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Motor - 2001






















Honda Motor has started recruiting 300 additional workers for its Swindon car plant, in preparation for the launch of a second shift on the new £130m assembly line.

TRW is to invest £7m at its vehicle airbags and steering equipment plant at Rainton Bridge near Houghton, with the creation of 150 jobs.

Ford is planning to double the dealer network for its Aston Martin cars to 200 over the next two years.

Tomkins is to create 200 jobs at its Schraders Electronics operation in Northern Ireland over the next three years, having won a £50m contract to supply remote tyre pressure monitoring systems hardware to General Motors.

Inchcape is acquiring the remaining 51% of Eurofleet, the vehicle preparation business, for £13m, as part of a strategy to expand its fleet management and business services operation.

JL French is creating up to 100 new jobs at its automotive aluminium castings plant in Witham over the next two years, following the recent £15m investment in new production facilities.

Ford has announced plans to invest £2.5bn in its Land Rover subsidiary over the next five years, including the development of a new Discovery model that will be produced in Solihull from 2004.

Mitsubishi is planning to expand its car dealership network from 130 to 140 in 2002.

Avon Rubber is considering plans to close its car components factory in Trowbridge with the loss of up to 285 jobs, in order to relocate production to eastern Europe.

BMW has sold British Motor Heritage, the Witney-based supplier of bodies for classic British sports cars, to a management team for undisclosed terms.

Wagon has won contracts worth £400m to manufacture lightweight body shells for two new car models, which is expected to lead to the development of new factories in the West Midlands and eastern France.

Inchcape and the AA are to invest £4m in the creation of a new and used car sales joint venture early next year.

Collins & Aikman Automotive Systems is creating 42 new jobs at its vehicle carpets factory in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Sandwell Castings, the West Bromwich-based automotive castings company, has been bought out of receivership by a management team, saving 120 jobs.

Ian Anthony Group, the car dealership with BMW and Mini showrooms in Bolton, has been acquired by Williams Motor Company of Manchester for £5.4m.

NSK is creating 50 jobs in a £11m expansion at its automotive bearings plant in Peterlee, but 16 jobs will be lost through the closure of its steering column division.

Lander Carlisle has acquired the assembly department, main plant and warehouse from the receivers of Halesowen-based car components manufacturer Plastic Moulding.

Caddick has won a £1.5m contract from Perrys Motor Sales to build two car dealerships in Rotherham.

MG Rover is planning to invest £300m in the development of a new medium-sized car to be launched in 2004, as part of a £600m investment in new models over the next five years.

Lotus has sold its Coventry-based automotive engineering consultancy to HPL Prototypes of Nuneaton, and HPL will gain 35 new staff and relocate its existing workforce to the Lotus site on the Coventry Windmill Industrial Estate.

Ford is said to be considering plans to invest more than £100m at its Castle Bromwich plant to produce the new Jaguar F-type sports car, securing the future of many of the site's 2,000 jobs.

MG Rover and HBOS are forming a joint venture to acquire the car company's former financial services division from BMW for £340m.

Ryland Group is planning a £0.5m expansion at its Rybrook Jaguar car dealership in Chester, with the creation of 20 jobs.

Hyundai Motor is considering plans to set up a car manufacturing plant in Europe, prompting speculation that the LG Semicon site in Newport could be a suitable site.

Lydney Products, the Forest of Dean-based manufacturer of interiors for buses and trains, has been bought out of administration by Lydney Vehicle Systems, saving 60 jobs.

Dixon Motors is reviving plans for the development of a new Ford dealership in Bury next year, which will involve the relocation of its existing Derby Street operation and the creation of up to 100 jobs.

Ilkeston Co-op Motor Group is to create 150 new jobs having won the franchise to sell Renault and Nissan cars from its forecourts across the East Midlands, and will invest £3m in new premises.

UYT is to invest £20m at its automotive pressings plant in Coventry, with the creation of 120 jobs.

Bristol Street Stafford has submitted plans for a new Ford car showroom, health club, car wash and restaurant on its 3-acre site in Stafford, which will create up to 100 jobs.

CityFleet is to invest £1m in its Comcab taxi business in Scotland, as part of an expansion plan that will involve 250 new jobs and a call centre in Musselburgh.

