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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 December, 2004, 10:20 GMT
Bus firm now on route to success
Alexander Dennis export sales manager Paul Offer and Ian Moore , managing director of Chassis Group.
Paul Offer and Ian Moore launch the buses which will tour overseas
Hundreds of Scottish jobs have been safeguarded after a bus company was rescued from the brink of collapse.

Just months after being bought by a group of Scottish entrepreneurs, Alexander Dennis has orders worth 70m.

The Falkirk company went into receivership in February but was saved by a consortium which included business chiefs David Murray and Brian Souter.

The company now plans to take a fleet of vehicles on a 3,000-mile promotional trip through North America.

New contracts have re-established Alexander Dennis and safeguarded a total of 1,300 jobs, 750 of them in Falkirk.

The bus builder, formerly known as TransBus International, went into administration following the collapse of its parent company, Mayflower Corporation.

The consortium also brought in Bill Cameron, the former chief executive of the Falkirk operation who had revitalised the company in the mid-nineties and Jim Hastie, who had previously performed a successful turnaround at Glasgow's Albion Automotive.

'Premier league'

Chief Executive Jim Hastie, said: "This really is a new dawn. Things have been tough but our employees have responded tremendously and as a result we have made huge strides in restoring customer confidence.

"The contracts we have secured in recent months, coupled with options now in the pipeline - and a new belief in our products of tomorrow - have put us right back in the premier league of bus builders."

Among the orders are 25m worth from the US and Canada.

As part of a two-week promotional tour, a fleet of buses will travel through Texas, New Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington State and Vancouver.

Mr Hastie said: "Now is the right time to drive home the message, quite literally, and to put our products in the 'shop window' of the US market.

"There's a real opportunity here to change the transport landscape and we are going to give it our best shot."

Local bus operators will be invited to inspect the vehicles and put them through their paces.

Urgent talks on Falkirk bus jobs
01 Apr 04 |  Scotland
Mayflower enters administration
31 Mar 04 |  Business
Mayflower admits accountancy hole
29 Mar 04 |  Business

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