With UK automotive manufacturing continuing to expand, GKN, the global engineer, has announced significant investment of more than £12m in its Birmingham and Telford facilities to support its role as a tier-one supplier to the key automotive brands.
Nigel Stein, Chief Executive GKN plc, said: “The UK is proving itself to be a strong automotive performer with a high proportion of exports. The success of our customers and their demand for GKN technology has meant we are now investing to increase capacity. This investment will help ensure the UK automotive sector continues to grow.
“As a longstanding British company that operates in more than 35 countries, GKN has strong relationships with most of the world’s car manufacturers. What we have seen in the UK has been a strong vote of confidence by this sector, supported by the Government. We are backing their confidence with our investment which will in turn advance the overall UK engineering supply chain.”
In Erdington, Birmingham, GKN Driveline employs 650 people and supports key UK-based automotive marques: Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Bentley and Lotus. In addition the facility supplies Renault, Fiat, Volvo and Dacia and also exports to Japan, South Africa, USA, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Romania and Turkey. In addition to manufacturing, Birmingham is one of GKN Driveline’s engineering design and test facilities that, in cooperation with other global engineering centres, provide the latest product technology to our UK customers.
Nearby in Telford, Shropshire, GKN Land Systems which employs 900 people, is also investing in new manufacturing equipment for the production of structural components for the new Range Rover Sport. GKN is also enhancing its support of agriculture equipment and construction plant manufacturers, for example the JCB Fastrac tractor.
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “I warmly congratulate GKN plc on its expansion plans and the growth of its international exports. GKN’s investment reflects the competitiveness of the UK’s automotive and aerospace sectors, especially the world-class skills and productivity they demonstrate.
“With the world’s spotlight on the UK this summer, we are working hard through the British Business Embassy programme to help companies capitalise on the unique opportunity we have in 2012 to secure new trade and investment.”