Packard Bell/NEC is to spend #26 million on a plant in Scotland to support its build to order strategy.
The PC maker announced today that it will create 825 jobs by 2002 in the three-phase development of the facility in Livingston.
It already relies heavily in its US home on building customised PCs to individual client's specifications, in order to cut inventory and take on direct vendors using this model, such as Dell.
Now it will expand this approach in Europe from its new plant, aiming to double its European PC production within four years. It will start manufacturing commercial desktop models this year, followed by notebooks, consumer machines and other ranges.
The factory will primarily serve the NEC Direct sales and marketing operation, established in France last September and in the UK early this year to take on Dell in the business sector.
The government's Scottish Office and the Scottish Enterprise business development agency both lobbied hard to win the factory against competition from other countries, thought to have included Ireland and Germany.
Michael Fromont, vice president international at Packard Bell/NEC, said today: "We chose Scotland because of the skilled labour pool, business infrastructure, including a comprehensive network of suppliers, transport links and our key interest in the UK PC market."
Phase one of the project will kick off manufacturing of business PCs from the company's existing building in Livingston, although about 120 extra staff will be employed. Phases two and three will build the new factory, creating another 150 jobs next year, 180 in 2000, 150 in 2001 and 225 in 2002.
In August, the company will move its professional division, which offers services to business customers, and its NEC Direct UK business to the plant, followed by other business groups in 1999.
The other main European factory, in Angers, France, will continue to focus on volume manufacturing rather than build to order.
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