologies (LAT).

He said that the Group would be spending £7.5 million to expand production and create new jobs at LAT Coventry and its sister plant in Kidderminster over the coming years, to take advantage of new market opportunities.

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