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Global wins and new investment

Sunday 20 January 2013 20:00

Car industry component maker TRW is to invest £15m into its Wearside plant after winning new orders from global giants Renault and General Motors.

The investment comes on the back of TRW’s successful bid for £1.75m from the Regional Growth Fund and will secure the long term future of the factory, the firm said.

The investment will fund two new lines and enable TRW to build the next generation of power steering motors for global customers from its Houghton-le-Spring factory.

The company also announced that it has won Renault as a customer following the confirmation of the £15m investment, and that it is growing its business with General Motors.

Maciej Gwozdz, TRW's European operations director for steering announced the investment on the shopfloor to the plant's 250 employees. He said: "This investment underpins the long-term future of the Sunderland plant and means
we can invest in innovative technology to build more efficient low carbon systems for automotive manufacturers."

American-owned TRW's Sunderland plant currently produces power steering motors for VW, GM and Ford, with smaller contracts with Fiat and Volvo.  As some of these contracts are now nearing completion the company has been working hard to win new international customers, with significant success.

The two new lines and platforms for Renault and GM will replace two of the existing lines, and bring cutting edge technology to the plant.

TRW will produce more efficient, compact motors on the new lines to suit future needs of its customers. The first line will be installed in 2013 and the second will be in place by the end of 2014.

Paul Willson, plant controller at TRW's Sunderland plant said: "We're delighted with this major investment in our facilities.  It means we can secure international customers such as Renault and GM and begin to look at other opportunities with the new products.

"We're also proud that we're achieving success in new markets - for example supplying motor companies in China from Sunderland to complement the work of TRW Asia Pacific. We just wouldn't be able to do this without the valued commitment of our workforce.  We have a fantastic team here at Sunderland whose productivity is a vital part of our future success."

Sunderland City Council's business investment team worked with TRW on the successful Regional Growth Fund submission and supported the company to help it develop a laboratory.