Chch manufacturer cuts up to 60 jobs

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 05:00 08/11/2012

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Large Christchurch electronics manufacturer Dynamic Controls is proposing to shed up to 60 staff in closing its unprofitable contract manufacturing division.

Chief executive Charlotte Walshe said yesterday the company had put a proposal to the staff in that part of the business.

Forty to 60 jobs would be affected and the jobs would go over six to nine months as the contracts ended.

"At this stage we cannot confirm how many redundancies could occur because some of the affected staff have skills which are transferable to our Medical Mobility division. However, it's likely that the first of these redundancies will occur in March 2013."

It was working through options such as contacting competitors and other electronics manufacturers in Christchurch to see if they needed staff.

Walshe said Dynamic's parent company, Invacare Corporation in the United States, was committed to keeping Dynamic Controls' R&D centre in Christchurch.

Staff numbers in R&D had doubled to 80 over the last three years and continued to grow.

Walshe said the company's spending on R&D had doubled over five years. The company was the world's leading designer and manufacturer of electronic controls for powered wheelchairs.

Much of the company's manufacturing had been shifted to China in 2007 when the company shed about 200 jobs in Christchurch.

Walshe said it was the impact of a sluggish global economy over the last nine to 12 months that had hurt its contract manufacturing business, "to the point where it is no longer profitable".

"We believe these conditions are unlikely to improve in the forseeable future."

The contract manufacturing business had dropped to making up only 10 per cent of revenues from 20 per cent a few years ago.

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- The Press

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