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[08 MAR 99] BUSINESS NEWS
AP Borg & Beck Sheds Another 150 Jobs

More jobs are to go at the Leamington Spa clutch and component firm of AP Borg & Beck Ltd.

High costs and a lack of competitiveness are being blamed for the loss of 150 jobs bringing the total redundancies at the company to 270 since last October. Eighty jobs had been previously lost in March 1997.

The company is now planning to try to emulate the success of its Italian counterpart AP Italia, which has increased turnover by 47% in five years and expanded its workforce by 41%.

The Automotive Products' subsidiary employs 1,600 people in Leamington Spa and it hopes it will achieve its redundancy levels through volunteers.

The company has pledged to inject 3 million into the Tachbrook Road site for new manufacturing equipment, better design and testing facilities and computing improvements.

Andrew Richardson, director and general manager said:

"We are talking to the unions about the restructuring. We have an ongoing voluntary redundancy scheme running and I am hopeful that we can absorb the latest redundancies through that scheme."

AP say they plan an initiative to significantly improve the company’s competitiveness and reverse the current low demand for their products from vehicle manufacturers.

The sister company. AP Italia, based in Ancona, also produce clutches for cars and commercial vehicles and has been successfully growing its market share through a highly productive factory, a flexible labour market and quality design and build.

Ten months ago the company combined all aspects of design and manufacture for its clutch businesses in Italy, UK, Spain and Turkey. As a consequence many ways were identified to improve performance and cut costs.

Mr Richardson said:

"There has been a decline in business at Borg & Beck because the operation has not been sufficiently competitive. While the redundancies are very regrettable, with the changes and investments and by learning from our Italian counterparts, I am confident we can return to growth."

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Alstom, Rugby’s biggest employer has announced another 45 job losses, this time at the Large Steam Turbine division in Newbold Road.

It follows on the 220 redundancies at the Large Machines plant in Mill Road, which were announced a month ago.
 

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CWN / Business / 8 Mar 99

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