STAFF from a historic Kidderminster car part manufacturing firm lost their jobs weeks before Christmas after the company fell into administration.

SDF Automotive Limited, in Stourport Road, went into administration, making 20 of the company's 48 employees redundant.

After the appointment of joint administrators Chris Pole and Mark Orton on November 25 2019, the business was marketed for sale with no viable offers received.

The company is headquartered in Kidderminster where its forging facility is also located. It manufactures and supplies connecting rods to the automotive sector.

The remaining staff are being retained to assist with the wind down of the business.

The Shuttle previously reported that the firm collapsed in November 2016 as a result of falling sales and a failure to find a buyer. All 43 members of staff were immediately made redundant.

Chris Pole, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “SDF Automotive is a well-known supplier to the UK’s automotive industry.

"However, the company recently suffered significant financial difficulties as a result of the loss of a major customer.

"This, along with a downturn on orders and cash flow pressures, impacted trading and led the directors to take the difficult decision to place the company into administration.

“Our focus over the coming weeks is to complete customer orders and to provide every available support to the staff who have been made redundant, including assisting them with claims from the Redundancy Payments Office.”

The firm has roots traced back to Dudley in 1826 with the setting up of a small company A Harper.

It later expanded and acquired a small forge in Rolfe Street Smethwick in 1912. The company later became Smethwick Drop Forgings in the 1920s and a second site was bought in Kidderminster.

At its height, during the Second World War, the company employed more than 2,000 workers in both its Kidderminster and Smethwick bases. The Smethwick works closed down in 1981.