UN buys out WS
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• The biggest news at AMBEX was Universal Vehicle Group's buyout of ambulance and bus makers WS Coachbuilders—formerly Wadham Stringer Coachbuilders. UVG also owns ambulance firm Customline, but both manufacturers will operate and compete as before.
Dennis Thrush, managing director of Customline and a director of UVG, is enthusiastic about the move: "The reason was to form a stronger group that could attack European and other world markets."
Thrush sits on the CEN-TC European Standard Committee, which specifies EC ambulance requirements. Customline's Lazer meets forthcoming CEN specifications, as will the latest vehicle from WS, due by the end of the year. "We welcome the competition," says Thrush, and he is keen to stress the separate identities of the companies.
The product ranges will remain separate, and no jobs will be lost—Customline aims to increase its Brighouse workforce from 74 to 120—but technical expertise and overseas marketing will be shared.