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Key Dates in The Unipart Story

When many people think of Unipart, they recall a company that revolutionised the automotive aftermarket in the 1970s. A lot has changed since then; Unipart is now a highly diversified company bringing a wide range of benefits to clients in the rail, technology, retail, automotive, financial and public sectors.

Each of our client relationships is unique, but what is common to most is how Unipart enables significant cost reductions, improvements in capacity and customer service, and a level of engagement with employees that delivers real commercial benefits.

Our operations today span three major areas: logistics, manufacturing and consultancy. But across all three, there is a single approach that enables us to deliver more than our clients expect. We call that The Unipart Way.

To understand some of the major events that have helped to shape our Group, please click on the relevant tab below. For more details on many of the events, please click here.

To download our corporate brochure click here.

1987

Unipart becomes a private company through management buyout with half the company owned by employees and managers

1988

Launch of Mark in Action programme recognising outstanding personal customer service by employees

1989

Launch of the Ten(d) to Zero programme enabling Unipart and its suppliers to work in partnership to eliminate waste from the supply chain

1989

Unipart Industries site in Oxford wins Best Factories Award from Management Today

1990

Launch of Our Contribution Counts Circles, which enables all employees to solve problems at their own level

1992

Secretary of State, the Rt. Hon. John Patten MP, opens Unipart employee health and fitness centre, The Lean Machine

1993

Unipart’s Coventry manufacturing site wins Best Factory in Britain award by Management Today/Cranfield University.

1993

Unipart is first company to set up its own corporate university, the Unipart U.

1994

Unipart celebrates the silver jubilee of the Unipart Brand

1994

Group Chief Executive John M Neill made Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his 20 years of outstanding service to and leadership in the automotive industry.

1994

Her Majesty The Queen and HRH Duke of Edinburgh visit Unipart’s manufacturing site in Coventry.

1995

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visits Unipart House to see how the recommendations of the Tomorrow’s Company report are being brought to life

1996

Lord Sheppard of Didgemere named as Chairman of Unipart Group

1997

The first ‘Faculty on the Floor’ learning centre is launched at Unipart’s site in Kent

1997

Unipart opens four new joint venture factories including Kautex Unipart Ltd and Unipart Eberspacher Exhaust Systems

1997

Unipart acquires Railpart and a 49% share in National Railway Supplies

1997

The Unipart Way is launched

1998

Unipart is among the first businesses to support the Government’s New Deal initiative

1999

Unipart acquires Partco Group making it the largest supplier of aftermarket parts in Britain

1999

Unipart wins Vodafone as a new customer.

2001

Unipart acquires the remaining 51% of National Rail Supplies

2004

Unipart new clients include BskyB, Homebase and Jessops

2006

Unipart and Vodafone announce plans to establish a multimillion pound distribution and repair centre at Nuneaton

2007

The Gate to Great development framework launched. A core aspect of the Unipart Way, it aims to develop the skills and talents of all employees

2007

Unipart Nuneaton wins the European Supply Chain Excellence Award

2007

New contracts with Habitat UK & Pets at Home.

2007

Unipart Expert Practices, the Group’s consultancy arm established. 150 ‘expert practitioners, begin consultancy work with HMRC

2008

New contracts with Waterstones and RSPB

2009

New contract with Sainsburys

2010

Unipart opens BskyB Set Top Box Repair Centre

2010

Unipart wins Platinum status in Business in the Community’s appraisal of corporate responsibility

2011

Unipart Nuneaton named as best UK Mobile Repair Centre

2011

Unipart opens moves to purpose-built fulfilment centre in Barnsley for ASOS

2011

Unipart Automotive sold to H2 Equity Partners.

