(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 28th April 2021) London, Uk – –
Hundreds of car parts jobs are set to be axed after a firm announced it was pulling out of the UK.
Toyoda Gosei UK has plants at Gorseinon, Swansea, and Rotherham, Yorkshire, and employs 458 people.
The company, which produces components for Toyota, Nissan, Renault and Honda, said it was responding to changes in the global sector and “significant reduction” in UK customer demand.
A formal period of consultation with employees is under way.
There are 207 people permanently employed at the Swansea site and 251 in Rotherham, the company's UK headquarters.
The Swansea site, which opened in 2011, makes moulded and painted car parts, while Rotherham manufactures rubber body sealing products and opened in 1999.
Toyoda Gosei UK (TGUK) managing director Shigenori Matsuo, said: “We understand and regret the uncertainty that this will cause for everyone at the Swansea and Rotherham sites and are doing all we can to support our employees throughout the consultation process.”
TGUK originally opened its Swansea plant with 160 workers, before the workforce became 800 strong in 2015.
Last December, the firm received £116,000 from the Welsh government's Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) to help safeguard jobs against the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokeswoman for TGUK said it was working with its parent company Toyoda Gosei to discuss the future of the UK operation.
“There isn't one factor that has resulted in the announcement today,” added the spokeswoman.
‘Out of the blue'
The company said it had previously reorganised its business in Europe, selling shares in a German subsidiary and moving some production to its main manufacturing site in Czechia.
Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, said the news had come “out of the blue” and was deeply disappointing, adding she would support the workers through “this hugely stressful time” and try to secure the plant's future.
“The timing couldn't be worse, people are struggling to cope with the consequences of the pandemic and trying to get back on their feet,” she said.
A Welsh government spokesman said it was a worrying time for the workers, adding: “We have been in contact with Toyoda Gosei about their plans to consult on the potential closure of the company's Swansea site. We will remain in contact with the company during the consultation period.”
He said any money from the ERF grant not used for the purpose stated or in line with the terms and conditions may need to be repaid in full or part.