Belfast Telegraph

Montupet lands £200m Ford contract

Deal to produce parts for car giant secures jobs at Dunmurry firm

By Clare Weir

Yet another Northern Ireland manufacturing powerhouse is celebrating after landing a £200m deal to produce parts for the Ford Motor Company.

Montupet, which employs over 550 people at a plant in Dunmurry, manufactures aluminium castings for the automotive sector and forms part of the French-owned business headquartered in Paris.

Production of the new Panther cylinder head, which will replace the Puma product currently being made, will start in 2015 and will be supplied to Ford Engine Plants in Dagenham, Turkey, South Africa and China.

The news came just a day after Belfast-based planemaker Bombardier secured the largest business aircraft deal in its history after VistaJet, a private jet charter firm, agreed to buy over 140 business jets in a deal worth more than £4.8bn.

The deal includes orders for 25 Global 5000 and 25 Global 6000 jets, parts for which are made in Belfast.

Jim Burke, managing director of Montupet (UK) Ltd, said that the deal will boost employment and protect existing jobs.

"Securing this production order is very good news for the future of the plant as it will safeguard jobs and require significant investment in new plant and machinery," he said.

"This order emphasises the ability of the Dunmurry plant to compete in the global automotive marketplace, offering both quality and expertise while remaining economically competitive.

"Montupet's commitment to expanding the skills of our employees, embracing new technology and improving our processes is helping to safeguard the Dunmurry plant's position in the international marketplace."

Enterprise minister Arlene Foster added: "This is a significant export order for Montupet UK which will secure the employment of over 100 people currently employed on the Puma production line beyond 2020.

"This result follows investment in skills development, new technology and lean manufacturing processes supported by Invest Northern Ireland which helped to position Montupet's Dunmurry site at the leading edge of casting industry efficiency and excellence.

"Against a backdrop of globally competing manufacturing bases, this news is a great boost for Northern Ireland and will help to safeguard Montupet's future in international markets."

The bid was supported by Invest Northern Ireland, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Programme for Northern Ireland.