Wheels fall off Britain’s biggest bus maker
UP TO 650 jobs are at risk at Alexander Dennis as Britain’s biggest bus maker prepares to swing the axe in response to the pandemic.
The firm, headquartered in Larbert, Scotland, said demand for new vehicles has been crushed by a sharp downturn in commuting and it has no choice but to slash costs.
A host of orders were cancelled after social distancing rules and low passenger numbers put a squeeze on operators’ finances. The company – which is owned by listed Canadian bus manufacturer NFI – said pay cuts and reduced working hours have not been enough to keep it in the black.
Alexander Dennis said: “The steps taken so far are insufficient to align the company’s cost base to the current economic reality and it now seeks to move to a leaner, more flexible manufacturing model.”
A formal consultation has been launched, with up to 650 of its 2,500-strong staff facing redundancy.
Colin Robertson, the chief executive, said: “A few short months ago, we were looking at a record year of sales, reaping the benefits of all our investment in new technology, and new markets. All of this changed with Covid-19.”
Alexander Dennis was founded 16 years ago by a consortium that included Stagecoach billionaire Sir Brian Souter. A majority stake was sold to NFI last year in a £300m deal.