Major new investment plans for automotive engineering in Leamington were revealed at a launch event in the town last week.
Liberty Vehicle Technologies, part of the global metals and engineering group, Liberty House, wants to invest £10 million into a centre of excellence to accelerate its growth in the automotive sector.
The flagship 50,000 square-foot facility, top be built next to Liberty’s current facility on Tachbrook Road, will open in early 2018 and is designed to boost the group’s technological development firepower and enhance its current manufacturing capability in the advanced auto-components market.
It will bring a handful of specialist jobs to the town initially with scope for more roles being created in the years which follow.
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the liberty house group, said: “What is important in evolution is innovation and we have to keep evolving and keep being more productive to make things better.
“That is what the human species is all about and our group is the epitome of that and Leamington is where we will have the greatest drive towards technological evolution.
“Leamington has a culture of automotive technology and there are a lot other producers here which means we can find the right people with the right skills and we can nourish and develop those.
“When we first looked at the site there was some discussion about whether we should use one of our larger sites and in the end we decided that for incubation of technology and ideas you need the environment and the location and Leamington was the best place for that
The centre of excellence will act as a group-wide development centre, housing a range of key design and manufacturing activities including n the 920E by Liberty braking systems business and its pioneering integrated electronic light-weight park brake system.
Mr Gupta said: “Britain has a vibrant vehicle manufacturing industry that made more than 1.7 million cars and 93,000 commercial vehicles last year .
“That provides a huge opportunity to grow our own domestic supply chain and provide UK auto producers with local alternatives to the flood of imported components currently used in British vehicles.
“By creating this centre of excellence in our 25th anniversary year we are signalling our intent to take the lead in the renaissance of the UK auto-components sector.
“This gives us a platform for growth and future job creation.
Liberty bought the ailing Caparo Vehicle Technologies (CVT), which was based at the Tachbrook Road site, back in December 2015 saving around 100 jobs.
The Gupta family also bought nine other divisions of steel manufacturer Caparo Industries, the parent company of CVT, saving 623 jobs in total across the Midlands.
The GFG Alliance, which Liberty is a member of and for which Mr Gupta is the chief executive, has invested more than £500 million in the UK over the past two years, becoming one of Britain’s largest industrial employers with over 4,000 staff across steel, engineering, and energy across the UK.
******* The T1 Evo by Liberty super car will be built at Liberty Vehicle Technologies’ site in Tachbrook Road.
The car, revealed by Liberty last week, is the next generation of the ‘iconic T1 Hyper-Car’ which was first launched in 2006.
Liberty engineers collaborated with their counterparts from the race-car specialist group JRM on the early developments of the Evo which will be capable of producing 580 brake horsepower with its predecessor still holding the Top Gear track record with a top speed of about 200mph.
Only 25 of the cars will be made by Liberty with the majority of each car apart from, most notably, the engines being built in Leamington.
Liberty’s centre of excellence will also house the design amd manufacture of the Trillion by Liberty range of premium commuter, mountain and road bicycles.
Sanjeev Gupta, Liberty’s executive chairman, began his own working life selling bicycles for his father’s manufacturing business.
He has described the launch as a “milestone in the company’s history.”