More than 200 jobs could be axed at car parts firm ‘due to Brexit and Covid’

More than 200 jobs at a car parts firm in south Wales face being axed partly due to Brexit and coronavirus, the company has said.

Kautex Textron, which has a plant in Ystrad Mynach near Caerphilly, South Wales, said it was discussing possible staff reductions with its workers as well as the potential closure of the site after 51 years in the town.

The plant opened in 1970 and makes car parts including water containers and nozzles.

A spokesperson for the company told the PA news agency if the decision was made to close the plant it would work to provide other internal opportunities “to as many employees as possible to mitigate the impact”.

The spokesperson said: “We can confirm we have entered into provisionary discussions regarding staff reductions and potentially a site closure.

“Brexit, as well as the ongoing economic impact of Covid-19, are the key contributors to this decision.

“We have no further comment regarding the status, as we are currently in required consultation period with the GMB union and employee forum and will respect the consultation process.”

The spokesperson said the company, which has its headquarters in Bonn, Germany, could not confirm the exact number of employees at its Ystrad Mynach site, but that it was “somewhat higher” than the 220 reported elsewhere.

The GMB union said it would “pull every lever available” to save jobs at the site, blaming falling sales due to the global downturn in the car industry as well as Brexit for the potential closure.

It said the company had also told them the potential job losses were due in part to Brexit, with European car manufacturers looking to source products on the continent.

Mike Payne, GMB senior organiser, said: “This came completely out of the blue, no one was expecting this, least of all the workforce.

“This is devastating news for the workers, the local economy, and the entire local community in Ystrad Mynach and Caerphilly.

“From what the company has been telling us, their sales have suffered as companies that they supply their products to are looking ‘more locally’ to source their products.

“It seems as though we’re seeing more high-skilled well-paid jobs sacrificed at the Brexit altar.”