Plant opening reflects committment to UK – Gestamp chief

“This really is a very important commitment from Gestamp to the automotive industry" - Gestamp executive chairman Francisco Riberas

“This really is a very important commitment from Gestamp to the automotive industry" – Gestamp executive chairman Francisco Riberas

Gestamp says theopening of its new plant in the UK reflects the supplier's strong commitment to the country and its automotive sector.

The UK is currently in a state of political limbo as the government wrestles with how to secure the best deal possible ahead of Britain quitting the European Union (EU) in March next year.

That uncertainty has hit forward investment plans as business waits to see just what sort of deal – or not – London strikes with Brussels – but that has not deterred Gestamp which has set up its GBP50m (US$66m) facility in the UK's West Midlands region.

"This really is a very important commitment from Gestamp to the automotive industry here in the UK," said Gestamp executive chairman, Francisco Riberas at the inauguration of the plant, which will gradually see work transfer from its existing factory in Cannock.

"Our Group started many years ago in the North [England], but it was in 2012 we decided to invest heavily in the UK. This is a result of a very strong commitment from our customers. This is clear proof of the comeback of the UK industry.

"We are the global leader of our segment [and] we have been able to support the global needs of the OEMs. Regarding globalisation, because our produces are sensitive to logistics, we need to localise our factories very close to where our customers are.

"This West Midlands plant will support customers in the UK in the same way as we built our new plant in Slovakia to support Jaguar Land Rover in that country. We have established the basis for the long term and sustainability for years."

An investment close to GBP50m to date will upgrade the company's industrial capabilities in the region and an additional amount could be invested depending on future projects. Gestamp has opened five facilities worldwide in 2018 including the West Midlands in the UK.

Gestamp says the new plant will bring a 'completely innovative technology of hot stamping'. That includes one of the biggest hot stamping lines in the world aiming to provide a better service to customers including JLR, Nissan-Renault, Volvo, Ford, BMW, Toyota and Honda.

The factory will also manufacture aluminium parts in a transfer servo press, including battery boxes for electrical vehicles. The equipment will comprise laser cells for cutting and welding.

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