Page last updated at 18:03 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

More than 120 jobs in the balance

Shimizu Industry UK in Welshpool
Shimizu Industry UK has had a factory in Welshpool since 1996

More than 120 jobs are under threat at a car parts firm which is planning to shut a plant in Shropshire and switch to a sister site in mid Wales.

Shimizu Industry UK said "significant job losses are expected" at its factory at Hortonwood, Telford.

It plans to move its business 35 miles (56.3km) to Welshpool, Powys.

The company, which makes parts for Honda, Toyota, Land Rover and Jaguar, blamed a downturn in orders and the economic crisis.

Shimizu Industry UK employs 125 people in Welshpool and has 124 staff in Telford.

It has not confirmed how many jobs will be lost, but said it had entered into a three-month consultation period with trade unions.

'Major restructuring'

In a statement, Shimizu Industry UK said: "The restructure has been proposed as a direct response to significant downturn in orders and the ongoing global economic crisis which has had a major impact on the UK automotive industry.

"Employees of Shimizu Telford and Welshpool plants have been on short time working since October 2008, in a bid to try and reduce overheads, and minimise the risk of redundancies.

"However, significant losses from ongoing reduced orders can no longer be sustained and major restructuring is necessary in order for the company to survive."

A subsidiary of Shimizu Industry UK, called Traltec, opened a factory in Welshpool in 1996.

In 2006, Traltec merged with TP Moulding Ltd of Telford under the name of Shimizu Industry UK.

The company has a turnover of approximately £20m, and more than 1,500 different car parts are manufactured at its plants in Shropshire and Powys.

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