Vaillant boosts capacity to meet growth markets
Vaillant Group’s managing Jim Moore looks forward to an 80% boost in capacity in the UK.
Vaillant Group is boosting capacity at its UK assembly plant at Belper in Derbyshire by 80% to meet soaring demand for high-efficiency boilers. The facility will now operate 24 h a day, six days a week, and employ 60 more staff. Over £1 million is being invested at the plant to enhance testing capacity. A further £2 million of investment is planned for 2006. Jim Moore, the company’s managing director in the UK, says, ‘We anticipated that the UK would experience a dramatic shift to high-efficiency technology, and the advent of the new Part L of the Building Regulations was always going to be a trigger point. However, following the gradually increasing transition to high efficiency earlier this year, the subsequent demand has outstripped the expectations of even the most optimistic in our industry.’ Figures from SGBI show that the high-efficiency market stood at 26% in 2004 and rose moderately to 36% for the first quarter of this year as merchants and installers began to prepare for the new legislation. Since April this year, sales of high-efficiency boilers have grown rapidly. In August, they accounted for 84% of the boiler market. Condensing boilers now account for over 90% of Vaillant’s sales. Jim Moore says, ‘Having experienced similar market changes in Holland, we were well positioned to cope with the transition to high efficiency, and our distinct and separate brands allow us to cover the full spectrum of the UK market place. The UK is the largest boiler market in Europe.’