MANUFACTURER SMR warmly welcomed a special visit from MP for Fareham Suella Fernandes as she visited the factory to find out how British manufacturing is becoming great again.
Her visit to the Portchester mirror manufacturer was organised on the back of figures showing that manufacturing activity had increased.
UK manufacturing grew last month, with Markit’s UK Purchasing Managers’ Index showing a rise to 51.9 in July from 51.4 in June, after a 26- month low.
Ms Fernandes visited the UK facility of the globally operating automotive specialist SMR and met its managing director Alun Tribe.
She said she was fascinated to learn that all wing mirrors on Jaguar cars are made there.
Ms Fernandes said: ‘I was impressed by the family atmosphere of the company and I am thrilled that such cutting-edge research and development, leadership and innovation is taking place here in Portchester.’
SMR is Samvardhana Motherson Group’s division for rear vision systems and it makes interior and exterior mirrors as well as camera- based driver assist technology.
The products serve both passenger and commercial vehicles, including Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo.
SMR has patented more than 600 products, such as turn signals in exterior mirrors with the Mercedes Benz S-Class, intelligent mirror integrated camera systems for monitoring blind zones in 2005 for Volvo and plastic mirror reflectors ‘PlasticGlass’ in 2012 for Ford.
Currently in the development stage are next generation high performance camera technologies complementing or even replacing rear view mirrors with the objective to make driving more comfortable, safe and fun.
In the last financial year SMR had external sales of €1.2 billion with 93 per cent of sales being exterior mirrors, integrated turn signals and electric actuators.
The company employs 8,500 people across the world at manufacturing and assembly plants.