Classic car parts reshored to Sarginsons
October 21, 2014
Reshoring is the topic du jour in UK manufacturing circles and that is certainly the case here in Coventry.
Sarginsons have been working to demonstrate the benefits of bringing business back to the UK and of all our successes one has been particularly pleasing.
For the past 15 years the wheels of some of the UKs best known classic cars including MG, Triumph, Austin Healey and the original Mini have been manufactured in China, which just seems wrong.
Well today the wheels for these iconic British vehicles are back in production at Sarginsons – where they belong.
Sarginsons spent the downturn investing in the latest foundry and aluminium diecasting technology which has led to increased competitiveness even when compared with overseas counterparts. This, along with a reputation for excellence, and the ability to meet the specific needs of customers at a location that is local to their production facilities is delivering results.
But the reshoring story is not a simple one, many manufacturers in the past off-shored production based on price alone. It proved hard to sell the message that business benefits are realised through the total cost of ownership not merely in the pure cost of production.
Consider China, in the past low labour costs and huge Government subsidies allowed them to price many western manufacturers out of the market. But had this been seen alongside the long lead times, the more challenging communications climate and worse the risk of transport on the high seas should have realised a more balanced view.
It is only now with increased overseas costs, as subsidies are reduced and labour costs are on the rise, that the reshoring pendulum is swinging in favour of the UK. This has meant that UK manufacturers who worked hard to establish their reputation for excellence, innovation, skilled engineering and of course quality are now back in the game.
At Sarginsons we invested in our machinery and skills as we recognised that in order to keep the reshoring trend going we had to demonstrate that we were competitive. But this alone will not keep business here, that needs UK Manufacturing to show that the need for shorter, more flexible supply chains, for greater quality control and for clear lines of communication, requires local production capability that cannot be delivered through off-shoring.
In conclusion – no one wants to buy container loads of stock which can get hijacked during a high carbon cost, 3 month journey to the UK. Manufacturing needs to be agile, it’s about small orders, quick turnaround, flexibility to reduce stocking costs and about meeting the needs of a more demanding clientele. Tidal waves, earthquakes and even worse are beginning to support the view that manufacturing has to be done at several locations around the world and that includes the Midlands manufacturing cluster.
Building in supply chain resilience by bringing manufacturing closer to the market is the reason the UK is benefitting from the reshoring trend and Sarginsons are ready and waiting for more of the same.