One of the UK’s longest-established joint ventures has capped an anniversary year to remember by passing a major manufacturing milestone.
Kautex Unipart Ltd (KUL), a JV between Unipart Group and German partner Kautex Textron GmbH, has just produced its 12.3millionth plastic fuel tank at its state-of-the-art production line in Coventry.
It marks what has been a hugely successful 25 years for the company that has seen it push the boundaries of innovation and provide its solutions to several global car manufacturers.
State-of-the-art fuel tanks have been manufactured for 19 different vehicle models since 1998, with £50m invested in the latest robotic cells, world-class finishing stations and industry-leading traceability.
John Neill, Executive Chairman of Unipart Group, commented: “During the last 25 years our partnership with Kautex has grown ever stronger, as we develop new products to meet the challenging requirements of the automotive industry, an industry that continues to demand greater innovation, competitiveness, quality, and delivery.
“The strength of this relationship goes well beyond the board. In fact, colleagues from both our companies work together to keep us at the forefront of fuel tank technologies and advanced manufacturing.
“Congratulations to everyone involved in achieving this important milestone. We now look forward to developing future solutions to meet the fast-changing needs of the automotive sector.”
A celebration event was held in Coventry to celebrate the 25th birthday, with all 122 members of staff at KUL praised for their commitment to the joint venture.
They heard from management teams at both businesses about key achievements, which included the recent production milestone, the way the company supports STEM and the next generation of engineers and how it has successfully embedded Industry 4.0 best practice across its 11,000 m² site.
Introducing new technology is also firmly on the agenda, with plans unveiled for the next generation of fuel tanks that will offer enhanced weight savings and performance.
Joerg Rautenstrauch, CEO of Kautex Textron, added his support: “The 25-year anniversary celebration of our joint venture is a testament to the commitment and collaboration of Unipart and Kautex.”
He concluded: “In that time, we’ve faced challenges and triumphs, weathered storms and celebrated wins. Through it all, our employees have demonstrated resilience, adaptability and the willingness to embrace change. Congratulations to the entire team for this significant milestone.”
Kautex Unipart, which holds the JLRQ quality and delivery standard, also used the celebration event to recognise the performance of its employees, with 70 staff having worked at the joint venture for 15 years or more.