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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.

Schaeffler - Automotive parts - chain drives - automotive- Lille Region

           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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