Steel & Alloy, of West Bromwich, which last week expanded its plant with the opening of a production line for laser-welded car parts for Rover and Honda, expects to open a new factory on the same site within two years.
The new facility is housed in a factory owned by the steel processor, which is running the line as a joint venture with Sollac, the French steel producer. From August the line will make laser-welded door inners and front rails for the new Honda Accord, and similar items for the new Rover R40 from next year, by when annual production of the new line is expected to reach about 200,000 units.
Laser-welding is widely used on the Continent in steel car component manufacturing. It brings cost and weight savings as varying grades of steels can be welded together and press-formed with a single die.
Steel & Alloy plans to build its new factory within two years if demand from car makers for laser-welded parts continues.
British Steel’s Automotive division has opened a similar line at Wednesfield, West Midlands, to supply car manufacturers.