Bedfordshire automotive company a phoenix from the flames
Eighteen months after a blaze which threatened its entire business, FAI Automotive plc has opened its new warehouse and headquarters on the site of the original facility in Leighton Buzzard.
The original building and the unit next to it were severely damaged during the fire in January 2008. The second building, however, was repairable and was made functional by FAI within days of the fire having taken place. FAI missed no trading and was quickly able to find two units close by to replace the destroyed building. FAI has expanded its own product lines and significantly grown its exports of products. It now services clients in more than 50 countries worldwide. All this has contributed to FAI recruiting new staff to increase the total number of employees in the company by more than 10 per cent and it has a projected turnover in excess of £16 million for this year. Managing director, Sean Walker, said: "The automotive industry has been going through a rough time recently, like much of the rest of the UK economy, so it is excellent to be able to report that we are bucking the trend. I can honestly say that FAI has never been busier and we plan to broaden our product portfolio further still." FAI has its roots in motor racing and has long and successfully promoted the business through motorsport. Walker has raced at national and international level over the course of a motorsport career that spans more than 30 years. FAI took the opportunity of the new building opening to display two of the cars which carry the company's branding the Lotus Elan 26R and the Formula 2 MarchBMW from the 1970s with which Walker has enjoyed considerable recent success in. This was particularly fitting as FAI is about to launch its first ever range of bespoke motorsport parts.