Stadco acquires Telford manufacturing plant

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Stadco, the UK-based international supplier of automotive body-in-white products and services, announced today (7 February) what it described as a "highly significant acquisition" of a major automotive manufacturing facility in Telford, Shropshire.

The company said the new plant would further strengthen its platform for growth, capitalising on the increase in manufacturing activity in the UK automotive sector. The acquisition will result in an additional 50 permanent jobs being created at the site with a further 30 required during the start up phase. The site was previously owned by Ogihara Europe, part of the multi-national Ogihara Corporation founded in 1994 to provide a tool making, stamping and sub assembly facility for the production of automotive parts to UK and European customers. Stadco said that like many UK automotive businesses, it had faced many challenges throughout the economic downturn in the industry in 2008-09 but after extensive restructuring had emerged as a stronger business. It had won several key pieces of new business with major car manufacturers and created 183 jobs created over the last year. The acquisition of the Telford site provided Stadco with additional capacity to meet the increase in vehicle production in the UK. Improved confidence and a more optimistic outlook for the UK automotive sector meant there was now greater demand on Stadco's output, for example from Jaguar Land Rover, which has experienced strong sales and had an exciting new vehicle model development plan. Stadco is already a key supplier in the UK for JLR, producing parts across the range of vehicles, including the Jaguar XF and XK, and Land Rover Defender, Freelander, Discovery, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport vehicles. The 18 acres Telford site will initially incorporate two large mechanical stamping lines, a fully-equipped toolroom and a further 24,000sq m of manufacturing area for future expansion. Stadco will start commissioning work in February 2011, ramping up to full production in June 2011. The stamping lines provide the capability to produce the largest panels on a vehicle, including the exterior 'A Class' skin panels in both steel and aluminium. Managing director, Dermot Sterne said: "We are very excited and optimistic about Stadco's future. After having had to react to the impact of the industry downturn, then consolidate and restructure our business, it is clear that Stadco is now well placed to take advantage of the increase in economic activity. The new facility will provide the company with a further platform needed to meet the future requirements of our customers for years to come." Telford & Wrekin Council leader Andrew Eade: "This is fantastic news for the borough and is another indication of the confidence of the business community in Telford, particularly in the automotive sector, and how we are well placed to benefit as the region moves into recovery." "The Council has worked very closely with Stadco over the past two months to help make this happen and we are right behind the company's bid for regional growth funding, which may help support further growth at this site and create more jobs in the borough."