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Production increase takes Leyland Trucks to all-time high

29th August 2007 Print
Leyland Trucks – the UK’s only volume truck producer – has today announced a substantial increase in production at its Lancashire assembly plant.

The company has also announced that it has commenced assembly of the award-winning DAF XF105 tractive unit – which was recently voted International Truck of the Year 2007 by a panel of leading European transport journalists. The XF105 is a luxuriously appointed 44 tonne tractive unit and the flagship of the DAF truck range with over 40,000 sold across Europe since its introduction at the end of 2005.

The production increase of around 17.5% will be implemented in September. It will see annualised output at the Leyland Assembly Plant break the 20,000 trucks a year barrier. This will be the highest level ever achieved in the 111 year unbroken history of truck production at Leyland.

The jobs of over 1,200 workers at the plant will be secured and further job opportunities created for local people. Companies across the region who supply Leyland Trucks will also benefit from the increase.

Managing Director Stuart Heys says that the decision to raise output is due to the productivity and flexibility of the workforce and the significant investments made by parent company PACCAR in the plant in recent years.

“Our recently negotiated pay deal included an agreement to achieve 40 hour working on the production line,” says Mr Heys. “This has significantly improved our competitive position in comparison to new entrants to the market, several of which operate in low-wage areas of the world. PACCAR has invested over £35 million in recent times to ensure that Leyland Trucks has world-class facilities.

“Increased volume is resulting from the sustained sales growth right across Europe being achieved by our sister company DAF Trucks. In the currently bouyant UK truck market, DAF has had an unprecedented run of success, being market leader in each of the past three years. In support of this, we are now able to produce here at Leyland the right-hand-drive versions of all models in the DAF range from 7.5 tonnes to 44 tonnes, including the superb XF105 model.

“Deliveries of trucks for DAF customers in mainland Europe have also been growing steadily. And we’ve been producing trucks in increasing numbers for world markets, including Australia and South Africa, together with Mexico, the USA and Canada (where trucks are sold by other members of the PACCAR family, Kenworth and Peterbilt). The result is that half our current output is destined for markets outside of the UK, making a significant contribution to the local and national economy.”

As well as truck assembly, the Leyland Trucks plant retains a substantial capability for the design and development of light and medium weight trucks. These are produced bearing the DAF, Kenworth and Peterbilt nameplates, all of which are brands of Leyland Trucks’ parent company, PACCAR Inc., the world’s most consistently profitable manufacturer of trucks.