British car parts maker Wagon cuts 300 jobs | autos | Hindustan Times
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British car parts maker Wagon cuts 300 jobs

autos Updated: Dec 20, 2008 19:33 IST

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British car parts maker Wagon PLC laid off almost 300 staff as it shut down its manufacturing base.

Interim management specialist firm Zolfo Cooper, which took over Wagon's day to day operations after it filed for bankruptcy last week, said on Friday 292 staff had been laid off at the site in Birmingham, northern England.

Wagon, controlled by American billionaire Wilbur Ross, filed for a form of bankruptcy last week after it failed to convince key shareholders to commit to an emergency refinancing package after a global slump in demand for cars crippled its business.

Zolfo Cooper partner Alastair Beveridge said the plant and equipment at the site, which makes panels and door parts for Honda, Ford, General Motors, Land Rover and Nissan, would now be sold off. Wagon's other site in Coventry, central England which employs around 200 people will remain open for now.

Wagon had tried to convince its lenders, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB, both of which are now largely controlled by the government, to commit to a euro50 million bailout package.

Wagon has its roots in Wagon Repairs, a business set up at the end of World War I to maintain railway rolling stock. It was chosen by Ross as the foundation for a European car parts business that now operates in countries including the Czech Republic, Turkey, Italy, Romania, Spain, US and China.

British auto manufacturers stepped up pressure on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government to deliver an industry bailout package this week as a report revealed that car production slumped by a third in November.