Auto interiors specialist Grupo Antolin is understood to be laying off more than 100 workers at its vehicle components plant near Kecskemét in Hungary due to a decline in orders.
Antolin Hungary Kft., the Spanish group’s local offshoot, confirmed it is downsizing at the Helvécia facility south of Kecskemét as part of reorganisation designed to “maintain (the firm’s) flexibility and competitiveness”, reported Hungarian media.
Local reports suggest that the plant could see more redundancies as the company adjusts to the immediate reduction in business.
The unit, acquired by Burgos, Spain-based Antolin from Canada’s Magna group in 2016, has been a major supplier to the nearby Kecskemét Mercedes-Benz car assembly plant. It makes car door and boot panels as well as carpeting.
Meanwhile, Grupo Antolin has announced major progress in the field of electric vehicles where it already has production programmes for 32 new EV models, 21 of them that have still not reached the market.
Antolin is set to supply all car models of Volkswagen’s new EV platform in Europe, the majority of electric cars that will reach the Chinese market and an electric vehicle Ford plans to produce in Mexico for global markets.
The Spanish component supplier intends to open a new factory in Cuautitlan, north of Mexico City to provide door panels and instrument panels for Ford. Antolin expects to employ more than 100 workers in the facility which will incorporate advanced technology and processes, it said.
Other Mexican plants Antolin runs in Toluca, west of Mexico City and Arteaga, near Monterrey are also involved in the project, the group said.
In Hungary, the Spanish group subsidiary reportedly stressed its long term commitment to the Helvécia plant, where last year it employed more than 700 and has invested around €11m over three years, according to local media.
Managers at Antolin Hungary Kft. are currently handling other contracts and are already working on development projects and new products. Following reorganisation, the firm was quoted as stating, it would operate with a workforce of more than 400.
Back in 2016, the group invested about €20m to construct and equip a new production hall at the Helvécia site as business it handled continued to grow steadily. At the time, apart from Mercedes-Benz work, the plant was exporting components to clients in Germany and China.
In the face of falling global automotive production, Antolin just reported 2018 annual turnover up 3.2% at €5.42bn with pre tax earnings worth €356m. That was despite market deterioration due to greater uncertainty in the UK, the effect of the EU’s new WLTP vehicle emissions protocol and trade tensions.
Annual sales in China through 2018 rose by 31% even though local automotive production dropped by 3.5% during the year. In Europe, Antolin sales in 2018 amounted to €2.73bn.
In 2019, Grupo Antolin is continuing to make significant investments with an overall sum of €300m to be sunk in a range of different projects.