Exel has won a £5m contract from Peugeot to manage the conversion of cars and commercial vehicles for the emergency services, and will set up a dedicated centre at Alconbury in Cambridgeshire.

GMF Motor Factors, the car parts supplier, is planning to create up to 100 jobs at a new head office in Ystalyfera over the next two years.

European Motor Holdings has announced plans to create a Volkswagen "superdealership" in south-west London, expand its Perodua dealer network from 36 to 50 and install car-wash centres at 30 Sainsbury and Asda supermarkets.

The Welsh Development Agency is to help Bluebird Electric Vehicles set up an electric car factory at the former BAW factory at Pontardawe, with the creation of 100 jobs.

Pendragon is to acquire Ford's 49% stake in their Stripestar joint venture of 28 car dealerships, in a deal worth £5.5m.

Sytner has acquired two car dealerships in Knutsford - Ron Stratton Land Rover and Ron Stratton Bentley - for £1.2m.

Continental Teves is planning a £18m expansion at its auto components factory in Ebbw Vale, with the creation of 116 jobs over four years.

Trico is planning to expand its windscreen wipers factory in Pontypool with the creation of 200 jobs, having secured a Regional Selective Assistance grant from the National Assembly for Wales.

Hitachi Credit has acquired Trowbridge Vehicle Rentals for £3.9m, in order to expand its Fleetlease commercial vehicle contract hire and fleet management business.

Reg Vardy has acquired the Ian Philp Mercedes-Benz dealership in Glasgow for £4m, taking its total number of dealerships to 77.

Mercedes and McLaren are said to be planning to build a new supercar at a 40,000 sq ft factory in Portsmouth.

The Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency is to invest £57m upgrading facilities at the 15 MOT test centres in Northern Ireland over the next two years.

Ryland Group has sold its Renault dealerships in Warwick, Rugby and Coventry to Sutton Park Motor for £1.6m.

Reg Vardy, the car dealer, is planning to set up a new call centre with 40 staff next summer, which will replace the current customer care department at its Tyne & Wear head office.

CD Bramall has acquired Tyne Tees Commercial Vehicles, which includes DAF and LDV dealerships in Newcastle, Darlington and Middlesbrough, for £1.5m.

Ford is planning to invest more than £3bn in the expansion of its Jaguar range, which will involve an overhaul of its UK plants and the introduction of aluminium-body assembly over the next three years.

Nidd Vale Group has acquired Cragside Motors, the Harrogate-based Mercedes-Benz dealership, from Hanro for undisclosed terms.

Nissan is seeking 300 temporary workers to start next month at its Sunderland plant, in order to gear up for production of the new Primera model.

BMW is to recruit an additional 500 workers at its Mini plant in Oxford, in order to set up a new weekend shift.

FMG Group, the vehicle management company, is moving to larger offices in Huddersfield later this year, with the creation of up to 20 new jobs.

Inchcape has acquired Bates Motor Group, the operator of 10 BMW, Audi and VW dealerships in the south east, for £22m.

Vauxhall and Ryder are starting work on the construction of a car components warehouse at Ellesmere Port to supply parts for the new Vauxhall Vectra, which will create 350 jobs.

British Telecom is considering plans to open up its BT Fleet Partners garage network to offer servicing and fleet management to other companies, and is seeking a partner to help with vehicle sourcing and disposals.

The Welsh Development Agency is helping UK Euro Developments find a suitable headquarters in Swansea to develop a new filter device that reduces pollution levels from car exhausts, and a manufacturing base may also be set up.

Pendragon, the car dealership, is to expand its headquarters at the Sherwood Business Park in Annesley with the creation of up to 160 jobs over the next few years.

MG Rover and St Modwen are discussing plans for the redevelopment of a 50-acre site at the Longbridge car plant.

Ford has announced plans to invest up to $2bn in the development of five new Land Rover models, as part of a strategy to increase its share of the North American market over the next six years.

Harley-Davidson of the US is planning to expand its European network of 375 dealerships to more than 450, in an attempt to double its share of the motorcycle market.

Inchcape is planning to spend an additional £60m on the expansion of its automotive retail business, and may also invest £100m in its motor services business.

Startin is planning to invest £1m in a new Peugeot dealership in Redditch, and is currently negotiating the freehold purchase of the Regal Garage site.

