New Telford factory marks Stadco’s stunning comeback

Posted on 14 Jul 2011 by The Manufacturer

Britain’s largest independent pressings supplier to automotive OEMs has opened a new 24,000m2 manufacturing plant in Telford.

The official opening, attended by Mark Pritchard, the local Member of Parliament for The Wrekin, and automotive industry expert Professor Garel Rhys CBE, took place today (Thursday) at the 18-acre site. The company acquired the site in February.

Fifty new jobs will be created at the site, with a further 30 staff having been employed during the start-up phase.

Three pressing lines are now operating, running presses rated up to 2,000 tonnes and the spacious Telford site includes room for future expansion. Advanced manufacturing manager Paul Meeson expects the site to accommodate a further three press lines in the next few years, based on demand projections.

“We are very excited and optimistic about Stadco’s future,” said Stadco managing director Dermot Sterne. “Today’s event is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate this key milestone in Stadco’s development and, importantly, thank our colleagues for the hard work and skill required to launch this plant in record time.”

After a punishing recession, the investment suggests that parts of the UK automotive supply chain is recovering well. “The future for the automotive sector is looking increasingly positive for those automotive manufacturers who innovative, design, and produce high quality automotive parts and products,” said Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin.

Councillor Kuldip Sahota, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council and Councillor Malcolm and Mrs Christine Smith, the Mayor and Mayoress of Telford & Wrekin, also attended the ceremony.

Prof. Rhys, a renowned commentator on the global motor industry, highlighted the importance of the automotive sector contributing to skills and manufacturing in the UK.

The purchase and fit out of the Telford site marks a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Stadco, which operates five sites in the UK and has facilities in Germany, India and the US.

In 2009, the UK operation was forced to make over 400 people – about 40% of its workforce – redundant, during the capitulation of the UK car industry.

A company restructure and new business strategy which saw the company focus on larger, higher value pressings and stampings like car door panels and full sections, the termination of its electro-coating capability and big reductions to capacity at its Coventry plant saved the business from possible closure.

The company has since won new orders, new customers and rehired many of the staff made redundant in 2009.

Group turnover is expected to reach £215 million in 2011.

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Stadco supplies for a wide range of UK-manufactured automotive companies, including: Jaguar XF, Jaguar XJ, Jaguar XK, Land Rover Freelander, Land Rover Defender, Land Rover Discovery, Land Rover Range Rover, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, MINI Hatch, Ford Focus, Ford C-MAX and Ford Transit.