Welsh Government funding will help create 85 jobs in Llanelli a month after 220 jobs were to be lost in the same industry .

The funding of £4.4m will see Calsonic Kansei, which develops and produces cutting edge electric vehicle technology at their Llanelli plant, create 85 new jobs.

The plant currently employs a workforce in excess of 300 to manufacture cooling systems and air conditioning components for many of the major automotive companies worldwide.

At the start of November Schaeffler, which supplies automotive and industrial parts all over the world, announced it was to close its plant in the town.

The company said it wanted to relocate production to other plants in the US, China, South Korea and Germany.

Explaining the decision, the company’s Regional CEO for Europe, Juergen Ziegler, said that while Brexit was not the only reason behind the decision to close two sites, it had “brought forward” their decision.

Annouuncing the funding for Calsonic Kansei the Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “First and foremost, this is a real vote of confidence in the workforce at the company’s Llanelli plant. To have a company of such international standing commit to securing their current workforce alongside creating a further 85 jobs during such uncertain times is excellent news.

“For our part, our £4.4m investment has not only helped secure these jobs over a period of at least the next five years, but also ensures that Calsonic Kansei, and Wales have the necessary capacity and expertise to be a global leader in emerging Electric Vehicle technologies, particularly battery cooling developments.

“This move to a more sustainable model aligns directly with our Economic Action Plan and sees the company commit to growth, fair work, reducing their carbon footprint and promoting health, up-skilling and learning in the work place.

“It’s an opportune moment to for us to ensure this important regional employer plays a continued role in our growing economy and builds on our commitment to make sure our businesses are ready and equipped to make the most of the opportunities presented by the technologies of tomorrow.”

Keiichiro Miyanaga, CEO of Calsonic Kansei in Europe greatly welcomed this award, adding: “This support will help us secure the necessary skills, products and investment in our Llanelli site to meet the rapidly evolving requirements from electrification within the Automotive Industry. Through investment in product development and manufacturing capacity within the site, we can ensure we have the required capability to meet the future product needs of our key customers.”