Unipart invests in UK automotive manufacturing and skills

24 January 2014 #SMMT News

Unipart Group has announced three major manufacturing developments in the Midlands including two new manufacturing facilities and a joint venture with Coventry University to create an engineering and manufacturing institute.

A new facility at the Unipart Eberspächer site will manufacture high-tech fuel system components for next generation automobiles in Europe, which will provide drivers with major improvements in fuel economy and performance.

Initially providing the parts for Ford vehicles, the new facility is set to manufacture half a million parts per year at a 25,000 sq ft brown field site as part of a £30 million investment by Unipart Group. The site has capacity to quadruple production, which would make it one of the largest manufacturers of high pressure gasoline direct injection fuel rails in the world.

Unipart Manufacturing Group (UMG) manufactures a number of products in the UK including exhaust systems and fuel systems for vehicles, heat exchange devices and parts for the rail and aerospace industry.

Unipart has also announced a second new facility at Kautex Unipart Ltd (KUL), the joint venture between Unipart and its German partner Kautex Textron Gmbh, currently produces around 640,000 fuel tanks annually for leading UK automotive manufacturers.

A recent investment in new technology, which offers customers greater levels of emission control, has enabled the company to increase production. As a result, KUL has opened a new 7,500 sq. metre facility to carry out assembly and sequencing operations.

KUL Plant General Manager Dave Pound said, “Our customer base has grown and the volumes of our major customers have grown. We’ve been able to increase our manufacturing capability to meet the needs of our customers today and to be ready for future growth, which could be as much as a million units by 2018.”

As part of Unipart’s investment in UK manufacturing, Coventry University and the Unipart Group have joined forces to develop a new Engineering and Manufacturing Institute on Unipart’s manufacturing site in Coventry.

The £32million project will see the creation of an international centre of engineering and manufacturing excellence, which will be the base for a sustained programme of innovative teaching and learning, product development and research activity.

The project, which has been awarded £7.9million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Catalyst Fund, is part of a national government initiative, which is supporting innovative programmes designed to boost the economy.

Unipart is contributing £17.9 million to the creation of the new facility with a further £5.6 million towards student scholarships and product research and development. This move establishes a new and innovative teaching environment for manufacturing engineering degree courses.

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