An electric vehicle parts manufacturer based in Gateshead has announced expansion plans that will create 200 new jobs.

Engineering firm Sevcon will be tripling its workforce and moving to new premises in the Team Valley as it profits from rising demand for low-carbon vehicles worldwide. The new, larger premises will enable faster growth.

The company has already significantly increased its workforce and built up an order book worth £320 million over the last few years.

Sevcon, started in Gateshead more than five decades ago by north east industrialist Herbert Loebl, recently defeated a hostile takeover bid by an American hedge fund that wished to change the direction of the company.

Sevcon chief executive Matt Boyle said, “The worldwide electrification movement is prompting our ambitious growth agenda and our product road map has the potential to put us in the sweet spot for this transition.”

“The switch from the internal combustion engine to hybrid and electric vehicles is happening now. All the major motor manufacturers are involved and Sevcon’s skills are proving vital to this global shift.”

“We will need some 200 additional members of staff to support our growth. The future has never been brighter for Sevcon.”

In addition to its Gateshead HQ, Sevcon has a branch near Oxford, which it is also planning to expand.

Mr Boyle said, “We are keen to attract skilled engineers from, and to, the north east, and can offer excellent opportunities across all ages and skills groups, from engineering apprentices, to technicians, graduates and experienced engineers.”

Sevcon, which last year bought the Italian firm Bassi, supplies controllers for the engines of hybrid and electric vehicles. These act a bit like ‘brains’, monitoring the vehicle’s speed, fuel consumption and efficiency.

Sevcon also produces battery chargers for low-carbon vehicles.

Sevcon achieved a turnover of £40 million last year and has recently signed deals with British, European and Chinese companies worth over £250 million.

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