Cobra sitting pretty after administration

Cobra300Automotive trim specialist Cobra Automotive Engineering, which was bought out of administration just nine months ago, says it is pitching its ‘mass reduction’ techniques to “a number of tier 1s and OEMs” to feed their need for lighter weight vehicles.

Since the buy out of administration by specialist investors Pemberton Capital the Wrexham-based manufacturer has appointed industrialist Bob Woods (pictured, second from right with Cobra colleagues) as managing director and focused on developing strategic partnerships with existing and new customers.

“Cobra has always been at the forefront of design, new technologies and processes and had built up an enviable client base of leading tier 1 and car manufacturers,” said Woods, who held senior positions with Johnson Controls and Unipart.

“It invested heavily in new state-of-the-art automation following the promise of a major increase in volumes that, unfortunately, never materialised. This meant the company ran out of cash and couldn’t re-finance in time to fulfill orders.

“Since the change in ownership we have successfully met all of the production schedules for our clients, giving them confidence we can deliver what we promise. We have already started to look at new opportunities, most of which involve us using our solutions for taking weight out of vehicles.”

Cobra’s current customers include General Motors, producing load floor assembly for the Astra Station Wagon, load cover for the Chevrolet Trailblazer &Spin, and front grille assembly for the Mini at Cowley.

It has annual sales of £7m, with nearly 50%of this figure being exported into plants in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Spain and Thailand.

Cobra now says it has a healthy order book, employs a skilled 76-strong workforce and has invested in plant and machinery at its 70,000 sq ft facility.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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