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R-R up seven pc

6th April 1985, Page 19
6th April 1985
Page 19
Page 19, 6th April 1985 — R-R up seven pc
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THE FIRST full year of Perkins' ownership of the Rolls-Royce diesel engine manufacturing business, now called Perkins Engines (Shrewsbury), has seen a seven per cent increase in production and a further increase of about seven per cent is planned up to January 1986.

In the 12 months to January 1984, the Shrewsbury plant's production of all types of diesel engines totalled 2,700.

That increased to 2,900 in the next 12 months and it is planned to produce a total of 3,100 engines at Shrewsbury up to January 1986.

Massey-Ferguson, the Perkins Engines' Canadian parent group, completed the purchase of Rolls-Royce Diesels International from the Vickers group for around £20m on March 14, 1984.

The production increases since then are accounted for largely by increased sales of the Rolls-Royce V8 and V12 engines, with power outputs up to 1,200hp, which are for industrial, military and marine applications.

Like its major rival, Gardner, Perkins Engines {Shrewsbury) has lost ground in the UK truck market in the past year to Cummins, which has seen a dramatic increase in sales since the introduction of its L10 engine.

However, John Baxter, Perkins' UK vehicle engine sales manager who now is responsible for sales of engines built at Peterborough and Shrewsbury, is confident that the Li range of 12.17-litre Eagle diesels which was introduced in 1983, will stand comparison with any of its modern competitors, and he points to Leyland's success in France with the 340 Li-engined Roadtrain.

Perkins plans to expand exports of all types of Rolls-Royce diesel, partly using existing Perkins outlets which already cover 160 countries and partly by establishing new distributorships.

"The area of the most intense activity currently is the USA," John Baxter told CM.

A team under George Reeves, former Rolls-Royce Die sels marketing director, has been seeking suitable dealers in the USA for the past nine months.

John Baxter described the problem of exporting RollsRoyce diesel engines for onhighway trucks to the USA as "a three-sided stool, the three legs being the original equipment manufacturer, the product, and the distribution network".

Perkins has built a test cell at Peterborough capable of testing engines to the latest US Federal exhaust emission standards. Rolls-Royce engines destined for the USA go there for certification.

The contract between Massey Ferguson and Vickers limits the way in which the Rolls-Royce name and logo can continue to be used on diesel engines, but Perkins insists that, contrary to speculation, there is no fixed date when the Rolls-Royce name will disappear from engines built at Shrewsbury.

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