Darcast Components, manufacturer of crankshafts for the automotive sector, is to invest £7.1m in new plant and equipment at its Smethwick foundry, securing 250 jobs and creating 40 more.
Jim Gardner, managing director, said the other option for the company had been to move production out of the UK altogether. The decision to invest at Smethwick followed feasibility studies and months of negotiations between the Department of Trade and Industry, English Partnerships and Darcast’s parent, Thyssen Budd.
The investment includes an electric melting facility, a despatch area and a centre of engineering, which are expected to be in full operation by the middle of next year, with production set to increase to three million crankshafts a year by 2000.
‘We are introducing a new night shift to meet the demand. We are looking for people straight away to start training for the new process,’ said Gardner.