Calsonic Kansei, Llanelli: £4.4m grant for new jobs

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Image caption,
Calsonic Kansei already employs more than 300 people at its Llanelli plant

A £4.4m investment will help create 85 new jobs at a car parts plant.

The Welsh Government has awarded the grant to Calsonic Kansei, which already employs more than 300 people at its Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, factory.

The new jobs, over the next five years, will focus on developing and producing electric vehicle technology.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: "This is a vote of confidence in the workforce at the Llanelli plant."

The site currently manufactures cooling systems and air conditioning components for many of the major automotive companies in the world, including Nissan and Toyota.

Mr Skates said the move to a more "sustainable model" will see the company commit to growth, fair work and reducing its carbon footprint.

He added: "Our £4.4m investment has not only helped secure these jobs over a period of at least the next five years, but also ensures that Calsonic Kansei and Wales have the necessary capacity and expertise to be a global leader in emerging electric vehicle technologies, particularly battery cooling developments."

The company said the grant would help "meet the rapidly evolving requirements" of electrification within the Automotive Industry.

Keiichiro Miyanaga, chief executive of Calsonic Kansei in Europe, said: "Through investment in product development and manufacturing capacity within the site, we can ensure we have the required capability to meet the future product needs of our key customers."


Brian Meechan, BBC Wales business correspondent

This is welcome news and as the work involves technology in electric cars, it may well mean the jobs will be more secure in the long term.

The automotive sector in Wales employs 18,000 people and is worth £3bn a year but faces uncertainty over Brexit and our future relationship with the EU.

The announcement is particularly good news for Llanelli after 220 jobs were put at risk in the town with the threatened closure of the automotive company, Schaeffler's, plant.

Concerns have been raised about Welsh Government grants to companies, particularly in the automotive sector such as Ford, TVR and Aston Martin.

And this is not the first time the Calsonic plant has had public sector support.

Almost 25 years ago, the Welsh Development Agency, helped the company establish its European Technology Centre at Llanelli.

It had further support from the Welsh Government in 2000 to build a Wind Tunnel Test Facility there.

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