Wrightbus have opened a new ‘international assembly plant’ in India to provide a range of buses for the growing market in that country.
The Ballymena-based firm’s International senior team travelled to India for the opening of their bus body plant in Chennai and to officially premiere a range of buses designed and manufactured to meet the particular specifications of the growing Indian market. The opening event was held in conjunction with Daimler (India Commercial Vehicles).
The new Wrightbus International assembly plant has a capacity to produce 1,500 vehicles per annum for the Indian market and currently employs 140 local workers, a number that is set to increase rapidly as bus production begins in Chennai.
The R&D of the new product range was carried out at Wrights Group headquarters in Northern Ireland with the valued support of Invest Northern Ireland, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Mark Nodder, Wrights Group Chairman and CEO, comments: “India is a huge emerging market with massive potential. Having a presence on the ground in the territory and a bus range design specifically for the Indian market, will help sustain employment for the current workforce of 130 Wrightbus International employees based at Group headquarters in Northern Ireland. The opening of this assembly plant is a proactive step towards international expansion that will impact positively on Wrights Group performance and the local economy.”
Welcoming the development, Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Johnathan Bell MLA, said: “This new assembly plant in India is a milestone achievement for Wrightbus and follows extensive market research over the past six years. As well as support with developing its new product for the Indian market, the Ballymena-based manufacturer benefited from advice and practical support from Invest NI’s team of experts to link up with Daimler.
“Wrightbus is among Northern Ireland’s leading export businesses and this market offers exciting opportunities for those ambitious companies prepared to make the necessary long-term commitment and deploy the necessary financial and staff resources to do worthwhile international business. This investment will be an important catalyst in driving the company’s international growth strategy and enhance its already valuable contribution to the Northern Ireland economy.”
A leading manufacturer of buses, Wrightbus International has headquarters in the UK and is a division of Wrights Group. The company has its headquarters in Northern Ireland and has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE as well as overseas assembly facilities. With an internationally recognised pedigree of products Wrightbus International brings product innovation, industry knowledge and experience to a global audience, adapting the local business model and technology to interface on global territories.