Delphi Diesel Systems is to axe 176 of 771 jobs at a plant in Sudbury and move them abroad, leaving the plant to concentrate on higher skilled work and innovation.

The losses are made up of 91 full time and 85 agency jobs, the BBC reported. Neil Evans, regional officer for the union Unite, called the decision short-sighted.

“We’re very concerned about the decision managers have made,” he said.

“We believe it’s very short-sighted. Ultimately they are putting the entire operation in Sudbury in jeopardy.

“There are workers in Sudbury with more than 20 years’ experience and we are putting forward alternative strategies and doing our level best to reverse the decision.”

Delphi spokesman Richard Gotch said: “Delphi has entered into discussions with employee representatives on the uncompetitive nature of its Sudbury plant.

“The company is proposing a change in manufacturing to focus on high-tech manufacturing and is discussing the possibility to outsource non-core manufacturing components.

“The management is committed to the long-term best interests of the site and will work to minimise the impact by looking for ways to support the affected employees.

“The UK is Delphi’s centre of excellence for diesel research as well as manufacturing.”