Ashok Leyland's UK subsidiary Optare has closed down its bus factory in Blackburn, UK.

This is part of a three-year “turnaround plan” for Optare which began in August 2009 with the closure of the Rotherham site.

This was followed by the relocation of the Leeds factory in November last year. All of Optare's bus assembly operations are now consolidated in the facility in Sherburn in Elmet, Yorkshire, said a press release from Optare.

“The benefits are already showing with production volumes ramping up, demonstrated by the latest UK bus registrations, showing an increase of just over 50 per cent year to date,” said a press release.

Mr Jim Sumner, Optare CEO, said: “The task of progressively closing three factories and relocating to a single site has been an extremely challenging process. Clearly, in an extremely competitive market, the survival of the business has had to be my prime concern and this process has been a key element in turning the business around.

“Having everything on one site is the most efficient way for any business to operate and we have significantly reduced our overheads and operating costs as a result of this strategy.

Under the new ownership of Ashok Leyland, we are now poised to realise the full benefit of this strategy along with the significant product investments made over the past three years.”

swethak@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 1, 2012)
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