A major manufacturer of industrial automation and tooling systems – headquartered in the Midlands – is to open a new plant in China which will double its size.
Expert Tooling & Automation, which has plants in Coventry and the North East, has formed a partnership with Chinese firm Star Eagle Global and established a new company in Hefei, China.
It has secured a new 200,000 sq ft plant in the city, in the Anhui province, and won backing from regional government and has planned that production will begin before the end of the year.
It is expected that the new plant, which represents an investment of more than £5 million, will employ around 200 staff by the end of 2019, doubling the current workforce. Around 20 employees from within the Star Eagle Global group have already been transferred to the new venture named “Expert Automation Technology Co Ltd”
Expert is the UK’s leading manufacturer of industrial automation systems, assembly tooling, automated assembly, special purpose machinery and single and multi-robotic cells, including robotic assembly.
It works for many of the leading automotive OEMs including Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Aston Martin and McLaren.
The Chinese venture – Expert Automation Technology Co Ltd – is designed to use its expertise in aluminium and composite vehicle assembly, battery pack assembly, power train and final assembly in the rapidly growing electric vehicle sector in China.
Managing director and founder Angelo Luciano said: “This is the culmination of in excess of 12 months of negotiations and between the companies and regional government in China.
“Our partners have significant interests in automotive equipment manufacturers across the world that fits extremely well with Expert’s highly-skilled and qualified workforce and our expertise and experience in key areas of the industry.
“It will allow the company to capitalise on the largest and fastest growing automotive market in the world with our knowledge and experience, all of which will be in high demand in the ever increasing EV sector in China.
“Expert has over the years had to compete with global organisations who can access low cost markets for design and manufacture, additional resource and utilise advantageous exchange rates to increase their competitiveness and meet customer demands in order to have a global presence.
“This move means that Expert will have access to all of these benefits and also be capable of meeting customers’ requirements in association with a global support network to maintain their future investment plans.”
The news comes after Expert announced a £10 million investment in a new state-of-the-art headquarters at Lyons Park in Coventry.
Luciano added: “The next few years will be very dynamic for the company and its employees and will prove challenging for the company as it grows its business internationally.
“We will increase headcount in key areas of the business that will not only firmly establish Expert as the UK’s largest automotive equipment manufacturer but offer some great opportunities for staff.”