New Flyer, Alexander Dennis announce joint midi bus venture
New Flyer Industries Inc. and Alexander Dennis have agreed to a long-term venture to introduce a North American medium-duty low-floor bus (or “midi bus”) specifically developed and tested to a 10-year operational life. The partnership will build upon New Flyer’s North American market leading position, manufacturing expertise and extensive aftermarket support network, with Alexander Dennis bringing demonstrated design expertise of quality midi buses. Alexander Dennis has delivered over 16,000 of this class of bus to customers throughout the UK, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.
Under the arrangements of the new joint venture, New Flyer is responsible for sales, marketing, manufacturing and aftermarket support with Alexander Dennis performing engineering, test and prototype development activities. Prototypes of the New Flyer/Alexander Dennis midi bus for North America will be built this summer, with a planned market launch in early 2013. The midi bus will be offered to both public transit and private operators and will have propulsion system options ranging from clean diesel, electric hybrid and compressed natural gas.
“Transit operators are faced with unprecedented pressure to operate and adapt their fleets in today’s tough economic conditions”, said Paul Soubry, New Flyer’s president and CEO. “With the escalating costs of fuel and maintenance, there are many of our transit customers’ routes that do not require a full sized heavy-duty bus with a 12-year design life. Customers on both sides of the border have asked us to provide a bus that meets their needs for this application, but with the full support of New Flyer’s broad aftermarket network of field service, warranty, training, publications and spare parts support.”
“We also believe that private shuttle operators in North America are looking for a high quality product”, Mr. Soubry explained. “In developing our strategy to support both segments, we evaluated our own midi design and compared it to buses in this class around the world. In the end the decision was quite simple – Alexander Dennis has a world-class midi bus that is modern, quiet, fuel efficient and provides the best value for our customers.”
New Flyer estimates the market for this type of product could be approximately 1,000 buses on an annual basis.
“The decision to develop a strategic relationship with New Flyer was a simple one”, said Colin Robertson, chief executive of Alexander Dennis. “We extensively researched the North American market and came to the same conclusion. New Flyer is recognized for its excellent reputation for customer care and product support and it is a great compliment to our specific product expertise. We look forward to working with New Flyer to merge all the benefits of our midi bus with New Flyer’s commitment to lifetime customer care in North America.”