Hitachi is to move the headquarters of its rail business from Japan to the UK.
Hitachi Rail Europe boss Alistair Dormer will become the company’s new global chief executive as the train builder looks to expand its business into Europe.
Announcing the news today, Hitachi said it wanted to see its workforce grow from 2,500 to 4,000 in the next two-and-a-half years and its global turnover rise from €2 billion to €3 billion in the next few years.
The Japanese rolling stock manufacturer is currently building a new facility in Newton Aycliffe to deliver a fleet of Intercity Express Trains for the East Coast and Great Western main lines.
Alistair Dormer said: “Today’s announcement is a significant sign of intent by Hitachi to grow its business in the rail market and I am excited by the level of trust placed in me to lead our growing business in this next phase of expansion.
“Both the UK and Japan remain important as markets for Hitachi Rail, and with our train factory in the North East of England now under construction, we will work to realise our export potential from the UK, expanding into Europe and emergent markets.”
Kentaro Masai, who is to become Hitachi’s new global chief operating officer, said: “We will vigorously push ahead with global business development in the rail systems business, where growth is expected.
“We will do so by harnessing Hitachi’s advanced rail systems technology, developed mainly in Japan over the years, and by further strengthening coordination with networks formed through our overseas businesses.”
A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said: “This is an endorsement of Britain and its rail industry.
“We already have the fastest-growing, safest major railway in Europe and are building on these achievements to respond to growing demand from passengers and freight customers.”