Electronics company explains decision to close Fife factory

A German electronics company has blamed the closure of its Glenrothes factory on a weak automotive market and the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Jamie Callaghan
Friday, 29th January 2021, 9:12 am
The Micronas site in Glenrothes.
The Micronas site in Glenrothes.

It was revealed this week that TDK Micronas would be shutting its Glenrothes site, with the loss of 83 jobs.

Micronas Limited, based in Southfield Industrial Estate, will shut its doors in April as part of a restructuring process. Staff have been informed of the decision, and a consultation process has begun.

CEO Günter Weinberger explained why the decision had been taken to close the site.He said: "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 per cent 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.

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"However, we must recognise that while the industry is slightly recovering, it will not be the same again. New equipment and new products generate the much needed productivity improvements, and, as a consequence, we anticipate the overall production situation to develop towards a lower number of testers requiring less floor space and less operators.

"The Glenrothes site has always delivered good performance, but in a scenario where an entire site becomes obsolete, the only option is to keep the German test site running, as it is also the engineering location as well as the pilot production.

"We are aware that this marks the end of an era in Glenrothes, and it is a mirror of the massive changes in the industry as well as in our business and product spectrum.

"Despite the clear economic situation, we sincerely regret having to part with all the capable employees on site in Scotland. It was not easy for us to make this decision, but we have to act in terms of a holistic solution for TDK-Micronas. We are grateful for the commitment and loyalty of our Scottish employees since we began operations in Glenrothes and we sincerely wish them all the best for their future."