More than 120 jobs will go with the closure of Hi-Lex Cable System’s Port Talbot car components’ plant.
The Japanese owned company announced today that a downturn in orders will lead to a restructuring of its operations in Europe and manufacturing will be transferred to Hungary, where it’s closer to many customers, by 2021.
It makes door and window parts and brake and clutch cables for cars at its plant on Baglan energy park and supplies Honda, Audi, Ford and BMW among others and employs 125 people at the moment and does not anticipate making any redundancies inside a year.
A statement issued by the company said the decision had been taken following a meeting at the parent company, Hi-Lex Corporation in Japan.
“Hi-Lex Corporation regrets the need for the decision to re-structure its operations, but it is based solely upon a significant reduction in the sales forecast at HCS, from 2021 onwards. Hi-Lex will now contact all of our supply chain partners to discuss and agree plans to meet the needs of our customers up to the closure of the HCS facility,” said the statement,
Adam Glaznieks, managing director at the Port Talbot site, added, “The reason for making the announcement now is that we need to commence preparations to transfer any remaining business after 2021 to the Hi-Lex plant in Hungary.”
Neath Port Talbot Council leader, Rob Jones, said the closure would be “keenly felt” in the area and the authority would try to support workers “wherever we can into new employment” and Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Economy and Transport, Russell George AM, went on,“It is disappointing that Hi-Lex Cable Systems has decided to move their production from Baglan to Hungary.
“The highly skilled and dedicated workforce in Baglan and the surrounding area are and would have continued to be a strong asset to Hi-Lex in the face of predicted declining sales from 2021. I urge the Welsh and UK Government’s to act swiftly to help the employees and their families affected by today’s news.”
Further help was promised by Welsh Conservative Regional Assembly Member for South Wales West, Suzy Davies AM, adding, “This is another blow to the South Wales West area and its hardworking people. It is good to hear that Hi-Lex will not be making any redundancies before 2021 enabling people to plan for the future and I will do everything to attract more businesses to South Wales West to replace those that will be lost over the next two years.”