Leyland Trucks in Preston, Lancashire, is to raise production by 4,500 vehicles per year by next June.
An injection of £4.5m from Daf Trucks its major customer will add a further 300 jobs at the plant, taking the workforce over 1,000 for the first time, and raising output to 13,500 per year.
Daf Trucks has also said it wants a UK supplier of cabs for the new vehicles, and a substantial portion of the £4.5m is set aside for this contract. The existing cab plant at the Belgian factory, Westerlo, is working at optimum capacity.
The deal comes as Daf Trucks faces mounting capacity constraints at its major plant in Eindhoven, Netherlands, as demand grows for a new range of trucks launched last year.
Since the take-over of Leyland Trucks earlier this year by US truck giant Paccar which also owns Daf Trucks the use of the Preston plant to ease supply bottlenecks has become an obvious solution.
Total two-shift capacity at the plant is close to 40,000 vehicles per year, but output has been running on one shift at a quarter of this figure.
For Leyland, it will also amply make up for the loss of about 1,000 trucks per year which it had been making for Isuzu under a deal that had been terminated.
John Oliver, managing director of Leyland Trucks, described the move as ‘excellent news for everyone at Leyland.
‘It represents a considerable strengthening of the already close ties between our company and our principal customer, Daf.’
The additional trucks to be made at Leyland include right hand drive versions of the Daf 75 and 85 Series trucks, ranging from 18-24 tonnes and 24-38 tonnes respectively. Left hand drive 65 Series 18 tonne trucks will also be added.