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Autoliv to close UK plant

Autoliv, the airbag and seatbelt maker, has announced plans to close its plant in Havant, Hampshire, next March with the loss of 520 jobs.

The Swedish company is moving production to other countries including Turkey and Spain, citing “a lack of future business in Britain” as the reason.

"Although UK volumes remain constant, fewer manufacturers are designing new car models in the UK," Autoliv said in a statement.

The closure would result in a charge of $11m (£5.7m) in the first quarter of this year and an additional $4m (£2.08m) before the second quarter of 2006.

Of the $15m (£7.83m), $6m (£3.1m) are non-cash write-offs which will be recorded in the first quarter 2005. The total costs do not include existing unrecognized actuarial losses related to a defined-benefit pension plan of $10m (£5.22m) which will be amortized over the estimated 17 years remaining service lives of the plan participants.

The firm would save an equal amount, $15m (£7.82m), realised in one year by closing the plant, it added.

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