2018—Schaeffler poised for rebound
An automotive equipment specialist, Schaeffler invested €20 million to open a new chain drive factory in Calais in 2013. The 41,000-sq m facility can produce up to 33 km of chains a day—but while 2016 was an outstanding year, 2017 proved more difficult. The future now looks brighter for the Calais team, with a rebound shaping up for 2018.
Production shifts to Calais
The new momentum stems from the group’s decision to transfer part of its chain drive operations from the US to Hauts-de-France. “Schaeffler isn’t closing its entire US factory, just one department,” explains Calais plant manager Slimane Reguig, who arrived in October 2015. “Management realized that it made more sense to make chain drives in Calais and export them to the American market than to produce them in the US.”
Vote of confidence
The Calais plant will produce chain drives for General Motors and Ford, followed soon by Jaguar, Audi and Daimler. Transferring production to Calais represents an investment on Schaeffler’s part. “The move is a vote of confidence in our plant’s operational excellence says Reguig. “And that is due entirely to our team.”