The Eaglescliffe manufacturer – which produces small plastic parts that are used in the engines and interiors of cars produced by Ford, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota and Vauxhall Opel – is marking a quarter of a century in Eaglescliffe by announcing plans for a third factory in the region.
The business, which became part of the Nifco group in 1990, has seen significant growth in recent years, and earlier this year announced a £50million deal with car maker Ford. Details of the plans for its new factory are yet to be announced, but it is understood that the business has already looked at potential sites.
Mike Matthews MBE, managing director of Nifco UK and European operations manager, said: “Nifco is committed to the area, something that has been made clear with the heavy investment we have made in two facilities – and of course the confirmation that we intend to build a third factory here.
“To have made such a long-term commitment to the area is fantastic, when you consider that only a decade ago, there was a real risk that the business would close. Our 25th anniversary is a really proud milestone for the whole team, and a great chance for us all to reflect on the huge progress we have made as a business.”
Nifco Inc bought the business – then known as Elta Plastics – in 1990. The company was turning over £3million, having diversified into the automotive market, a field that had seen significant growth in the eighties, and secured a deal with Japanese motor manufacturer Nissan. With a supportive Japanese parent company, the business was in a strong position to gain a foothold in the automotive market, and during the nineties, Nifco made major in-roads with other car manufacturers and enhanced its domestic business.
Since then, and with Mike appointed as MD in 2008, the business has grown at pace, and expects turnover to reach £75million by next year.
Mr Matthews added: “It’s 25 years since we became Nifco UK, and that, for me, was the turning point. Though there have been challenges since, the backing of Nifco Inc and the support they have offered has been essential.
“We have committed to training, and I honestly believe our people have played a pivotal role in Nifco’s success. It is great having the two buildings, Nifco House and our newest addition an R&D and Powertrain facility. And it is great having the fantastic machines we have too. But without having the right people, you will never have a successful business.
“The only way to succeed is to ensure that our team is the best it can be. That our people are among the most skilled and motivated in the field. And of course, that we nurture the next generation of leaders, who can take over the reins from the existing management team.”
“We have built the confidence among our shareholders and by doing that that, we have their backing to build another facility in the area, bringing with it more jobs and more opportunities for people in the area,” adds Matthews.
For more information about Nifco UK visit www.nifcoeu.com.