Manchester – based body and trailer manufacturer, the Cartwright Group, has announced plans to take on at least 40 new staff after an unprecedented sales start to the New Year.
The company, which currently employs about 350 people, has received a record number of new orders since just before Christmas from both existing and new customers.
The new jobs, which will include 20 apprentices and posts for five roving engineers, add to the 75 jobs created last year for skilled and semi-skilled engineers.
Cartwright runs a rental fleet of almost 8,000 vehicles, which increased during the uncertainty of the recession as many customers looked to postpone buying new trailers.
That generated new jobs at Cartwright, with a fleet is largely made up of trailers which are refurbished in-house after being acquired in part-exchange deals for new trailers.
Director John Cartwright said 95 per cent of the rental fleet was in use in the run-up to Christmas, adding that the manufacturing arm was seeing a revival as many existing customers have begun placing orders again.
He said "Our customers are definitely back on the market.
"They can’t put off replacing their fleets any further. We were very busy in December, even taking an order on Christmas Eve, and that has not dropped off during January."
Cartwright entered the home delivery groceries market in 2010 with a contract to supply Asda with 50, 3.5 tonne refrigerated vehicles.
More recently it has won an order for 100 of its fuel-efficient Cheetah trailers from home delivery business Yodel.
John Cartwright added: "The next 12 months look very healthy for sales. We are very busy with orders across the range for rigid bodywork, double deck trailers, temperature controlled and swap body systems.
"Our recently launched Cheetah Fastback model has taken the industry by storm and is particularly attractive as companies are increasingly committed to reducing their fuel costs and carbon footprint. Fastback enjoys fuel savings of around 10 per cent."