Trend is towards electric cars.
With two sites in Hainaut, in Vieux-Condé and Fourmies, Agrati is investing more and more to produce new fasteners that can be adapted to the new technological changes which are taking place in the sector.
The group has decided to invest in its three French sites (two in the North and one in Savoie), taking advantages from state’s recovery plan funds.
The investment consists in the purchase of two new machines.
The Fourmies equipment will allow to manufacture screws with 6 mm of diameter, while Vieux-Condé will have a machine ables to threading long screws.
“We are referenced on two of main PSA platform (which recently became Stellantis),” analyses Marc Puech, France Marketing & Communication Director.
The idea is therefore to provide long screws for these platforms, but also to meet customer demand in terms of electrification. The market is in expansion and some production elements may differ from combustion engine models.
“This will create new markets for us,” says Marc Puech, who recognizes difficulty calculating the impact in terms of turnover.
“Now the trend see a strong pull of hybrid against the electric, and these cars have both engines, one combustion and one electric.”
By participating in the European Marbel consortium, Agrati will contributes to the Marbel project for the procurement of all fasteners to produce MARBEL battery packs and it will contribute to the drafting and dissemination of guidelines and standards for the adoption on the European territory of the solutions that will be developed.
“However, this programme will not have an immediate impact in terms of production on the Fourmies and Vieux Condé sites, as it’s a long-term project that will take three and a half years” explains Marc Puech.
Due to the health crisis, Agrati’s sites in northern France were closed in March 2020 during the first lockdown. Last year’s expected turnover (€129million euro) hase been lowered to €99m. 2021 starts was also uninspiring: ‘In addition to Covid, there are supply difficulties for semiconductor manufacturers (used for electronic chips in cars, ed.) and this has a major effect on us.
Concerning employment, the reduction of working hours has helped to overcome the health crisis, and at the moment there are no reduction plans.
With the new investments, our aim remains to preserve jobs.
News source: La Voix Du Nord – France