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TRW opens talks after Lucas SRE collapse

Rotating electrics manufacturer, Lucas SRE has gone into administration, just 12 months after it was founded. The company, which laid off around 100 this summer, has 45 remaining employees.

The Birmingham headquartered company, which supplies Lucas branded electrical components including rotating electrics, alternators and bulbs, will continue to trade while administrator Grant Thornton seeks a buyer who will take on the business as a going concern.

The company was formed in October last year when TRW Automotive, which holds the licence for Lucas, signed a joint venture with Sovereign Rotating Electrics. The new business, owned by Sovereign, was named Lucas SRE and distributed both TRW and Lucas branded electrical aftermarket products as well as Sovereign’s existing range.

But in June it was forced to make 100 workers redundant at its West Sussex site, which it blamed on rising costs. TRW, which still owns the Lucas brand, is now in talks with a several UK and European based companies, which are said to be ‘very interested’ in taking on the Lucas SRE licence.

“There are a number of interested parties with whom we are in discussion,” says Francois Augnet, director and general manager of TRW Automotive Aftermarket, Europe.“We are working with the administrators to secure the best possible future for Lucas.”

But the company has ruled out taking the rotating electrics business in-house. “We have no intention of taking back responsibility for this area as it is no longer in -line with our chassis systems strategy for Europe,” adds Augnet.

No-one from Lucas SRE was available for comment.

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