Automotive manufacturer TMD Friction is ending 2021 with the confirmation of a further £1m of investment in a new paint line.
The commitment from the Hartlepool-based company’s global group takes the total money secured this year to over £3m and has supported the creation of 48 new jobs – taking the total number employed to 508.
The investment comes on the back of a challenging year for the company, mainly due to circumstances beyond their control.
The coronavirus pandemic meant TMD Friction had to make many changes to operations to adhere to social distancing guidelines, while the isolation rules which were in place until September meant at one point the firm had 25 per cent of its staff at home.
However, the group gave the company its full backing, and earlier this year announced over £2m was being spent across the plant, including in a new paint line, air compressors and equipment and software to significantly improve how the company communicates with its staff.
Now, this additional £1m of investment on a second new paint line means TMD is well placed to hit its production output target of 120,000 parts per week – all in a more energy efficient way.
UK Operations Manager Tom Russell said: “When we look back over the past 12 months, it’s clear to see our business has achieved so much in what’s been a very challenging global climate.
“The investment secured from our parent company throughout the year has been welcomed and reinforces the group’s commitment in our facility.
“And now, to be able to announce a further £1m for the introduction of another new paint line, which will significantly boost output, quality, and carbon emissions, means we’re ending 2021 striving towards achieving our goal of 120,000 parts per week, which was our target at the start of the year.
“Of course, investment in machinery and equipment is one thing, however, investing in our workforce is just as important to us – we know it’s our people that are the key to our continued growth and I really want to thank them for their efforts as we know it’s been a tough year for many.”
Tom added: “We’re ending the year on a real high and it’s a tremendous boost to our loyal and dedicated workforce to know that further significant investment is being committed in Hartlepool.
“At times it’s been hard but we’re now ideally placed to continue on this positive trajectory into 2022, achieving the ambitious targets we put in place at the start of this year.”
TMD Friction is a global manufacturer of brake pads, with the Hartlepool plant producing pads for 95 per cent of the models for Europe’s aftermarket, including emergency services vehicles and many of the major distribution small trucks and vans.
TMD Friction, which has its only UK production facility in Hartlepool, has been making parts for the passenger car aftermarket since 1974 and now employs 508 people in the North East.