The Laird Group has sold its main car parts business to a US group for £142m. In the past it has been hinted that Laird would start to concentrate its resources on opportunities in the fast-growing electronics industry.

The company is now in talks about the sale of the rest of its automotive operations.

Laird's Draftex carbody sealing systems business was sold to the US-based GenCorp. Draftex last year made an operating profit of £11.9m on sales of £258.6m. That accounted for half of Laird's automotive turnover.

No job cuts in the UK are envisaged at this stage as a result of the sale.

The stance by Lairs is further evidence of the difficult going in the components sector and of the weakness of the euro. It also reflects investors' disenchantment with automotive operations.