Belfast Telegraph

Eastern promise for Wrightbus with £30m Singapore contract

By Margaret Canning

Manufacturing powerhouse Wrightbus has announced a £30m contract for its 'flatpack' buses in Singapore, the latest in a string of export successes.

Public transport company SBS Transit has put in an order for 415 double-deck buses with the Co Antrim-based firm and partner Volvo.

It's the fourth big contract in a row with SBS Transit for Wrightbus and Volvo, and will see them supply the buses from 2015 to 2017.

By the end of this year, there will be around 1,000 Wrightbus vehicles on the roads of Singapore since the agreement with SBS began in 2010.

Wrightbus business development director Steve Harper said the buses had been designed for the Singapore climate and its high passenger numbers on public transport.

Mr Harper added: "This latest order is part of SBS Transit's on-going programme to completely renew its fleet and provide greener vehicles for the benefit of passengers and the wider Singaporean environment.

"Together with Volvo, we already have an extensive aftermarket organisation in place which will be further expanded to ensure that all the 1,430 vehicles which will be on the road by 2017 are fully supported to SBS Transit's exacting standards."

The buses will be supplied and packaged in what the bus industry calls 'complete knocked down' (CKD) – or 'flatpack' – kits which will be shipped to Singapore.

When they reach their destination, they will be put together by Comfort Delgro Engineering – a sister company of SBS Transit –with the help of Wrightbus technicians.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster praised Wrightbus for its latest contract.

"Wrightbus is a leading example of an innovative business that has continued to invest in its future. Developing its knocked down kit with research and development support from Invest NI has created significant opportunities for the business."

She said she had met senior management at ComfortDelgro earlier this year, and said they had been impressed with the Wrightbus product.

The latest deal left Wrightbus the main supplier of double-deck buses for SBS Transit.

"The firm is clearly reaping the benefits of its continued investment in new product development and cutting edge design. Its continuing success in winning contracts reflects the company's focus on innovation and export marketing which has resulted in it becoming a significant player across a range of international markets."

Wrightbus has become a well-established exporter, selling buses to China and Hong Kong as well as Singapore – and exploring markets in the Middle East, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.

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