Jim joins the Nifco team after more than 14 years working at Lear Corporation, a global manufacturer of automotive seating and e-systems, “This is an exciting move for me,” says Jim. “I have worked in automotive for more than 30 years, and, prior to joining Nifco, have worked my way up from the position of technician to director level roles with multi-site responsibilities.”
The Eaglescliffe-based business, which manufactures plastic parts used in the engines, interiors and exteriors of cars, produced by BMW Mini, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar Landrover, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall Opel, has reported more than 15 years of consistent and consecutive growth.
Whilst the business was triumphant during the financial crisis of 2004 when other similar businesses faced closure, it is currently operating in an uncertain marketplace. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) recently reported a reduction of new car registrations of more than 4% in May, against the same period in the previous year.
“It is no secret, or even surprise, that the automotive industry is experiencing a challenging time at present; it’s an industry that is particularly vulnerable to the impact of Brexit – whatever that may be. Nevertheless, I maintain an optimistic stance - challenge presents opportunity for improvement. A large part of my remit here at Nifco is to work with the team to ensure that we are running the most efficient and effective operation to safeguard the future of this business – this is something I am eager to get cracking on.” Jim explains.
Nifco UK operates out of two purpose-built facilities, which represent a total investment of more than £32million, with more than 600 staff on site at the Durham Lane plant.
Frances Hoy, General Manager – HR, adds, “We have invested heavily in facilities, equipment, and people skills in recent years and it is a combination of all of these that will see the company continue to be a success on the Tees Valley landscape. With Jim joining our team, in the role of Managing Director, he brings a freshness to the company and will lead the team, maintaining a strong focus on quality and efficiency improvements, training and education, and product design and development.”
Jim and his management team will work closely with senior leaders at Nifco Inc to develop and deliver the long-term strategy for the UK business, focussing on the contribution Nifco UK will make to the group company, which is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
“Nifco UK has a really great and robust heritage in the area, and in my short time here, I have already recognised that its strength lies in the experience and attitude of its committed team. I am enthusiastic about the future that is ahead of this business and also the future of the people who contribute to its success.” Jim concludes.