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Rescue deal sees 200 jobs saved at Coventry Jaguar Land Rover supplier


Around 200 jobs have been saved at a Coventry car parts manufacturer which counts Jaguar Land Rover among its customers.

Arlington Automotive Group fell into administration in May last year, with administrators from Duff & Phelps appointed to its UK trading companies.

At least 60 disabled workers will be offered their jobs back thanks to a rescue deal by Evtec Automotive.

As part of the deal, for an undisclosed eight figure sum, the new Evtec Automotive plant on Torrington Avenue will continue to make car parts for many of the major players in the UK automotive sector, with a strong focus on supporting the fast growing electric vehicle (EV) sector.

The automotive firm, which specialises in products such as bespoke thermostats for vehicles and the manufacture and assembly of engineered vehicle systems, has long employed disabled workers.

Originally it was part of Remploy, a scheme formerly sponsored by the Department of Work and Pensions to provide ongoing sustainable employment for disabled people.



David Roberts
David Roberts

Evtec chairman David Roberts has been revealed as the man behind the acquisition, which was completed this week.

Mr Roberts has a long history with the Coventry plant, having acquired it from Remploy back in 2013, as the government scheme disbanded.

It was then renamed Rempower and became a part of the Arlington Industries Group, which went into administration due to the coronavirus pandemic hitting car sales and manufacturing supply chains.

Mr Roberts left Arlington in 2015 due to family reasons, and was approached in 2020 by regional car manufacturers to buy the plant out of administration and form the new company Evtec Automotive Ltd.

The Evtec team, under managing director Kevin Hubbard, has been working hard on filling the plant’s order books while the deal was under negotiation.

It has already reached its pre-coronavirus monthly sales of £7m, and the deal is on target to rescue approximately 200 jobs by end of March 2021, with 35% being given to disabled workers.

From its 80,000 sq ft Coventry plant, Evtec Automotive will continue to supply parts to the automotive industry, including OEMs, tier one suppliers and the aftermarket.

Clients include car makers Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Nissan, as well as Aston Martin, Lotus, Levc, Mclaren, David Brown Automotive, Little Car Company and Tevva Motors.

Electric vehicles (EVs) will form a key part of the company’s future success.

As the demand for EVs grows, so does the requirement for various assemblies that cover battery, cooling wiring and hydraulic systems, which are widely used in hybrid and electric vehicles.

Mr Roberts said: “The Coventry plant’s rebirth, in 2021, under the Evtec Automotive brand, represents its next natural evolution as it becomes an essential service to OEMs in the UK and Europe for complex assemblies in electrical and cooling systems.

“Rebuilding on its key ethos of practising disability in the workplace, combined with high ethical and social standards, the business is positioning itself as a key tier one supplier to the rapidly growing EV sector.

“With Jaguar Land Rover and Ford as major customers and wonderful supporters, the business has an ambitious growth plan as demand for electric vehicles grows.

“Employing more disadvantaged people combined with a commercial profit and being part of making our planet a greener place for our children, it can’t get any better.”

Mr Roberts sits on a number of company boards and has plans to replicate the model of employing disabled workers across other existing sites and companies.

Arlington Automotive Group specialises in manual assembly for the automotive sector including providing electrical, fluid and air, mechanical and aftermarket module assemblies.

Evtec Automotive is aiming to grow turnover from £55m to £70m over the next three years.

Mr Roberts’ buyout mirrors a similar rescue deal last October, when Warwickshire-based automotive supplier Ricor Global acquired the rights of Arlington Automotive’s North East division in Newton Aycliffe.



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At the time of the administration, around 600 jobs were placed under threat across the group’s operations which also comprised sites in Birmingham, Manchester, Reading and Stourport.

Its plant in Derby had already commenced a closure process by the time Duff & Phelps were appointed.

Mr Roberts said: “Arlington Engineered Systems was a strong business but the immediate result of the coronavirus pandemic impacted the firm in a way no one could have predicted.

“Now that production across the automotive sector has kicked back into gear, I believe there is still a strong future for the firm and, with the right leadership and financial support, I’m confident we can drive future growth.

“My immediate focus is to support the team and established customer relationships and I will then be looking to refocus the business by taking it back to its roots which includes providing more employment opportunities for disabled people across the region.”

Business advisory firm FRP secured the funding package from Breal Zeta Commercial Finance to enable Mr Roberts to carry out the undisclosed acquisition.

Law firms Gateley and Thrings also advised on the deal.

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