International Automotive Components (IAC), an automotive and commercial vehicle interiors supplier, celebrated the expansion of its manufacturing footprint this week in support of customers in the U.K.
Company officials dedicated a 72,500-square-foot (6,700-square-meter) manufacturing facility, which complements IAC’s current Halewood operation, as well as a new 135,000-square-foot (12,500-square-meter) facility in Elmdon near Birmingham, which hosts manufacturing, a design and technical center and the U.K. regional administrative functions. The addition of these two facilities extends IAC’s capability to support its domestic and Asian OEM customers from five locations across the U.K., according to the company. IAC has increased the number of employees in the U.K. from approximately 700 in 2007 to more than 2,200 today.
“The addition of these new manufacturing and engineering facilities substantially reinforces our ability to serve customers in this region, but also extends our global footprint, which has increased by more than a dozen new locations around the world over the past 24 months,” said Robert Miller, president and CEO, IAC Group. “I am excited to take part in this growth and look forward to continuing to support our customers’ strategies around the world.”
IAC Elmdon is strategically located near the Jaguar Land Rover engineering centers in Whitley and Gaydon, as well as the Solihull production site. With customer service, program management, engineering and manufacturing teams co-located within the expansion, IAC says it is able to offer customers flawless collaboration along the entire product value chain. Also, all major manufacturing processes have been brought under one roof increasing material and logistical efficiencies. IAC Elmdon delivers instrument panel trim to IAC Halewood as well as hard trim for the current Land Rover and Range Rover model line-up.
At IAC Halewood, the added manufacturing space will enable production flow improvements in both plants, while supporting Jaguar Land Rover’s growth strategy. Production lines for headliner, center console and overhead system assembly have moved to the new facility, allowing for space in the first plant that will enhance instrument panel and cockpit production and will support increased complexity and production volumes. IAC Halewood supplies JIT and in-sequence cockpit, center consoles and overhead systems for the successful Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
The new facilities have been designed and implemented in accordance with IAC’s global engineering, program management and lean manufacturing system (IPS).