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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 September, 2003, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Jobs boost for hi-tech firm
Up to 200 new jobs are to be created by Antrim company Schrader Electronics as a result of the growing demand for its tyre pressure monitors.

The company announced on Tuesday that it plans to open a new factory in Carrickfergus.

There is a growing demand for tyre pressure monitors

Its current plant in Antrim employs 300 people.

Schrader makes electronic devices which attach to the inside of the wheel rim and are designed to transmit a readout of tyre pressures to a dashboard display.

The Americans are making them compulsory over the next few years, with legislation being introduced in November, and Schrader have already been talking to representatives of the European Parliament in the expectation that Europe will follow suit.

Schrader are the market leaders for these devices, and already supply companies like Ford, General Motors, Nissan, and Renault.

They have doubled their production for General Motors in recent months, supplying the monitors for GM's 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Stephen McClelland, the company's managing director in Northern Ireland, said: "We are delighted to be making this announcement, as there were a number of proposals under consideration for new factory locations and most of these were outside Northern Ireland.

"This new investment really shows our commitment and endorsement of Northern Ireland as a world class location for leading edge technology development and manufacturing."

"We are currently producing between 400,000 and 500,000 of these devices a month. At full capacity we could turn out 11 million a year."

Schrader in Antrim is a subsidiary of a UK group, but as the only electronics company in the group, it is the only plant producing tyre pressure monitors.

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