Charter Automotive acquires new plant in England

Charter Automotive, a division of Mequon-based Charter Manufacturing Company, announced a major expansion of the company’s European operations with the purchase of a 57,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Burntwood, England.
Charter Automotive is a global market leader and a Tier 1 supplier of engineered components for the automotive industry.
John Mellowes, chairman and chief executive officer of Charter Manufacturing, said that the expansion of Charter Automotive allows the company to strengthen its position as a leading global supplier of valve spring retainers, valve keys and other components.
"The expansion of our manufacturing capabilities in England will strengthen our position as a global supplier to OEM automotive and powertrain industries and will allow us to better meet the growing needs of Charter Automotive’s rapidly expanding European and worldwide customer base," Mellowes said.
Mellowes added that the expansion also brings job growth opportunities in England for workers with experience and skills in the manufacturing of cold-headed parts and will require the company to make major capital investments in new technology and equipment.
Charter Automotive’s new facility will be located about 16 kilometers from its current Lichfield, England, plant, which was acquired in 2007 with the purchase of Valve Train Components, Ltd. – a European supplier of powertrain components.
Pete Murray, vice president and general manager of Charter Automotive, said that the company expects to begin manufacturing at the new plant later this year and will ultimately consolidate all of its European operations into the new facility.
"Our expansion into a new and larger plant in England is a major step in our global manufacturing strategy to support customers throughout the world with a balanced operating footprint in the United States, Europe and China," Murray said.
Mellowes noted that the company’s expansion in England comes on the heels of new investments in Charter Automotive in Milwaukee, including an increase in the number of manufacturing shifts from three to four, the addition of more manufacturing capacity and the creation of additional family-supporting jobs in the community.
The company also operates a warehouse operation in Wuhu, China, about 400 kilometers northwest of Shanghai, China, giving Charter Automotive deep capabilities to meet the demands of the company’s international customer base.
"With our major expansion in England, the additional capital investments and job growth in Milwaukee and our strong presence in China, Charter Automotive has increased its worldwide footprint and is in a strong position for continued growth in North America, Europe, Asia and around the globe," Mellowes said.

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