Hitachi has released a statement following the news of UNIFE’s concerns over the UK Government’s decision to resume negotiations on the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) with Hitachi:
“UNIFE should not be so alarmed by the British Government’s award of the IEP contract to Hitachi. This came after a rigorous competition in which the three largest European Rolling Stock suppliers originally participated.
“Japanese investment has brought jobs and skills to the European automotive, machinery and other sectors without spelling the end of European competitors. In the same way, Hitachi’s investment in the UK is nothing but good news for the British and European rail industry.
“IEP will create not just 500-plus jobs in the factory, but thousands more in the supply chain and long-term maintenance operations. Since Hitachi came to the UK Rail market in 2005, it has worked continuously with European suppliers to develop the Class 395 trains, which were delivered on time and have performed exceptionally well in service.
“European suppliers provided 50% of purchased components (by value) of the Class 395. The Hitachi Super Express Trains provided as part of the IEP will be built in the UK and will be another great opportunity for European suppliers to work with Hitachi and build on the success of the Class 395 project.
“Hitachi believes in free market access between Europe and Japan in the rail industry and other sectors. We respect our European competitors, but we also think we have something unique to contribute to Europe. Hitachi Rail Europe is a European company led by Europeans, and Europe will gain, economically and competitively, from having a new quality player in the market.”