Scottish bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis has announced plans to initiate a restructuring programme for the business which will put up to 650 jobs at risk.
It comes as a result of significant decline across the UK for new buses and coaches due to the impact of lockdown and social distancing measures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Measures taken by the business such as utilisation of the UK Government Job Retention Scheme, salary and working hour reductions were insufficient to align the company’s cost base to the current economic reality.
A formal consultation will begin in the coming weeks on the restructuring programme across all of Alexander Dennis’ functions and facilities in the UK.
Alexander Dennis’ sister companies in the US and Canada will also be effected by the programme.
Alexander Dennis chief executive Colin Robertson, who is transitioning to the role of Vice Chair of the board of the business’ parent company NFI Group Inc, 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, new products and new markets. All of this changed with the impact of COVID-19.
“Since March, we have been in constant dialogue with the UK and Scottish Governments to make them aware of the unprecedented crisis facing our industry. We are deeply grateful for the support offered by the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme, and we are heartened by the Prime Minister’s reiteration earlier this month of the pledge he made in February to bring 4,000 new green buses into service. We continue to call upon both Governments to act now to prevent further job cuts and preserve the UK’s world-leading bus and coach manufacturing industry.”
Managing director Paul Davies added: “As the UK’s leading bus builder and the world leader in double deck buses, we aim to continue to play a key role in delivering on Governments’ congestion, decarbonisation and clean air targets. We have the technology, experience, skilled workforce, capacity and commitment to deliver thousands of new green buses.”