Greater Birmingham is home to some of the world’s biggest names in advanced engineering with a number of companies locating their headquarters or significant operations in the area as part of their global footprint. This concentration gives both a breadth and depth with OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, leading independent consultancies and well developed supply chains supporting companies ranging from global players to specialist, niche SMEs.
Bechtel, a global engineering, construction and project management firm, has opened a new office in Greater Birmingham that will act as a hub for business development. This office will allow the US-headquartered company, which employs 50,000 people worldwide, to expand as it pursues further projects across the region in the highways, rail, power, communications and aviation markets.
One of the key reasons that Bechtel chose to invest in Greater Birmingham was the region’s involvement in major infrastructure projects. The company was already working closely with HS2 Ltd, which is based at Two Snowhill in Birmingham city centre, as well as Highways England and Network Rail. Having permanent staff located here has enabled Bechtel to develop its relationships with clients, stakeholders and the local supply chain. The West Midlands is the UK’s leading region when it comes to advanced engineering with over 150,000 employees, more than any other area.
Paul Gibbs, Bechtel’s Managing Director of UK Infrastructure, said:
“The move into our Waterloo Street offices allows us to be close to some of our key clients and stakeholders. Additionally, Business Birmingham spread the message of our move through its networks and the media.
“Across our two locations at Waterloo Street and Snowhill, we’re expecting to grow the team as we develop our relationships with important customers.
‘The regional business network includes a core of advanced manufacturing and engineering firms, many of which are accessible through the West Midlands Growth Company’s commercial partnership programme.”
Jaguar Land Rover is a British multinational automotive company that sells vehicles in almost 180 markets globally with 80% of production exported from the UK. With an advanced manufacturing plants in Solihull and Castle Bromwich, and an R&D facility in Gaydon, Warwickshire, Jaguar Land Rover employ over 25,000 people in the UK and 1,000 more globally and support 190,000 people through the supply chain, dealer network and wider economy. Jaguar Land Rover has invested £370 million in the Solihull facility to support the production of the all-new Range Rover. The all-new Range Rover is a good example of the kind of innovation that is being developed in the region – for example it is the world’s first SUV to feature an advanced all-aluminium body structure, delivering significantly reduced weight, improved performance and enhanced sustainability.
Castle Bromwich produces the full range of Jaguar vehicles and boasts some of the most advanced aluminium body construction facilities in the world. Jaguar Land Rover has made a significant investment in the plant to prepare for the launch of the all-new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe range in Spring 2014 which complements the ‘2013 World Car Design of the Year’ award-winning F-TYPE Convertible. To meet the demand for vehicles; Jaguar Land Rover invested £200 million in its Castle Bromwich plant and hired an additional 1,100 staff to support the launch of its new models.
Jaguar Land Rover is investing further in the region by building a new £500 million Engine Manufacturing Centre, which will build the new family of high-output, fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines.
A further investment of £1.5 billion is being made to introduce an all-new technically-advanced aluminium vehicle architecture in forthcoming models and, to support this, 1,700 new jobs will be created in Solihull.
Rimstock is a world leading manufacturer of alloy wheels for the Original Equipment (OE) and Aftermarket. Based in the Black Country for over 30 years, it is also the premier producer of aluminium wheels in the United Kingdom, with one of the largest and most advanced design and manufacturing facilities of any wheel producer in the UK. Employing almost 250 people from multiple sites in West Bromwich, Rimstock is proud of its roots and its highly global customer portfolio. Its manufacturing facilities operate from four purpose built production installations extending to 150,000 ft2.
Originally focusing on low pressure alloy casting around ten years ago, Rimstock decided to focus on developing technology and forged wheel capabilities, a bold move in a competitive sector of the market but one that has seen the business flourish with new forged wheel facilities complimenting the existing cast alloy business.
Rimstock is an example of the region’s versatility, being able to adapt to any technical challenge, whether it be durability and styling of Original Equipment and Aftermarket sectors, speed and weight conscious motorsport, hi-tech super light forgings, concept car one offs or security and defence sector resistance.
In its relentless pursuit of excellence, Rimstock is committed to the continuous development of new technologies, maintaining its position as a market leader in one of the most competitive industries within the automotive sector. This has been achieved from the company’s attainment of the ultimate motor industry quality award of the coveted QS9000, alongside being the first European wheel manufacturer to achieve the ISO9001 standard.
ACE Forming is one of the UK’s leading prototype engineering companies, offering a complete service for both prototype and production metal forming.
Initially set up in Halesowen in 2002 as an independent company to provide prototype engineering services, when given the choice to move to larger premises due to expansion, ACE Forming was determined to stay in the Black Country. The company chose The Pennsnet Estate in Kingswinford for the skilled workforce inherent in the local area with the addition of many local sub-contractors.
Many of ACE Forming’s clients are also located close by, who are primarily blue chip companies and product developers. These range from different fields including aerospace, medical, telecom, electronic and automotive industries. ACE Forming also undertakes specialist fabrication, assembly projects and manufacture wiring looms.
ACE Forming demonstrates the excellent availability of talent that is apparent in the region, having developed a local team of highly skilled staff who are helping the company succeed in a competitive sector.