How Our Diversification Aided Business Survival

Jenks & Cattell Engineering Ltd has been a successful engineering company for over 134 years, and that isn’t without facing global business and economic challenges; which we have had to hurdle over to survive.

Jenks & Cattell overcame the ‘boom and bust’ after the war, followed by Thatcher leading a manufacturing meltdown and an inflation rise of 20% in the 1980’s, of which 20% of UK manufacturers didn’t survive due to cheap imports. More recently, we have faced the recession of 2008 with the banks going bust, and now we look positively to coming out the other side of the economic impact and challenges caused by COVID 19.

We have focussed on diversifying our industry and customer base to remain a safe, steady and profitable key employer to the West Midlands area for over a century, and today have only a 25% industry dependence.

Having been one of the first engineering companies to supply metal pressings to the automotive industry in the late 1940’s/50’s, and proudly manufacturing the iconic Mini headlamp rim, to afterwards being one of the UK’s biggest manufacturers of garden tools.

Unfortunately, we don’t manufacture a single garden tool today, but we do have a fantastic 20,000sqm manufacturing facility in the West Midlands with extensive machinery to aid our manufacture of simple and complex metal pressings, laser cut fabrications and welded assemblies.

It is our business policy to supply a diverse range of industries without reliance on just one; this spreads our risk, increases our product range and adds to our expertise and equipment. Automotive, electric vehicles and off-highway/yellow goods make up 50% of our industry base, as well as manufacturing components for healthcare, defence, marine, construction and truck markets.

We have been fortunate enough to invest in various personnel, machinery and equipment in order to supply such a wide range of products and industries, all of which is funded by Newship Group who own Jenks & Cattell Engineering amongst a wide range of other successful manufacturing businesses who collectively generate circa £170m turnover. Newship Group are a family owned business and have owned and developed Jenks & Cattell Engineering since 1986.

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