Andrés Arizkorreta, CEO of CAF, recently met with Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford and Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, at the historic Cardiff Castle.
The meeting followed a visit by the CAF Board of Directors to Wales and the CAF Factory in Newport, and was an opportunity for Mr Arizkorreta to update the Government on ongoing works and planned future projects at CAF’s state-of-the-art facility at the Celtic Business Park, Newport, South Wales. Mr Arizkorreta explained that the local management were holding ‘meet the buyer’ events, focused on developing relationships with local suppliers for future contracts.
They discussed CAF’s ambitious plans in the bus market, in particular the latest Solaris hybrid, battery and hydrogen buses. CAF’s Solaris buses can be found in 700 cities in 32 countries.
Mr Arizkorreta explained that now that the Newport factory was operational, it was time for the business to work with the local communities. He said that the company was keen to explore how CAF can work with the Welsh Government in promoting initiatives such as STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and stated that the CAF factory should be viewed as an open classroom, a way of showcasing engineering in the rail industry.
First Minister, Mark Drakeford, commented: “CAF’s decision to build a state-of-the-art factory at the Celtic Business Park is a vote of confidence in Wales. We will continue to work closely with CAF to ensure it brings real benefits to people in Wales and we welcome the company’s commitment to work with local communities.”
Ken Skates, Economy and Transport Minister, said: “We’ve been clear that we want to improve and increase the use of public transport and this meeting was a good opportunity to discuss how we can work with CAF to help achieve that. CAF are already manufacturing Transport for Wales’ new trains at their new site in Newport, and have plans for sustainable buses which is something we’re looking to increase the number of in Wales.”