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February 12 2018
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Wrightbus consults over redundancies

Wrightbus has begun a statutory consultation process, about a potential workforce reduction at its Northern Ireland facilities.

Depending on the outcome, up to 95 job roles could be affected within the company’s Wrightbus and Customcare operating divisions Ballymena.

Wrights Group, which employs 1700 people is “currently experiencing challenging market conditions”

Wrights Group employs 1700 people.

The company is “currently experiencing challenging market conditions” with bus companies facing pressures in terms of capital funding and meeting ever-stricter environmental requirements.

Its major contract to deliver 1,000 New Routemaster buses, with the first deliveries in 2012 has now concluded with the last delivered in December 2017.

Chairman of Wrights Group, Mark Nodder OBE, says: “Wrightbus, along with the rest of the industry, is facing some very difficult conditions in its domestic market at present, with current order intake for new vehicles at relatively low levels.

“In order that the business remains competitive in the long term, it is vital that we promptly take appropriate steps to align our production capacity to projected demand in the foreseeable future.

“We have continued to invest in our product range so that it remains best in class in terms of fuel efficiency and environmental performance. The company will therefore be well positioned when market conditions improve.

 “As a privately-owned business and one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland, we have not come to this decision lightly and it is done with a heavy heart.

“However, we operate in dynamic marketplace with competition from around the globe and we must respond and react accordingly.

“We will naturally work with the union and employee representatives to ensure that we manage the process in the most sympathetic way possible for all affected.”

He added: “Given the sensitivities around this announcement, the company will not be making any further statement until the consultation process is concluded.”

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