Calsonic International is to invest £15m in new machinery and other improvements at its car radiators factory in Llanelli.

Centrica has acquired 129 Halfords garages from Boots for £5.7m, and will invest £10m in the sites in order to expand the range of motoring services offered by its AA division.

TRW is to invest £17m at its automotive electronics factory in Birmingham over the nest two years, creating 150 jobs.

Shalibane's automotive products division has been bought out of receivership by a management buy-in team for about £2m, saving more than 130 jobs at factories in Coventry and Camberley.

The Welsh Development Agency is in discussions with an unnamed company, thought to be Rally Sport Development, about setting up a motor sports component-manufacturing plant in Llandrindod Wells, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Ford is to create 150 new jobs at its Land Rover subsidiary in Solihull, in order to increase production of the Freelander model.

Carcraft is to set up a car supermarket in Wednesbury with the creation of about 200 jobs.

Ford has outlined plans for a £355m five-year investment programme at Dagenham, which will create 500 jobs and transform the site into a global centre for diesel engineering.

Ford's Land Rover division is planning to set up a £0.5m off-road demonstration centre next to the Bluewater shopping centre in Dartford, the first of a network of sites around the country.

EasyRentaCar has raised £26m from Bank of Scotland and NBGI Private Equity to expand its European network of car hire outlets from 14 to 19 cities over the next 12 months, reaching 60 sites by 2005.

Tom Gallagher Group is planning to set up a new van sales supercentre, and is seeking a suitable site between Swindon and the M4.

Bertrandt UK is looking to recruit about 25 graduate engineers and designers at its Warwickshire-based automotive engineering business.

Ilkeston Co-op Group Motor Group is setting up a new headquarters at a former police station in Ilkeston, where it will create 15 jobs.

Reg Vardy has earmarked £50m to expand its chain of car dealerships by 33% to 100 within two years.

Dixon Motors has bought the Eastgate Motor Renault dealership in Lincoln, and will relocate the business to a new £5m site in Tritton Road in October.

Sytner is in negotiations to relocate its Nottingham car dealership and 100 staff to the Lenton site of the Macpherson textile machinery company.

Britax, the manufacturer of child safety seats and other vehicle and aircraft components, is to undergo a £441m management buy-out backed by Royal Bank Private Equity.

MG Rover is considering plans to recruit a further 100 production employees at its Longbridge plant.

Auto Trail is to build a new factory in Grimsby to manufacture luxury motor homes, which will involve the transfer of 90 jobs from Immingham and the creation of at least 40 new jobs.

William Jacks has acquired the assets of Hapstead Engineering, the Sussex-based Volvo Car dealer, for £0.4m.

MG Rover is considering plans to set up a car assembly plant in the Sistan Baluchestan province of Iran.

British Industrial Graphics, the Witney-based manufacturer of decorative metal trim for the motor industry, has been bought out of receivership by GSM Group of Yorkshire, saving 52 jobs.

Arvin Replacement Products is planning to expand its exhausts factory in Cheadle with the creation of 50 new jobs.

Ford has awarded a £10m contract to Vanbots of Canada to build a Jaguar engine plant at its site in Bridgend.

Metrocab is being bought out of receivership by a new company called Kamkorp Europe for undisclosed terms, which should secure the future of the taxi cab factory in Tamworth and two dealerships in Manchester and Kilburn.

Maier UK is planning to create a further 100 jobs at its new automotive trimming components plant at Chasewater Heaths in Staffordshire.

MG Rover is to acquire Qvale Automotive, the Italian sports car company with 70 staff, for undisclosed terms.

Presswork Partnerships has acquired KAB Pressings of Wolverhampton from holding company Ricor, to create a combined car parts business with turnover of £10m and a workforce of more than 100.

Wilson Bowden has awarded a £20m contract to Galliford to build three car warehouses at Honda's South Marston plant in Swindon.

Omnia Driving is seeking funding from Advantage West Midlands to develop a £2m haulage industry training centre in Burton, which would help to ease the shortage of qualified lorry drivers in the UK.

Lexus Cardiff is to relocate its Cardiff car dealership to a new £1.5m site in Hadfield Road in October.

