JLR supplier rises from the ashes two years after administration

A BIRMINGHAM manufacturing company which went into administration as a result of the recession has seen turnover rocket from £2.5m to £18.5m in just two years.

When Tyseley based pressings company Sonas collapsed in December 2008, it was bought by DPE Automotive owner Peter Coates who merged the two firms, saving more than 100 jobs in the process.

Under the name DPE Automotive, the company has since rebuilt its order book and re-established its accreditations which lapsed when Sonas went into administration.

The road to recovery has now taken another important step with Jaguar Land Rover bestowing its prestigious JLRQ Award on the firm. The award is given only to suppliers which demonstrate world class quality and delivery performance across every area of the business.

Mr Coates, managing director of DPE Automotive, said: “It’s been a long road since we took over Sonas in early 2009 as we’ve basically had to rebuild the company.

“Over the two sites in Birmingham and County Durham we now have 198 employees and since 2009 we have increased turnover from £2.5m to £18.5m.”

In addition to JLR, the firm is a tier one supplier to Nissan, Ford Europe and Volvo.

“The new JLRQ accreditation will put us in a fantastic position to win new business from JLR and therefore create new jobs.

“It is important to remember this award would not have been possible without the efforts of our workforce,” added Mr Coates.

DPE Automotive has also strengthened links with its main supplier United Steels Ltd, based in Kingswinford, which has taken a shareholding. DPE is also in the process of agreeing a joint venture with a third party which will further strengthen links between the Tyseley site and JLR.

Both DPE Automotive and United Steels have received support from Business Link West Midlands and the Manufacturing Advisory Service – West Midlands.