Northern Irish bus manufacturer Wrightbus, most commonly identified in London with the manufacture of the New Bus for London (NBfL), has entered Administration.
|NBfL LT12 September 2012|
Just 50 jobs out of 1700 will be retained at the firm.
The company had suffered cash flow problems and had sought investment or a new owner.
Talks with two potential buyers of the firm, best known for building the New Routemaster, known as the "Boris Bus", failed to reach a conclusion last week.
Deloitte, the firm's administrator, said the lack of a buyer for Wrightbus had caused the redundancies.
The Wright family, who founded Wrightbus in 1946, said "global changes from diesel to electric in bus technology have caused a sharp decline in demand for buses in the UK".
| Above & below. The Wright NBfL was designed to allow Passengers to board and|
alight from the rear platform
In a statement, the family said that it moved work from its facility in Malaysia to Ballymena in a bid to secure local jobs.
"These factors have resulted in significant losses at Wrightbus which our family have been covering for a over a year."
|Lothian Volvo B5TL with Wright Eclipse Gemini Mk3 H49/30F bodywork|
Accounts show that the Wrightbus group lost £1.7m on a turnover of £227m in 2017.
But its financial situation has deteriorated since then.
Michael Magnay, who is joint administrator, said: “We recognise the companies are crucially important employers in Ballymena, and this will be devastating news for those who worked there, their families and the town, which has already suffered from a number of manufacturing closures in recent years.
|Stagecoach Volvo B5TL with Wright Gemini 3 bodywork entering Windermere station|
The company made two rounds of redundancies last year with 95 jobs going in February and June - which it said reflected continued low levels of demand for new buses in the UK market.