TDK to close Scottish sensor factory

TDK to close Scottish sensor factory

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Micronas was effectively formed by the purchase from ITT Intermetall of a wafer fab in Freiburg, Germany, and other assets in October 1997. Micronas was acquired by TDK in 2016 as a leading manufacturer of Hall-effect sensors with major customers in the automotive industry for about US$225m (about £160m).

The Glenrothes factory was opened in 1994 and is to close in April 2021 or some time thereafter. The decision was made as a part of a TDK-Micronas restructuring that is not linked either to Brexit or the coronavirus pandemic, but more from the automotive downturn.

Günter Weinberger, CEO of TDK-Micronas, said in a statement published by Fife Today: “The business of TDK-Micronas in Freiburg, Germany, the parent company of TDK-Micronas Ltd., has suffered under the weak automotive market both in 2019 and, even more due to the pandemic, in 2020. The most recent market analysis shows a decline of 24 percent of new car registrations in Europe in 2020 compared to 2019. During these challenging years, we have supported the Glenrothes site as much as we could by fully loading their capacity, at the expense of the parent site in Freiburg, Germany.”

Weinberger went on to say that although the automotive industry was recovering there was a need for increased productivity with fewer pieces of test equipment occupying less floor area and requiring fewer operators. As a result, he argued, there was a need to cut an entire site and it was necessary to maintain the testing site in Germany as that is where R&D and pilot production of sensors was located.

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