Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Wagon supplier in administration

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The firm has been hit by the slump in car sales

A car parts supplier which employs about 200 people has gone into administration.

Sonas Automotive, which has plants in Tyseley, Birmingham, and Wantage, Oxfordshire, said it was hit by the collapse of Wagon Automotive's UK arm.

Wagon Automotive, which said it was to go into administration earlier this month, was Sonas' largest customer.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said problems with Sonas' business interests in France had also created difficulties.

The firm is a major supplier of body in white, engine and trim components and assemblies to the European motor industry.

'Job security'

Joint administrator Matthew Hammond said it was seeking a buyer for the firm but said this could prove difficult.

Mr Hammond said: "The enormity of this task in the current environment cannot be over-emphasised, particularly as much of the industry is now in a prolonged holiday period shut-down.

"We have spoken today with all key suppliers and are grateful for their continued support of the business as many have agreed to provide ongoing key supplies.

"In addition, we have met with as many employees as possible at the Tyseley and Wantage plants and confirmed that we are reviewing the position of the business and the impact this will have on short-term job security."

He said he was speaking with the firm's key customers seeking support for the firm's production schedule.

He added: "We are also in discussion with the administrators of Wagon, which we hope will remain a significant customer, but it also faces similar discussions with its own customers."

Wagon Automotive, which has its UK headquarters in Birmingham, employs about 500 people in the West Midlands.

It supplies Ford, Honda, General Motors and Nissan but said it had struggled due to the car market slump.

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