LONDON, 12 FEBRUARY 2009 - Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501, “Hitachi”) today announced plans for the establishment of a rolling stock assembly and manufacturing facility in the UK1, following the announcement that Agility Trains, of which Hitachi is the main shareholder, has been selected as preferred bidder to supply new rolling stock for the Intercity Express Programme.
Hitachi will, in stages, establish assembly and manufacturing operations in the UK that will be operated to support the delivery of the East coast fleet in 2015. The manufacturing facility will initially employ up to 200 staff for more substantive manufacturing, refurbishment and lifetime support for the trains in the UK. Once fully developed, the Hitachi UK manufacturing facility is planned to be capable of the assembly of up to 30 vehicles per month, and employing up to 500 staff, according to market demand, in addition to those involved in maintenance operations.
From feasibility studies to date, a final short-list of three suitable sites, located in Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire, Sheffield and Gateshead in the North East, has been drawn up, with all locations under active consideration. Hitachi is currently conducting more detailed analysis to identify the optimum site location based on a range of assessment criteria.
Established in the UK in 2000, Hitachi Rail Group has won a number of contracts, and has implemented the highly successful Class 395 “Javelin” rolling stock contract and the Class 465 traction replacement programme. Alistair Dormer, General Manager Hitachi Europe Rail Group, said: “Hitachi hopes to contribute to the development of a strong rail industry and infrastructure in the UK through the transfer of high quality Japanese manufacturing processes and skills to the UK and the development of its relations with European suppliers. Our commitment in the UK is for the long term. Through this manufacturing programme and involvement in other rapid commuter, high-speed passenger, and rail infrastructure projects, we aim to deliver quality and reliability which will benefit our UK customers and provide a basis for business in continental Europe.”
1Subject to conclusion of contract.