Thursday, 26 September 2019

Wrightbus Sale Fails and Company Enters Administration

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.