First two York firms sold
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• Two of York's UK subsidiaries have been sold. The German trailer manufacturer Schmitz-Anhanger has snapped up refrigerated trailer division Thermostar; and Neville Charrold, the aluminium tipper manufacturer, has been sold to vehicle components manufacturer Lycett Industries of Burton-on-Trent.
Buyers for York Trailers and Abel Demountables are expected to be found this week.
Thermostar was one of the group's more profitable businesses. It will be renamed Schmitz Thermostar and will operate alongside the company's UK marketing arm, Schmitz Trailers (UK), which has been in business since 1987 and has eight repair centres in the UK. It sells refrigerated vehicles, swap bodies, tilts and skeletal trailers, but until now had no manufacturing plant in the UK.
Thermostar has 140 staff, a turnover of about £20m and sells about 550 units a year, 12% of which are rigids. Its customers include Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Wincanton. "The decision was a cliff-hanger; the competition was stiff," says Schmitz Trailers (UK) managing director Preston Allen.
Neville Charrold had a turnover of about £5m this year and anticipates one of £6m next year; it is currently breaking even. It makes about 440 units a year, of which 160 are bodies for rigid trucks, and has a staff of 55 which it plans to increase to 75 next year.
Lycett Industries has three manufacturing bases, at Burtonon-Trent, Tamworth, and in Budapest, Hungary. Chairman Robert Armitage plans to start manufacturing Neville Charrold products in Budapest