Wrightbus Plans Further Expansion in Europe

UK bus manufacturer, Wrightbus has unveiled plans for widespread expansion across Europe following 12 months of successful growth.

This expansion will lead to the creation of more jobs, with the manufacturer’s workforce already heading towards 2,000 people.

Wrightbus production in Ballymena, Northern Ireland
Wrightbus production in Ballymena, Northern Ireland

Wrightbus was named Northern Ireland’s fastest-growing business by Growth Index this month following five landmark deals in Germany. This marks a significant turnaround since the company was rescued out of administration by Jo Bamford in 2019.

Now, Wrightbus CEO Jean-Marc Gales is targeting further expansion for the company.

Wrightbus CEO Jean-Marc Gales said:

“The business is growing very fast and I am really proud of what we have achieved over the last 12 months because every order, whether home or abroad, guarantees jobs back in Ballymena.

“We are the number one zero-emissions bus maker in the UK. A year ago, we had 200 zero-emission buses on the road. Today, we have over 700 and in the next year we will get to 1,700. No-one else comes close.”

To meet the growing demand for its buses, Wrightbus has increased production rates to 22 buses a week, compared to eight buses two years ago. This figure is expected to rise further to 26 buses a week by the end of the year.

As part of its growth, Wrightbus is currently recruiting 80 apprentices to add to the 50 it already employs.

Jean-Marc Gales added:

“It is not so long ago we had 1,000 people. By the end of the year, we will have close to 2,000 employees. After that we will grow further. We are creating well paid, highly skilled jobs for the long-term; manufacturing jobs of tomorrow being created today.”

Lat week, the manufacturer announced a contract to provide 46 hydrogen buses to Germany.

In addition, it has received orders from West Verkehr, Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (RVK), and Saarbahn GmbH and has further European orders in the pipeline.

Jean-Marc Gales continued:

“Our buses have a vital role to play in decarbonising public transport and in partnership with operators, local authorities and governments to meet their carbon reduction targets.

“We will continue to grow at pace as we expand our geographic and product footprints in the future, which will result in more green jobs and roles. We're the UK leader now, and we want to become a European leader and then a world-leading company.”

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