Wrightbus has taken two orders from clients in Hong Kong and Japan respectively that are worth a combined total of £8m. The deals will see it deliver 40 Gemini 3-bodied Volvo B8Ls to an unnamed customer in Hong Kong and five Gemini 3-bodied Scania K 410 EBs to a buyer in Japan, with all bodies to be produced by the Wrightbus factory in Malaysia.
The manufacturer says it has also engaged positively with the Australian market about the potential of its hydrogen fuel cell-electric buses there. While that work has not yet proceeded to the tendering stage, Wrightbus International head Nathan Hodge adds that the Ballymena builder sees a “huge amount of potential” for those models in Australia.
Wrightbus Chief Executive Buta Atwal says that while the business has “endured a complicated year like so many manufacturers across the world,” the orders from Hong Kong and Japan will assist with its emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In preparation both for the recovery and for expected work related to the 4,000 zero-emission buses that form part of the National Bus Strategy for England, Wrightbus has also created 40 new jobs. Those roles include office, sales, accounts and managerial positions and production staff in various disciplines. 19 will be apprenticeships. An international project engineer role has also been created to foster increased global sales.