Friday 5 December 2014

Nifco has plans for third UK plant

Nifco UK, a north-east UK automotive components manufacturing firm, is planning to expand and double its workforce.

Nifco UK hopes to build a third plant and increase staff numbers to about 900 in the next four years.

The firm, based near Stockton, makes plastic components from door handles to cup holders, for customers including Ford, Honda Motor Manufacturing UK, JaguarLandRover and Nissan Manufacturing UK in nearby Sunderland.

The £12.8m site offers the firm, which employs more than 400 workers, more manufacturing space and a research and development centre. According to executive, this is a “first” for Nifco outside its native Japan.

Nifco describes itself as a “global functional plastic component supplier to a large network of automotive OEM’s. Established in 1967 in Tokyo, Nifco has expanded into 17 countries with more than 35 production plants and four R&D Centres.

UK executives have expressed a preference to build the third plant in the north east, but admitted that being based closer to its Midlands-based customers could sway any decision.

 “Nissan would like us to be closer to them,” observed a Nifco spokesman. “But likewise Honda, Ford and JaguarLandRover would like use to be close to them. We will make the decision that is right for the business.”

The second factory is expected to be completely full by mid to late 2016, and from there the company will continue to grow its business based on the UK’s reputation as a manufacturing “hotspot”.

The UK R&D site works on products that customers “have not even thought about yet” as the company attempts to identify customer requirements before they have even thought of them.

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