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Bullet train maker Hitachi abandons Japan for United Kingdom

Posting in Transportation

 

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Japanese electronics firm Hitachi is planning to move its global rail business from Japan to the U.K. capital, London.

The company says it hopes the move --- scheduled to gradually take place over the next few years -- will expand its employee numbers from 2,500 to 4,000 -- as well as increase revenue to 3bn euros ($4bn) from 2bn euros.

Hitachi is well-known for its bullet trains, including the high-speed service between Kent and St. Pancras. Last year, the company won a £1.2 contract to create a new set of intercity trains in County Durham, where Hitachi is currently building a new factory.

Japan is currently the largest rail market by revenue for the company, followed by Taiwan and the U.K., although the intercity train construction will push the U.K. up to second place.

Alistair Dormer, chief executive of Hitachi's global rail systems business commented:

"Today's announcement is a significant sign of intent by Hitachi to grow its business in the rail market. Both the U.K. 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."

The U.K. government described the move as a "vote of confidence" in the country's rail industry.

Read on: Financial Times

Image credit: Flickr

— By on March 20, 2014, 2:31 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure