Tank cuts loom at Vickers, despite order hopes
Friday 11 September 1998
The group, which warned recently that it may have to run down its operations unless it won new export business, has two tank factories in Newcastle and Leeds employing 1,400. They are finishing off the Challenger 2 order for the British Army.
Indications that one of them has been targeted for run-down is expected next Thursday when the group unveils its first half results.
Newcastle plant is thought to be the one most at risk. Run-down would be a bitter blow for the region, following the closure of the Siemens and Fujitsu silicon chip plants.
But a frisson ran around the Leeds factory yesterday after a visit by senior management. A spokeswoman dismissed local reports that "crisis talks" had been held about the Leeds factory or that any impending closure announcement was imminent.
However, one executive added: "The only firms that will survive in this industry in the future are those which are lean and mean."
The cutback in the military division will form part of a radical corporate restructuring by Vickers' new chief executive, Paul Buysse, who joined the group six months ago.
Vickers has already sold the luxury car maker, Rolls-Royce, to Volkswagen of Germany for pounds 480m and returned almost pounds 300m of the proceeds to shareholders.
Mr Buysse is expected to set out a new strategy for Vickers built around its burgeoning naval propulsion business. Surgery in the defence division was always likely following Vickers' loss of a pounds 2bn "battlefield taxi" order for the British and German armies to a consortium featuring GKN.
At the time analysts said it would prove the catalyst for a reshaping of the UK's land fighting vehicles industry.
- 1 Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in 'disturbing surge of beheadings'
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, F...