Bombardier launches major investment plan to modernize and increase production capacity of its factory in Bruges
Global mobility leader Bombardier Transportation has announced today the launch of a major investment and hiring plan aimed at increasing the production capacity of its factory in Bruges, Belgium. The modernization of Bombardier’s site in Bruges and its increase in production capacity, will be funded by an investment of more than six million euro. As a result, the company will hire at least 180 more employees to support the site’s increase in production.
“This plan is for us, as much an industrial necessity as a belief about the future,” declared Laurent Bouyer, President of Bombardier Transportation, France and Benelux. He continued, “Despite the context of the coronavirus crisis, Bombardier is committed to moving forward with an ambitious plan for the transformation and sustainability of the Bruges site. This demonstrates the vitality of our industrial site and an unprecedented opportunity to modernize our production facilities, thanks to digital processes, cyber-tools and eco-friendly solutions.”
Despite the context of the coronavirus crisis, Bombardier is committed to moving forward with an ambitious plan for the transformation and sustainability of the Bruges site.”
Laurent Bouyer, President of Bombardier Transportation, France and Benelux
“Our order book is full,” said Michel Huyghe, who was appointed Site Director and Head of Operations for the Bruges site on January 1, 2021. “At the end of December, we received a new order for 204 M7 coaches for SNCB, which represents around 18 months of work for our factory in Bruges. Therefore, it is important for us to invest massively in our production capacities and to develop our activities, for the benefit of the entire rail industry and the region,” he concluded.
From an industrial point of view, this investment plan will allow Bombardier to increase its production capacities by summer 2021:
- By creating a new production line for 1-level coaches and for SNCB M7 cars
- By acquiring new, more modern and more efficient tools
- By creating new workstations such as a painting presentation station and a specific workstation for customer acceptance
The plan will also modernize maintenance workshops, especially those for TRAXX locomotives, for which the Bruges site is a European Centre of Excellence within Bombardier.
Hiring new employees
Regarding skills and knowledge, this plan includes the hiring of at least 180 additional employees to meet the increased production needs in terms of volume and skills. To date, 100 employees have been offered a permanent contract, while 80 others are being hired with a two-year fixed-term contract, with the possibility of converting this into a long-term contract. With its highly specialized employee-base, Bombardier’s Bruges site is well positioned with the necessary know-how and expertise to face increasing customer demand.
This modernization plan will also support Bombardier's suppliers. Direct investments in suppliers will enable them to be equipped with the tools required for this increase in production. Bombardier generates an income of around 70 million euro each year for its Belgian suppliers, 80 per cent of which are located in Flanders.
Bombardier's industrial site in Bruges is the only site in Belgium that still has the capacity and equipment to build and test trains from A to Z. The Bruges site covers 173,000 m², offering possibilities for further expansion and development. Bombardier is one of the most important employers in the city of Bruges and an estimated 1,000 indirect jobs are generated by Bombardier industrial activities in Belgium.