JCB has announced plans to close its factory in Gatersleben, Germany. JCB acquired the factory when it bought German compaction equipment manufacturer Vibromax in 2005.
JCB said the decision had been taken to improve its competitiveness in the compaction sector following a strategic review of the business and changes in global market conditions. “Demand for compaction equipment has been improving in overall terms in recent years, but the emerging markets now account for the bulk of demand,” it said in a statement.
The closure of the Gatersleben factory will results in 145 job losses, although it will create 90 jobs in the UK and India.
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said, “The decision to relocate production of compaction equipment to factories in the UK and India is right for our business. The decision wasn’t taken lightly and the impact on our employees in Germany is regrettable. This will improve competitiveness of JCB in the compaction sector. It will also create a far more sustainable position on which we can build as we grow business in the future.”
The company said it would shift production of the products made in Gatersleben by the end of June this year. Walk-behind compactors and the two smallest tandem rollers in the range will be built at the JCB Attachments factory in Uttoxeter, UK. Production of all soil compactors and two larger models of tandem roller will be moved to JCB’s factory in Pune, India.
The reorganisation will also see the production of the 403 wheeled loader moved back to the UK following its previous transfer to Germany in 2011.Written by Chris Sleight – 13 Mar 2014