Scotland-based bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis has signed a £100m deal to build 600 low-emission buses for transport company National Express over the next five years.
The contract, which comes after Alexander Dennis supplied 50 double-deck buses to National Express last year, means the company will be the sole manufacturer for the operator until at least 2019.
Alexander Dennis will also supply replacement parts for the vehicles.
The Alexander Dennis site in Falkirk, where 900 staff are employed, will deliver 50% of the contract with the manufacture of double-deck buses, with the remaining half handled at its facility in Scarborough. The Yorkshire site will manufacture midi buses.
National Express said the new vehicles would join its fleets in Dundee and the West Midlands over the course of the contract.
A spokesman for Alexander Dennis said the new contract, allied to other business wins with FirstGroup and Stagecoach, had allowed the company to add 50 staff to its roster, with around half in Scotland. He also said the National Express deal will support its ongoing training programmes for graduates, apprentices and staff, noting that one in 10 of the staff at Alexander Dennis in Scotland are engaged in a course to upgrade their skills at any one time.
Colin Robertson, chief executive at Alexander Dennis, told the Herald Scotland: “We are absolutely delighted to take our business relationship with National Express to a new level.
“Multi-year contracts make so much sense for everyone involved. They give both parties a clear profile of expectations, forward build programmes and financials.
“An added bonus is that they release our best and brightest people, on both sides, to pursue new business growth opportunities, rather than being locked into months of repetitive tender negotiations annually.
“My instinct is that in the years ahead we will see changes in the way we do business and more ‘partnerships’ of this nature developing in the bus industry.”