11th Jul, 2020

MP Zarah Sultana urges government to invest in manufacturing as Coventry auto-parts builder enters administration

John Carlon 13th May, 2020 Updated: 13th May, 2020

COVENTRY South MP Zarah Sultana spoke in parliament yesterday (May 12) to ask for more manufacturing support, as administrators are called in at a Coventry auto-parts builder.

Arlington Automotive, in Torrington Avenue, is facing closure as its order book has emptied in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Arlington group employs about 600 people in sites in Coventry, Newton Aycliffe, Reading, Stourport, Birmingham and Manchester. Its Derby site has already started closing, according to Press Association.

The company supplies car makers such as JLR, Ford and Nissan among others.

Some redundancies have been made.

Allan Graham, joint administrator, said: “The financial issues faced by the group have been compounded by coronavirus.

“New car registrations have fallen dramatically and the complexity of supply chains in the sector have led to a sudden halt to manufacturing.”

Newly elected Labour MP Zarah Sultana yesterday (May 12) called on the Government to “step-up efforts” to protect manufacturing jobs in Coventry.

Raising the company’s troubles in parliament in a question to chancellor Rishi Sunak, Ms Sultana said: “Will the government step-up efforts to protect manufacturing jobs, especially in the automotive industry, and invest in them to provide green, sustainable jobs for the future?”

Speaking after asking her question, Ms Sultana said: “There is a real danger that this crisis devastates jobs and livelihoods for people in Coventry. The Government must do everything it can to prevent that. Rather than letting firms go bust, it should ensure companies can access emergency funding and it needs to invest in the well-paid, sustainable manufacturing jobs our economy will need to recover from this turmoil.”

Part of Arlington Automotive’s work is manufacturing bespoke thermostats for vehicles and the manufacture and assembly of engineered vehicle systems.

Arlington International chief executive Mark Franckel said it had “longstanding and deep-rooted relationships with its customers” and was “confident” the restructured business would be a “key supplier”.

Administrators said they were working with the company and creditors to look at its options.

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