Rochford District Council is considering plans from Essex Ford for the development of a multi-million business park in Cherry Orchard Way, which would include six multi-franchise car showrooms and various complementary businesses.

Cleave Motor Salvage is relocating its Gloucester-based motor salvage and recycling business to a larger site in Empire Way this month, with the creation of 10 new jobs.

Prentice Motors has bought Causeway House in Belfast city centre for £6.6m, and will refurbish the 64,000 sq ft of floor space to provide office accommodation and an extensive retail area.

Wagon is considering plans to build an aluminium car parts factory in the West Midlands, with the creation of hundreds of jobs.

Toad has acquired SC Hill, the manufacturer of Datatool motorcycle alarms, for up to £3m.

BMW has won planning permission from Chichester District Council for the construction of a £60m Rolls-Royce factory, which could create more than 400 jobs.

Prodrive is to acquire Tickford for undisclosed terms, in order to create an enlarged automotive design business with 500 staff and turnover of more than £100m.

Finelist's receivers have sold the Sheffield-based LSUK car parts and service business, which has 900 staff, to management for undisclosed terms.

The RAC is planning to set up a motoring call centre at Cussons House in Cheadle, which will eventually house up to 350 staff.

Lex Service has launched a nationwide recruitment drive for its recently-acquired Auto Windscreens business, and is looking for at least 100 extra mobile fitters.

Thrifty Car Rental is planning to expand its nationwide network from 75 locations to 100 over the next three years, and parent company Flightform is also looking to develop its other franchise brand - Vehicle Rental Services.

Rotary Group is forming a £57m joint venture with Maha of Germany to refurbish test facilities at 15 MOT centres around the country.

Ricardo is looking to recruit 30 graduates at its automotive engineering business in Sussex and Warwickshire.

CD Bramall is to buy four Ford dealerships in the Bedford and Milton Keynes area from Polar Motor Company for £1.5m.

Finelist has sold Autela and Edmunds Walker to Bulldog Express for about £2m, which will create an enlarged car parts distribution group with 350 staff.

Associated British Ports is to start work on the development of a £3m multi-deck car terminal at Southampton Docks, in partnership with leading vehicle shippers Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

Gilbran is to set up a new 10,000 sq ft car dealership for Clarks Honda in Halesowen.

Alumasc has sold Crosland, the supplier of metal pressings to the automotive industry, to a management buy-in team for £1m.

Zytek is planning to set up a research headquarters for its electric vehicle division at the Centrum 100 Business Park in Burton, with the creation of 40 jobs.

Pendragon has acquired Hornburg, the Los Angeles-based Jaguar and Land Rover dealership, for £9m.

Marshall Specialist Vehicles is planning to sell its Cambridge-based bus manufacturing division to Horizant of Slovakia.

Specialist Sports Cars is planning to expand production at its self-assembly car plant in Llanidloes from 20 to 50 cars a year, with the creation of about 18 jobs.

Goodyear is planning to relocate up to 200 staff from Wolverhampton to a new administration centre in Birmingham, probably located at the Fort Dunlop site.

Carmarthenshire County Council is to consider plans for the £18m development of a motor sports centre and a horse racing course on Pembrey Peninsula, which could lead to the creation of 600 jobs.

Ferraris Piston Service, the Finelist-owned distributor of vehicle components, has been bought out of receivership by a management team backed by ABN Amro Capital for £13m.

BMW is preparing to recruit an additional 1,800 workers to produce the new Mini at the former Rover plant in Oxford.

Lex Service has acquired Auto Windscreens for £122m, which will add a fleet of 800 vans to its RAC roadside recovery business.

Autologic is to acquire the Axial car distribution business from Tibbett & Britten for £74m, and has also confirmed plans to buy a stake in Cat, the Renault logistics division.

Yes Car Credit, the supplier of motor finance to people with low credit ratings, has secured £128m in financing from Royal Bank of Scotland to expand its network of branches from 12 to 20.

TMD Friction is planning to create 100 new jobs at its car brake pads factory in Hartlepool.

Birmingham International Airport has become the country's first airport to open a car showroom, and it will be operated by Saab of Great Britain.

Northgate is to relocate its East Midlands Vehicle Hire business and 55 staff to larger premises at Alfreton Road in Derby over the next few months.

