Boom years over for diesel car parts suppliers

Boom years over for diesel car parts suppliers

John Nollett, the boom times have come juddering to a halt. Turnover at the automotive parts business he runs, Pressmark, increased 60 per cent during the past two years to £8.7m. But the manufacturer of metal pressings for vehicles and other uses is now forecasting a 17 per cent contraction in 2018.  The Midlands-based company is among some of Britain’s vast network of suppliers in the diesel car component market facing the prospect of job losses, or even potential insolvencies, as the sector is hit by a collapse in demand for vehicles that run on the fuel. “We’re seeing a massive impact in the supply chain,” said Mr Nollett. Pressmark may have to lose about half of a dozen of the agency staff that make up its 90-odd workforce.  “People are always laid off in August, but we possibly won’t bring them all back and that’s a crying shame.” UK diesel sales have fallen by a third in the first seven months of the year, taking the once dominant fuel’s market share to 32 per cent of new car sales. The drop was sparked by the Volkswagen emissions scandal  of 2015, which has led to increased taxes on diesel motors and the threat of bans on older vehicles. Both Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan have already shed hundreds of jobs because of the decline in diesel sales. But the impact is now rippling through the web of businesses that make everything from handbrake levers and fuel injectors to electrical equipment. Another company feeling the pain is the pressings and aluminium parts businesses operated by Liberty Industries, part of the Liberty House group. The two units together employ about 1,000 people and supply components such as connecting rods and gear casings. “We’ve seen falling [order] volumes and that has led to a reduction in shifts in the plants,” said chief executive Douglas Dawson, who is expecting a reduction in turnover of between 10 to 20 per cent. “Unless anything picks up any time soon . . . a number of people would probably need to be laid off.”

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