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25 April, 2008 - 02:28 By Staff Reporter

380 jobs to be cut at automotive manufacturer

Over 380 jobs are to go at an East of England manufacturer - whose customers included automotive giants Ford, BMW and Bentley - after a search for a buyer for the operations proved fruitless.

Ecomold, which specialises in plastic injection moulded components for the automotive industry, was placed into administration in November. Administrators KPMG were successful in selling on Ecomold's Scunnthorpe plant, saving 179 jobs in the process, but have not been able to find a suitable buyer for the remaining operations in Dunstable and Southend. There are currently 203 members of staff at Dunstable and 181 staff at based at Southend. KPMG reported that several interested parties were involved in detailed reviews of the company but said that "ultimately no acceptable bids to purchase all or part of the business were made." The administrators have now decided that the remaining parts of the business will enter into a phased ‘wind down’ leading to its closure. Over 100 redundancies were made prior to the decision to close the business down. KPMG said that current customer demand information indicated that Dunstable will end production in August and the Southend facility in September this year. Customers include Ford, FCSD & Jaguar Land Rover. Originally part of packaging giant, Linpac, Ecomold was founded in 1924. Formerly the largest independent injection moulding company in the UK, the company was the subject of an MBI in 2005 and rebranded as Ecomold in August of that year. Joint administrator, Mark Orton said: “It is disappointing that we have been unable to find a suitable buyer for the remaining operations in Dunstable and Southend, however we would like to stress that despite this announcement we are continuing to seek offers for the business and will continue this process over the coming months.” “We would like to thank all of Ecomold’s staff for their hard work and support since the commencement of the administration.” Details of the ‘wind down plans’ have been communicated to all staff in a letter sent out by KPMG.

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