Liverpool city region carbon fibre brake disc maker Surface Transforms secures £100m contact with global carmaker. Tony McDonough reports
Carbon fibre brake disc maker Surface Transforms (ST) has secured a £100m contract with an unnamed global carmaker.
This latest deal takes the Knowsley firm’s order book to £390m. In September the firm reported half-year losses had more than doubled to £5.5m after meeting “technical challenges” in a bid to ramp up production.
Listed on the Alternative Investment Market, ST produces brake discs for high performance cars. Customers have included Porsche, Ferrari and Nissan. It is currently supplying brake discs for the Aston Martin Valkyrie which retails at £3m apiece.
Under this latest deal the business will be a tier one supplier for the automotive giant which is already a customer of the firm.
ST will be the sole supplier of the carbon ceramic brake disc on both axles of a range of new electric vehicles with common axles. The award covers vehicles where the product is standard fitment as well as vehicles where it is an option.
Lifetime revenue on this range of models is expected to exceed £100m with series production planned for seven years. The Company expects series production to start in 2027.
Chief executive Kevin Johnson said: “This most welcome nomination is the company’s largest to date, deepening our relationship with the customer.
“The selection process was intensely competitive and set against the recent Surface Transforms production ramp-up challenges. This success further illustrates the advanced technical capabilities of our products.
“The trend for follow-on awards with existing customers is something we have seen across all our customers.
“Our healthy prospective contract pipeline is mainly made up of existing customer programmes and is expected to continue to fuel our growth and capacity expansion plans into the future.”
This new contract will require capacity beyond both the current factory footprint and the phase 2 capacity investment programme, forecast to provide £75m per year sales capacity in 2025.
The timing gives the company sufficient time to implement the third phase of its capacity expansion to provide £150m per year of total sales capacity.
ST’s drive to increase capacity in late 2022 led to “highly specific, but cumulatively significant” production issues with furnaces. This in turn led to scrapped production. Issues were resolved in the first quarter of 2023 but the financial effects lasted for longer.