Keeping the automotive tradition alive in Warwickshire

 With a £50 billion annual turnover, the British automotive industry is now the UK’s largest export sector, accounting for 11% of overseas sales. Warwickshire has long had strong links with vehicle manufacture, and Automotive Insulations is a great example of an automotive success story.

The Rugby based company specialise in the design and manufacture of acoustic and thermal insulation materials for the automotive industry amongst others. Their products help reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) in vehicles and the company was recently involved in developing materials for the award winning Range Rover Evoque.

Formed back in 1966, Automotive Insulations (AI) supplied parts for the original Mini. Taken taken over by the current management team in 2006,  the company has since experienced rapid growth, more than tripling its workforce.

Speed to market

Managing Director Jim Griffin attributes much of this success to innovativion and  a commitment to meeting clients’ needs quickly. “Customers  are now looking for more agile and capable companies. We specialise in fast turnaround projects and pride ourselves on being responsive to industry needs.  Rising raw material costs have been a challenge, but one that we have met by encouraging UK businesses to engage with us and produce competitive products that were previously sourced abroad.”

Having a carefully structured and successful plan for growth has enabled the company to expand rapidly, even in the economic downturn. AI has added in-house acoustic testing equipment to the site which, when combined with alliances with other acoustic testing companies, has enabled them to offer a comprehensive service which includes full vehicle analyses and single material or component comparisons. The company plan to continue adding to their facilities, bringing much of the testing process in-house.

Invest and grow

Whilst many companies are currently wary about investment, Jim feels that this has been key to the company’s growth. “Our success comes from being adaptable and having the courage to invest, enabling us to increase both capacity and product range. Excellent service and customer/supplier relationships are at the forefront of our business. Without these trusting relationships we would be unable to provide the product deliverables as quickly as we do. Our experienced team is a credit to the company, working hard to develop new products and processes for tomorrow’s market, today.”

Automotive Insulation’s growth is set to continue with exciting plans for further expansion.  Their second site is due to open in Rugby later this year and will provide more growth opportunities for years to come.

“With over 140% increase in the turnover of the business since the 2006 buyout, our challenge now is to keep adding new markets and products,” explains Jim.