Lookers has announced plans to invest £20m in new car showrooms in Oldham, Chester and Liverpool with the creation of 200 jobs.

Montupet, the Dunmurry-based car components company, is to invest £6m in the development and manufacture of a new 16-valve engine cylinder head for Ford, with the creation of 100 jobs.

Cleveland Citroen, the Grimsby Citroen dealership, has been bought by the Barker Motor Group of Malton and will undergo a £3m investment programme with the creation of more than 20 jobs.

Infast is creating 50 jobs at a new £1.8m factory in Speke, in order to supply fastenings to the Jaguar Halewood car plant.

HTA Industries has been acquired by Contex, the US automotive components company, for £5m, which is expected to lead to 84 new jobs at its Antrim factory.

Ilkeston Co-op Motor Group has bought the former DC Cook motor village in Derby, and plans to refurbish the premises and add three further franchises.

EMTEC, the technical support company for the motor industry, is expanding its Ruddington Fields site near Nottingham, which will involve a new body repair and paint facility and the creation of 30 jobs.

TRB is creating 50 new jobs at its automotive switches factory in St Asaph, with vacancies in engineering, production and administration.

The Welsh Development Agency has allocated £1m of funding for the development of the Auto Technium motor sport innovation centre at Pembrey, which could create hundreds of jobs.

Northgate has opened a new Mercia Vehicle Hire depot at the Grovelands Industrial Estate in Coventry, and expects to create about 20 jobs at the site over the next two years.

JL French is looking to recruit up to 30 people at its new foundry in Witham, which will manufacture diecast components for the motor industry.

Trafficmaster is to acquire Teletrac, the California-based telematics company, for £21m, in order to expand its traffic information and vehicle tracking services in the US.

Lex Service is planning to invest up to £250m in motoring-related services, including the RAC breakdown service, the BSM driving school and Lex Autocentres.

Tuberex Exhaust Systems, the car exhaust manufacturer that was previously part of Finelist, has been bought out of receivership by a management team, securing 150 jobs.

Webgrove Holdings has bought Excel Timbalex, the manufacturer of moulded automotive components, out of administration for undisclosed terms, saving 250 jobs in Didcot and Bicester.

Excel Polymer Components, the car parts company, has been bought out of receivership by Precision Varionics International of Swindon, saving 70 jobs in Paignton.

Vauxhall has confirmed plans to invest £200m at Ellesmere Port to build the new Vectra model, securing the future of 700 jobs.

Mitsui is to create 100 new jobs at its motor components factory in Capel Hendre this year.

Walter C Brigg is planning to relocate its Vauxhall dealership and 30 jobs from Cowling in Yorkshire to the new Crossings Business Park in Cross Hills.

Ford is planning to invest £236m at its Bridgend plant to produce engines for Jaguar and its other premium brands, with the creation of 600 jobs.

Lookers is planning to relocate its Vauxhall car dealership in Chester to a new site on Sealand Road in November.

European Aviation Group is planning to acquire Minardi, the Italian Formula One motor racing team, for about £11m.

Malvern Tyres, the Midlands distributor and fitter of car tyres and accessories, has undergone a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.

Huco Lightronic is planning a £3m expansion at its automotive lighting components factory in Limavady, which will create 25 new jobs.

Nissan has announced plans to build the new Micra model at its Sunderland plant, in a £230m investment that will create several hundred jobs and increase output from 330,000 cars a year to 500,000.

Volkswagen is considering plans to further expand production of Bentley luxury cars in Crewe, on top of previously-announced plans to invest £600m to increase output from 2,000 to 9,000 vehicles a year.

HPI, the vehicle information company, has been acquired by IMVA of Hull, and IMVA will relocate its National Mileage Register operations to the HPI offices in Salisbury.

Seat Comfort is to expand its car seats factory in Burton with the creation of 30 jobs, following a management buy-out from parent company Textron Automotive.

Dura Cables is planning to expand its car components factory in Bynea in South Wales, with the creation of 250 jobs by 2003.

M-Sport is to create a further 50 jobs at its Ford World Rally base in Cockermouth, having won the contract to run two cars in this year's British Rally Championship.

Breckland Council is to consider plans from Lanesra Racing for the development of a workshop and offices on behalf of a new US motor racing team.