Alexander Dennis restructuring puts 650 jobs at risk

Falkirk-based global bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) announced on Monday that “as a result of the significant decline in UK demand for new buses and coaches” it has been forced to initiate a restructuring programme which places up to 650 jobs at risk.

Souter Investments, the family investment office of Stagecoach Group founder Brian Souter, sold Alexander Dennis to Toronto Stock Exchange listed bus manufacturing giant NFI Group Inc for about £320 million in May 2019.

The changes at ADL are part of a wider restructuring programme announced by NFI, affecting ADL’s sister companies in the United States and Canada along with the consolidation of ADL’s spare parts business in North America into NFI Parts.

“With many UK customers not in a position to place orders for new vehicles following the impact of lockdown, social distancing and low passenger numbers, ADL has utilised the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme as well as implementing salary reductions and reduced working hours for non-furloughed staff, along with stringent cost saving measures across all business functions,” said ADL.

“However, the steps taken so far are insufficient to align the company’s cost base to the current economic reality and it now seeks to move to a leaner, more flexible manufacturing model that maintains its strong customer focus and best-in-class aftermarket support.

“A formal consultation will begin in the coming weeks on the restructuring programme, which places up to 650 jobs at risk across all functions and at all of ADL’s facilities in the UK.”

Colin Robertson, who is currently making a transition from his role as ADL’s chief executive to join NFI’s Board as vice chair, said: “A few short months ago, we were looking at a record year of sales, reaping the benefits of all our investment in new technology, new products and new markets.

“All of this changed with the impact of COVID-19.

“Since March, we have been in constant dialogue with the UK and Scottish Governments to make them aware of the unprecedented crisis facing our industry.

“We are deeply grateful for the support offered by the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme, and we are heartened by the Prime Minister’s reiteration earlier this month of the pledge he made in February to bring 4,000 new green buses into service.

“We continue to call upon both Governments to act now to prevent further job cuts and preserve the UK’s world-leading bus and coach manufacturing industry.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.