SKF is ploughing SEK550m (US$60m) in strengthening its manufacturing footprint and competitiveness in North America, although the supplier will also make around 120 staff redundant.

Approximately SEK350m is being invested in expanding and automating manufacturing processes at the Group's factory in Sumter, South Carolina.

A further SEK200m is being invested in localising manufacturing of Tapered Roller Bearings (TRBs) from China to an existing manufacturing site in Mexico. The transfer supports the Group's regional manufacturing ambitions.

The Group is consolidating its factories in Avon, Ohio and North Charleston, South Carolina into the Sumter factory.

"These investments illustrate SKF's commitment to better serving customers in the region and will improve both our flexibility and competitiveness," said SKF Industrial Sales, Americas president, John Schmidt.

"While this is an essential step for SKF, we do not take decisions that impact our employees lightly. We are deeply appreciative of our employees in Avon and North Charleston and we are committed to fully supporting them as they transition to roles outside SKF."

The investments and consolidation announced will take around 12-18 months to implement and will result in a reduction in staff of approximately 120 people, with associated restructuring costs amounting to SEK35m, to be accounted for during the third quarter of 2020.