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The 10 Biggest Manufacturers in Wales in 2022

According to the latest Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) published by the Welsh Government, the top ten manufacturing companies in Wales, taking advantage of tools such as manufacturing software to manage their business.   

1. Airbus Defence and Space, Broughton 

The Airbus Group is a global leader in aeronautic, space, and related services. In 2017 it had revenues of € 67 billion and employed more than 130,000 people. It has four business units: Airbus, where we design and build airliners; Airbus Defence and Space, where we develop defense systems and also manufacture space systems; Airbus Helicopters for manufacturing helicopters; and finally Airbus Engines that manufactures engines such as those used on many A320 Family aircraft such as the A350 XWB which partners with be on some routes from Cardiff Airport. Airbus is the largest manufacturing employer in Wales, and Broughton works on aircraft such as the A380, A350 XWB, and A400M Atlas. It has around 6,000 employees at its site in northwest Wales, and it spends €6 billion with Welsh companies annually (2016).    

2. Ford Motor Company Ltd., Bridgend

The Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903 by Henry Ford and since then has grown to become one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. It had 15 factories across the UK employing more than 40,000 people, but today there are no Ford factories other than Bridgend. This employs around 1,800 staff working on three different models: the Fiesta, including an electric version, and the Transit van.   

3. Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Wrexham 

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water provides drinking water to 2 million people across Wales from reservoirs such as Lake Vyrnwy near Welshpool. It also provides water to most of the food and drinks companies in Wales, such as Brains (brewers), Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover, Village Bakery, and distillery Penderyn.  

4. Proctor and Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Ltd., Merthyr Tydfil 

The company makes a variety of personal care products for famous brands such as Pantene and Head & Shoulders shampoo that you might use in your own bathroom or when travelling.   

5. Unilever Bestfoods Ltd., Llandre 

The Unilever Group is one of the biggest producers of consumer goods in the world with 400 factories worldwide that produce Dove soap; Magnum ice creams; Persil washing powder; Joy dishwashing liquids; and Sure deodorant, among many other products. It had around 3,000 employees in 2015 where it has its headquarters was located on the outskirts of Aberystwyth. Still, most of its Welsh operations are centered around Llandre, which is home to over 800 staff making a mixture of food and household brands such as Wall’s ice cream, PG Tips tea, Comfort fabric conditioner, and Lynx shower gel.  

6. Nestlé Rowntree Ltd., Porthmadog 

Nestlé Rowntree is part of the Swiss-based company Nestlé S.A which makes some of the world’s best-known confectionery brands such as Kit Kat chocolate bars; Smarties candies; Aero bubbles of air chocolate bars; and Rolo, Toffee Crisp, and Yorkie of chewy caramelly bars. In Wales, it employs around 500 people through its site in Porthmadog, where it makes a variety of confectionery brands for the UK market including Aero, After Eight, Limit, Lion bar, Milkybar, Yorkie, and Quality Street, among others.  

7. Airbus Operations Ltd., Broughton 

Airbus is a European aircraft company with its main manufacturing plant at Broughton in northwest Wales, where they produce the wings of every A380 double-decker jet you might fly on when travelling long distance. It now has more than 3,000 employees, with 600 workings directly on the production lines with another 1,000 employed indirectly throughout the supply chain.   

8. JCB Excavators Ltd., Rocester 

JCB is a British manufacturer of construction equipment such as excavators and other machines used in the construction industry, including dustcarts that you might see around a building site. It has its main manufacturing plant-based at Rocester in Staffordshire, where it made approximately 2,000 products per day, having started production in Uttoxeter in 1958. It employs 1,674 people throughout the UK, with around 400 of these employees being based in Wales, where its Welsh headquarters is located on the outskirts of Swansea, making around 100 products each week for local markets, including landscaping machinery and agricultural equipment. In Wales, it also provides medium earth-moving equipment for motorway construction work on the M4 around Port Talbot for Tarmac Ltd.   

9. General Electric Co., Newport

General Electric Company (GE) is an American multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, that makes a wide range of products from jet engines to ultrasound imaging systems for hospitals. It employs around 300 people at its site in Newport, which makes a variety of electric engines and generators that are used in car assembly plants, including Honda’s plant in Swindon; Nissan’s plant in Sunderland; Toyota’s engine plant based near Deeside, North Wales and Mercedes Benz vans plant based on the outskirts of Bristol. In Wales, it also provides gas engines to power various equipment such as forklift trucks made by Raymond Ltd., headquartered near Pontypridd.   

10. Motorola Solutions Inc., New Tredegar 

Motorola Solutions is a US-based telecommunications company that designs and produces mobile devices like aeroplanes that you might travel on when going on holiday or travelling for business. It employs around 300 people at its site in New Tredegar, where it makes everything from microwave radio systems to public safety products for organisations including the UK Police Forces, Welsh Ambulance Services, and fire brigades.