GKN outline restructure plans

Posted on 18 Feb 2009 by The Manufacturer

GKN has added more than 550 redundancies to the 1400 it announced last month, as it focuses production on its Erdington plant and blames the continually weakening world automotive industry for its woes.

The company will spend £7 million on the Erdington facilities in Birmingham to make it a “single centre of excellence”. Additional jobs will be created there, the firm said, and the move “secures the long term sustainability secures the long term sustainability of its driveline component manufacturing capability in the UK at a difficult time.”

The result is that the company is shutting down drivelines plants in Walsall and Hamstead, also Birmingham which will result in the loss of 323 jobs. A further 150 leave its auto-structures plant in Telford while 91 go from the aerospace side of the business through the closure of lines in Burnley and Luton. These changes will be phased in by mid-2010

“The actions being announced today are regrettable but absolutely necessary to respond to the global economic downturn that is particularly affecting the automotive industry” said GKN Automotive Chief Executive, Nigel Stein.

“We are in unprecedented times and we must protect our position as a leading global automotive supplier and ensure we are in a strong position to meet our customers’ needs now and when markets recover”.