250 jobs to go at Panasonic
Aug 29 2006 - Western Mail
FINAL confirmation came yesterday that the Panasonic factory in Port Talbot will close in December with the loss of about 250 jobs.
The Japanese multinational electronics manufacturer has decided to switch production of the car speakers made at the plant to Asia and Slovakia.
Jerry Lewis, general manager of the factory, said employees would be given benefits which went "way, way, beyond" the statutory redundancy package.
The 140,000 sq ft site is expected to get a new lease of life as the manufacturing base for venture company Project Kimber's relaunch of DaimlerChrysler's Smart roadster and coupe sports cars.
If Project Kimber does start production in Port Talbot, many of the former Panasonic workers may find employment at the site.
The team behind the Smart car plan were said to have been attracted to South Wales by the skilled labour force in the area.
Production is intended to start by next summer, with 8,000 models hitting the road in the first year.
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