GKN, the UK's largest auto parts supplier, will close two components factories in England. The company said its Hamstead forge facility in Birmingham, central England, will close by the end of the year and a car parts factory in Walsall, near Birmingham, will shut by the middle of 2010.
The supplier also will cut 150 jobs at a plant in Telford, central England, this year. GKN Automotive CEO Nigel Stein said the decisions were regrettable but "absolutely necessary to respond to the global economic downturn that is particularly affecting the automotive industry."
The cuts are part of the 120 million pound (136 million euros) restructuring costs GKN announced on January 28.
In a trading update at the time, the company said it expected to make full year pretax profits of £150 million to £170 million for 2008, although it warned conditions in automotive markets had continued to deteriorate and job cuts and plant closures were possible.
Roger Maddison, national officer for the components industry at the UK trade union Unite, said not enough was being done to protect affecting components suppliers.
Some of the big automakers may survive but many of their suppliers would not, Maddison told Automotive News Europe.
GKN had automotive revenues of $5.5 billion in 2007, according to Automotive
News Europe's Guide to the Top 100 global suppliers.
The company employs 42,000 globally and produces sideshafts, propshafts, geared components and torque management systems.