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Schaeffler opens new plant

02 Dec 2013 | Investment, Mobility

Automotive parts manufacturer Schaeffler invests €20 million in move to larger premises, expanding from 22,000 sq m to 41,000 sq m and revamping production.

           As announced in June, the world’s largest specialized producer of chain drives has moved to new premises outside Calais. Last month Schaeffler formally opened its new 41,000 sq m plant, cashing in on the relocation to revisit its production processes.

            New plant manager Jean-François Masbou is targeting sales of €67 million and aims to pursue gains made in 2012, when production rose 12%, with 31 km of chains coming off the line every day. “Our relocation gives us the skeleton we need; now we’ve got to put some flesh on it,” he said. “We’ve already redeployed our equipment to boost productivity; we’ve still got to improve flows and get parts production up to speed.”

            With a workforce of 440, the plant has also become the group’s international R&D center as Schaeffler moves into new motors to diversify its client base. While General Motors continues to account for 45-50% of sales, Hyundai, currently at 10%, is on track to become much more important in the years ahead. Schaeffler has also invested nearly €12 million in new equipment, particularly on its Daimler line, which generates 20% of sales. “Calais is the only European plant where Schaeffler Group invested in both a facility and equipment last year,” says Mr. Masbou.

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