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
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 companys
competitiveness and reverse the current low demand for their products from vehicle
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."
Alstom, Rugbys 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.