Formaplex to build new 100,000 sq. ft factory for lightweight vehicle services

Fourfold increase in growth over past five years fueled by resurgence in UK auto sector and regulations increasing lightweight materials in vehicles.

Formaplex (Hampshire, UK), an engineering company which designs and manufactures tooling and lightweight components for the automotive, aerospace, defence and motor sports markets, has announced it is investing £3 million, over the next year, to further increase capacity with a new 100,000 ft2 factory, expand its current manufacturing facilities and invest in new manufacturing technology.  The support of its private equity backer Dunedin has allowed Formaplex to invest a total of £14 million in new facilities and equipment over the last five years.

Formaplex has experienced a fourfold increase in its growth over the last five years.  Its turnover has increased from £9.4 million in 2009 to £38.7 million in 2014 and employee numbers have grown by over six times from 51 to 300.

Currently operating from three state of the art Hampshire manufacturing facilities  (Havant, Cosham and Horndean), which collectively span over 140,000 ft2, Formaplex offers a fully integrated service from tool design, prototyping and manufacture, through to final component manufacture, finishing and delivery.  It serves a blue-chip customer base and in 2010 won the machining and assembly contract for the MoD Foxhound vehicles. Its new facility will allow Formaplex to further increase manufacturing capacity as well as its range of services.

Formaplex’s growth has been positively impacted by renewed confidence in the UK’s automotive sector and increased international demand for UK premium car brands. Th Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (“SMMT”) reports that 2.47 million new cars were registered in the UK in 2014, a 9.3% increase on the previous year.   The UK’s premium car industry is currently thriving, with Rolls Royce, Bentley and BMW posting record sales for 2014.  

Formaplex has also benefited from regulatory drivers calling for reduced emissions and improved fuel efficiency, which has increased the use of the lightweight materials and components that it supplies to vehicle and aircraft manufacturers. Its services currently include plastic component production and assembly, metals and composites machining, design and manufacture of various tooling, including injection molding and composites fabrication, as well as composites part production and machining. Composites projects have included aircraft wings, F1 monocoques, the Bloodhound SSC and the Foxhound Light Protected Vehicle project.