An automotive supply chain firm that has created more than 40 jobs in the last two years received a royal seal of approval.
Penso Group, which specialises in niche vehicle development, interior trim and electronic systems integration, hosted a visit from His Royal Highness The Duke of York as part of a delegation organised by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and UK Trade and Invest.
His Royal Highness (HRH) received a guided tour of the company’s 42,000 sq ft facility in Coventry before viewing high profile projects involving Jaguar Land Rover, the Mercedes-Benz London Vito taxi and the revolutionary Morgan 3 Wheeler.
The Duke was also introduced to the firm’s latest recruit, 19 year-old Jak Gudger, who only started his first-year production apprenticeship on Monday.
“The Royal visit capped an amazing year for Penso, which has seen us win lots of exciting new projects in the automotive sector, as well as new contracts in defence, renewable energy and aerospace,” explained Michael Collins, sales and marketing director.
“It was great to meet The Duke of York and it gave us the perfect opportunity to promote the manufacturing excellence, innovation and design flair we boast in the West Midlands.
“We also used the tour to discuss access to finance, the skills agenda and the importance of bringing through the next generation of engineers we so desperately need to grow our business.”
Backed by strategic support from the Manufacturing Advisory Service – West Midlands, Penso was launched in 2004 after a management buy-in by Daniel Hurcombe, managing director, and David Roche, technical director.
This year alone, the company manufactured more than 600 vehicles, produced 4,500 wire harnesses and completed more than 1,000 bespoke interiors for a variety of OEM clients.
Its ability to offer advanced engineering solutions has seen it grow beyond expectations with millions of pounds of new business, a considerable future order book and a group-wide performance that smashed its targets.
This has led to 40 new jobs at its Woodhams Road facility, taking its workforce to 100.
Mr Collins added: “We offer the complete manufacturing solution from styling, design and rapid prototyping to engineering feasibility, tooling and, increasingly, full vehicle production.
“Our technical experience and eye for innovation has seen us secure some of the automotive world’s most exciting projects, including interior trim products for the Morgan 3 Wheeler and advanced body engineering projects for several of the latest Jaguar Land Rover products.”
HRH The Duke of York said: “Penso is a great example of modern day manufacturing, a business that is using design, innovation and engineering excellence to develop future automotive technologies and create tens of jobs.”
Rachel Eade, who led the support, commented: “This is a real West Midlands success story and we will continue to work with the dynamic management team on its expansion plans that could create another 50 jobs over the next year.”
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said Penso was an example of a firm which will generate jobs to improve the economy.
She said: “Penso is a great example of some of the cutting-edge work going on in this city and the region.
“If we are going to see a rebalancing of the economy in this country we need to see many, many more companies of this type who have started small and grown rapidly to become a leader in their field.”