Thursday, 5 February 2009

Engine manufacturer axes jobs

I guess it was inevitable that this blog would eventually use the term "Credit Crunch" in relation to Irlam and Cadishead, but there you go. It seems that most things have been credit crunched, new cars, electronics, furniture, foreign holidays, Woolworths. But then again Pontins and Lidl don't seem to do be doing too badly. And as for the Co-Op Funeral Services, they are even advertising on TV now. Anyway, there is a particularly large anonymous shed on the Northbank Industrial Estate, distinguished only for the large 'Perkins' sign on the outside, visible from the new bypass. I've never really pondered what goes on inside or even considered who Perkins were until now that the plant is under threat of job losses from hitherto mentioned credit crunch. But then you delve a little deeper, and Perkins comes alive with a rich industrial heritage.

This English company was established by Frank Perkins and Charles Chapman during a previous credit crunch in 1932. Frank had worked as an engineer in Kent, and both his father and grandfather were also engineers. With Chapman, Perkins established a small workshop in Peterborough with the bright idea that there might be some future in making diesel engines. They were right and the company began to grow, acquiring new larger premises in 1938 to manufacture their range wolf and lynx engines.

Perkins today is a global business. The HQ remains in Peterborough (who would have thought the town is a command hub of global corporate capitalism). Assembly and manufacturing continues in the UK, but also in the Griffin (Georgia,USA), Stafford and Singapore (think of another reason to link these three places together)! Worryingly they operate an engine manufacturing plant in Curitiba (Brazil), the most polluted city on the planet. Perkins also runs sales and service operations in Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore.

Irlam's function within this global corporate network is as a parts distribution centre, probably located there because of the town's proximity to the motorway network and the industrial heartlands of the North West.


The Press Association: Engine manufacturer axes jobs


No comments:

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon