Metal Assemblies supplies presswork and welded assemblies to the automotive industry. The company has been adapting to a changing market by modernising. Alongside the men and women feeding metal into its presses, the company uses robots to speed up and improve production and employs skilled engineers to design its own tools
Established for over 50 years, Metal Assemblies was founded as a toolmaker in 1955. Stuart Fell took over in 1999 as part of a management buy-in. Despite the downturn in 2008, a programme of continual investment in modern plant and equipment has enabled it to remain competitive in a difficult global market.
Metal Assemblies recently purchased an additional 26,000 sq ft of manufacturing space next to their existing premises on Oldbury Rd Industrial Estate. The modern plant is less than two miles from Junction 2 of the M5, a central location which gives easy access to the UK’s main industrial regions and ports.
“I don’t want to move my production to the far east or eastern Europe”
Stuart Fell, the chairman, on several occasions has publicly pressed the government to give more support to the SME sector. On November 29th, after referring to the failure of some of the largest companies operating in the UK to pay any tax at all, he explains that things are rather different if you are an SME:
“I don’t want to move my production to the far east or eastern Europe, and I can’t move my intellectual property to Eire or the Bahamas, so I am stuck here. The capital allowance regime in this country does not allow me to claim anything approaching the real cost of capital investment against my corporation tax bill, with the result being that I have to find the cash to pay for the investment as well as the tax. So the rate at which I can invest is limited by comparison with my foreign competitors”.
Metal Assemblies recently won work on the new Mini, Nissan Qashqai, Honda Civic and Honda CRV – all models selling beyond initial estimates. By investing in the latest technology the company became competitive and gained these contracts, sometimes against competition from ‘lean cost’ countries.