A British fire extinguisher factory is set to close with the loss of more than 150 jobs as its work is transferred to China, it was announced today.
Chubb announced the conclusion of an “extensive review“, which had evaluated several options including transferring production to China as well as a proposal to develop the existing extinguisher production facility in Ferndale, South Wales.
Transferring production to China had emerged as the preferred option, the company said.
The move would allow significant consolidation of Chubb’s worldwide extinguisher production facilities, establishment of early access to the “emerging and rapidly growing” Chinese market and a lower manufacturing cost base to enable Chubb to remain competitive in a global market.
Chubb plans to move production to new facilities in China probably by Autumn 2005.
Production of fire extinguishers at Ferndale will cease, which is likely to result in 154 roles being identified as redundant in Ferndale.
But it will also create 26 jobs in other UK locations, possibly in the national distribution centre and service centre.
Design, development, quality and supply chain management functions will be retained in the UK to ensure products are developed and manufactured to the highest standards to meet local requirements, Chubb said.
Eric Patry, President of Chubb Continental Europe said: “Chubb’s long history of production in Wales has made this a very difficult decision so we have taken the time to evaluate all of our options.
“Now that we have completed our review and after detailed consultation, I believe transferring production to China is the best way for us to continue to provide our customers with a high quality product at a competitive price.
“We are committed to providing support to those employees affected by this decision. We will now continue the consultation process with all Ferndale employees and their representatives.”