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GKN announces closure of Birmingham factory and loss of 519 jobs

Nick Francis

29 Jan 2021

In a letter seen by the Birmingham Mail newspaper, bosses blame an ‘increasingly competitive’ market for the closure.

Engineering giant GKN will close the doors at its Birmingham manufacturing facility within 18 months, putting 519 employees out of a job. The plant is one of 56 across the globe and is mainly responsible for building driveshafts. It first opened in the 1960s. The news was broken to employees by CEO Lian Butterworth in a letter which was passed onto the Birmingham Mail newspaper.

A spokesman for GKN said: "Proposing this closure is a difficult decision which has been made despite significant effort and investment over the past 10 years to reduce the high operating costs at the Birmingham assembly site.Sadly, an increasingly competitive global market means that the site is no longer viable."

GKN was founded in 1759 and today supplies parts to OEMs including Land Rover and Nissan. It has felt the knock-on effect of decline in manufacturing caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In 2018 GKN was bought out in a takeover by investment firm Melrose Industries, against the wishes of GKN employees.

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