Automotive parts engineer reduces staff level

Reduced demand for automotive parts and increasing Asian competition has prompted six redundancies at 64-year-old Dunedin engineering company DC Ross, during the past week.

Chief executive Bob Houliston confirmed the redundancies when contacted yesterday, saying staffing levels would be reduced from 24 to 18, as reduced manufacturing volumes had impacted negatively on the company's operating results.

"The impact of the downturn in traditional international automotive market volumes, and the transfer of some automotive business into Asian manufacturers mean that reduced volumes for current markets are now required from DC Ross," Mr Houliston said in a statement.

DC Ross specialises in automotive parts with 95% of its products exported, mainly to Australia, but the strength of the New Zealand dollar during the past two years had undermined margins as contracts struck with overseas companies had to be paid in their currency.

Mr Houliston said the market for fine blanking and tool making also suffered because of changes to automotive manufacturing, the rising cost of steel and other metal-related resources.


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