Kilmarnock manufacturing contract loss disappointing but sustainable

27 Oct

Unite Scotland members in Kilmarnock manufacturer Mahle Engine Systems have expressed their deep disappointment at the loss of an estimated £4 million a year contract with car giants Ford, potentially impacting over 60 jobs.

It was confirmed this afternoon that the long-standing business relationship between both parties would be phased out by 2012/13 after Mahle indicated price increases for its products would be necessary due to the turbulent economic climate.

The Kilmarnock plant, which employs some 580 local workers in skilled engineering and administrative roles, manufactures high-quality engine components for a wide range of clients in the motorsport and motor vehicle markets.  However, the trades union believes this latest development can be absorbed without any further implications due to the site’s profitable world-class productions base.

Unite Regional Officer Jim Winter said, “The loss of the Ford contract is a blow to Mahle but it should be sustainable. Management have informed us this could impact some 60 jobs but we will do everything we can to mitigate redundancies.

There is no reason why this should have a wider impact on the business.  Mahle is enjoying increasing profitability from the Kilmarnock plant, particularly from its hi-spec bushings production which attracts significant global investment, courtesy of a niche skilled workforce. The site is primed to deliver long-term profitability with or without Ford – management know this as do our members.

Unite has a scheduled meeting with Mahle senior management representatives next Thursday. We will discuss the Ford contract but also seek commitments that continued investment will keep world-class manufacturing secure in Kilmarnock for years to come.”

The East Ayrshire economy has suffered deeply since the 2008 financial crash.  Major manufacturers such as Diageo and Vesuvius have wound-down their operations with a significant impact on local employment.


Notes to Editors: For further information please contact Unite Regional Industrial Officer Jim Winter on 07739654856 or Peter Welsh in the Unite Scotland Campaigns Unit on 07810157931.



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