Re-manufacturer Direct Parts, in Cheddleton, wins national Arriva contract

Direct Group team members with some of the parts

COMMERCIAL vehicle specialist Direct Group has won a national contract to supply equipment to one of the country’s biggest transport companies. The group’s Direct Parts business, based in Cheddleton, will supply a range of steering and hydraulic equipment to Arriva for its bus fleet. It comes as Direct celebrates its 21st year in business and will result in a number of additional engineers and apprentices joining the company’s 25-strong workforce. Managing director Roy Kendrick said: “This really gives us a boost. “We have experienced more growth over the last 12 to 18 months than some other companies because we have introduced a number of new products to the marketplace. “But while we have supplied Arriva in the past, instead of being one of several suppliers we are now the sole supplier. “It’s a great birthday present.” The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says 80 per cent of vehicle components can be made in the UK. There are 2,350 automotive suppliers in the country, employing 82,000 people. Of the 35,760,901 vehicles on UK roads in 2012, 0.3 per cent were buses and coaches. Direct Parts offers a complete range of bus, truck and 4×4 steering components which have been re-manufactured at the business’s North Staffordshire workshops. Mr Kendrick added: “Our group sales director Phil Patten has been working very hard on this contract so it is huge congratulations to him. “I would also like to thank all the staff. There are only two or three specialist companies in the UK offering this product range, and being a major re-manufacturer means we offer a green element to our services, repairing products and putting them back into use. “We are just a little company but we are working with big names right across the UK. We are very proud of what we achieve here in Cheddleton.” Of all UK automotive suppliers, more than 70 per cent manufacture their products in the UK. It is estimated that every job in UK vehicle assembly supports 7.5 elsewhere in the economy. The SMMT said while the UK has a thriving automotive industry it must continue to grow and develop. It is predicted that by 2017, the UK will produce more than two million cars per year – higher than its all-time record of 1.92 million in 1972. Mr Kendrick said: “We will be looking to bring in a couple more engineers and one or two more apprentices to help us meet the demands of the Arriva contract. We have two apprentices at the moment and one which has just finished and they are our shining lights.”   Published: 9 April 2014, The Sentinel