2012

Siemens Rail Systems renews logistics contract with Unipart Rail for 10 years

2012

John M Neill named Unipart Group Chairman and Chief Executive

2012

Unipart launches The Talent Factory, a national programme to develop young talent

2013

Lord Jones of Birmingham Kt Appointed Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of Unipart Expert Practices

2013

Unipart wins ‘best of best’ awards for excellence in Health and Safety and Environmental Management

2013

Unipart Launches Advanced Manufacturing Technology facility in Coventry creating 80 new jobs

2013

Bryan Jackson MBE appointed to Unipart Board

2013

Unipart wins new e-fulfilment business with The Duvet & Pillow Warehouse

2013

Coventry University and the Unipart Group join forces to develop a new Engineering and Manufacturing Institute

2014

New manufacturing facility for Kautex Unipart Ltd opens in Coventry

2014

Unipart wins additional contract with Toyota in India

2014

Unipart Rail announces partnership with University of Huddersfield

2014

Unipart ranks among top UK companies in BiTC 2014 Index

2014

Unipart launches training programme for young jobseekers

2014

Unipart & Chinese car maker Qoros announce ground breaking five year deal

2014

Unipart receives BiTC Big Tick award for Wellbeing and Employee Engagement

2014

Unipart Manufacturing gets £1m. funding for R&D into advanced fuel systems

2014

Unipart Manufacturing opens its doors to the UK’s next generation of engineers and manufacturers at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering.

2014

Unipart wins a major contract with National Grid to train and coach thousands of employees in the UK and US.

2014

Unipart is named the top company for graduates in the transport, logistics and distribution centre.

2014

Unipart wins a ground-breaking five year, full-spectrum aftermarket logistics contract with Qoros Automotive Co. Ltd., which is based in Changshu, China.

2014

Unipart launches a new programme called Unipart Inspires, aimed at equipping young job seekers with skills for work .

2014

Unipart is one of only four organisations worldwide to have won both the British Safety Council’s prestigious Sword of Honour and the Globe of Honour in 2014.

2014

Unipart Rail and Lucchini UK announce joint venture

2015

Kubota chooses Unipart to provide world class distribution centre

2015

Unipart Manufacturing Group launches Unipart Powertrain Applications business in Coventry

2015

HSS Hire partners with Unipart to run national distribution centre and HSS version of The Unipart Way

2015

Unipart Rail wins prestigious UK Rail industry collaboration award

2015

Unipart announces best profits since 2005

2015

Unipart wins highest accolade for corporate responsibility -- 5 stars in BiTC Index

2015

Unipart & Rolls-Royce form joint venture called MetLase

2015

Unipart Logistics opens new parts distribution centre in Bhiwandi in India

2015

Unipart wins seven swords of honour and three globes of honour from British Safety Council

2015

Unipart launches national productivity campaign in press and online

2016

Unipart Rail acquires Park Signalling ltd

2016

Unipart receives 100% in Responsible Business Index

2016

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid visits MetLase.

2016

Unipart is named ‘best in class’ by Graduates for their leadership programme.

2016

Unipart wins the Bupa Wellbeing at Work award at the Business in Community's 2016 Responsible Business Awards.

2016

Unipart Manufacturing wins a seven-year contract to supply engine components for Ford cars being produced in China.

2016

Unipart Group wins a Princess Royal Training Award in recognition of its in-house management training and development programme.

2016

CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn visits The Unipart Group headquarters in Oxford to learn about how the firm is unlocking its productivity potential through ‘The Unipart Way’.

2016

Unipart Logistics wins 10 Swords of Honour and five Globes of Honour at the British Safety Council's Sword and Globe of Honour awards.

2016

Unipart’s Chairman and Group Chief Executive, John Neill CBE, wins “Outstanding Achievement” Award at the annual Automotive Global Awards.

2017

Unipart Rail awarded the Customer Focus and Collaboration Award by Siemens Rail Systems at their Supplier Recognition event.

2017

Unipart Group receives a number of accolades at the International Safety Awards including a special award for outstanding achievement in health, safety and environmental management and an award for Unipart Rail in the transportation, distribution and storage category.