Do you remember that advert on UK television for Oldham car batteries with the catchy phrase, "I told 'em Oldham"? At that time, I doubt that most people gave a second thought to the make of battery they had installed in their car. Oldham obviously wanted to change that.
I don’t know what has happened to Oldham battery company. I imagine, like any other car component company, they have suffered as a result of the huge drop in sales of new cars. Still, car batteries have a limited life and even if you don’t replace your car, you will still need to change the battery at some point. Having said that, my last car in the UK had the original battery in it when I sold it as a five years old.
Now to the point of this story. Many of you who have cars will have heard of the VARTA battery. Not only do they make batteries for torches etc., they also make batteries for vehicles. Their car batteries are produced in several factories throughout Europe including one on the outskirts of nearby Guardamar del Segura.
The factory at Guardamar, which was built forty years ago, had been badly hit by the economic crisis and was in danger of closure just twelve months ago. Now though, things are very different; they are turning out 700,00 batteries a month (250,000 more than previously) , 400 people are employed at the factory (an increase of 100) of which 80% are on permanent contracts and the factory is working seven days a week.
That is great news for VARTA and great news for Guardamar. Let us hope the company continues to go from strength to strength.
PS I have a slogan for the Guardamar factory which rivals the Oldham one – “Fit a Varta, it’s a better starter”. How corny can I get – worse than that I am afraid.