GKN job cuts

GKN has announced 564 job losses across its automotive and aerospace divisions as part of restructuring plans that were announced in January.

The bulk of the job losses will come from the company’s automotive division, where GKN anticipates closing its forge facility at Hamstead by the end of 2009 and the car parts facility at Walsall by mid-2010, with a total loss of 323 jobs. An additional 150 jobs will be lost at the auto structures plant at Telford this year.

The closures are expected to help GKN consolidate its UK driveline component operations into a single centre of excellence at an existing plant at Erdington, Birmingham.

The company said it will invest £7m over the next three years in upgrading and modernising the manufacturing capability at Erdington as part of its restructuring, where jobs would eventually be created.

Cutbacks have also had an effect on GKN’s aerospace division where 91 staff will lose their jobs in Luton and Burnley.

‘The actions being announced today are regrettable, but absolutely necessary to respond to the global economic downturn that is particularly affecting the automotive industry,’ said GKN Automotive chief executive, Nigel Stein. ‘We are in unprecedented times and we must protect our position as a leading global automotive supplier and ensure we are in a strong position to meet our customers’ needs, now and when markets recover.’