More than 100 jobs have been lost with the closure of a manufacturing site in Wellingborough.
Mahle Powertrain’s site in Booth Drive on the Park Farm industrial estate has closed today (Friday) with 110 people losing their jobs.
Plant manager Anthony Green, who has worked for Mahle for three years, said: “There is nothing we could have done about it, it’s all through the uncertainty of the diesel engine and automotive market.
“Brexit may have something to do with it too.”
The loss of two big contracts in recent months has played a part in the closure, which will see the facility cleared in the next two or three weeks and the assets sold.
But despite the jobs blow, Mr Green praised the spirit of everyone at Mahle and said the final day had been sad but also wonderful with a barbecue to ‘celebrate’ what they have achieved in recent years.
He said: “I am humbled by the people here.
“People have been hugging me and they have been patting me on the back.
“We have had a big barbecue, we have had music playing and everyone’s gone home to their families - it’s been a wonderful but sad day.”
Mr Green said they have organised job workshops and had representatives from the DWP and other agencies in to help staff with their CVs and to help consider their options.
But he added: “Skills you can train, but what you can’t train is attitude.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, the attitude shown by the team here has been exemplary, I wouldn’t have a doubt in recommending any of them.”
Mr Green said today’s barbecue was to mark the progress they have made as a team and added: “The guys recognise what a difference we have made in the last number of years.”
He believes they are a victim of the legislative strategy announced by the Government, which has also affected other automotive companies.
But added: “Nobody holds a grudge, nobody is blaming anyone, it’s just unfortunately the circumstances we have in Wellingborough as victims of the changes in legislation and the demonisation of the diesel engine.
“It’s been a dreadful day in the fact that we have closed and 110 people have lost their jobs, but also a celebration of what we have achieved.
“The guys are very proud of what they have done and they know it’s nothing they have done or Mahle has done.”
Two people affected by today’s closure have been deployed to other Mahle sites.
Mahle Powertrain specialises in the design, development, manufacture, assembly and test of internal combustion engines and hybrid powertrain systems.