Every two years a public transport exhibition takes place in Paris. In previous years complete trams have been on display, but this year exhibitors keeping an eye on costs occupied only about half the previous floor space. Even so there were many interesting vehicles.
Busworld Asia is one of the great events on the annual exhibition calendar. This year in Shanghai, May 6-8, visitors had the opportunity to also take in the World Expo. At any exhibition one expects to see some new models and innovation. The pace of change and the variety of new vehicles and components coming out of the world’s largest bus and coach building industry marks the difference between Busworld Asia and other exhibitions.
Every two years I carry out much of the research and write a large part of a report which has become an industry standard; the latest edition of “The World Bus & Coach Manufacturing Industry” report is due to be published in June.
Busworld, the Belgian organizer of international bus and coach exhibitions, recently held its third edition of Busworld Turkey in Istanbul in conjunction with its local partners. A number of significant changes were evident this year.
In 1927, Gottlob Auwärter qualified as a master coachbuilder. Eight years later he founded his own company and began building bus and coach bodywork on high frame truck chassis with the driver sitting behind the engine.
There are two main concepts of buses and coaches in Europe. The first is the complete integral vehicle built wholly by one manufacturer such as Setra or Van Hool. The other is the combination of a chassis built by one supplier with bodywork constructed by another.
The outcome of the recent Copenhagen Summit on Global Warming was inconclusive and disappointing. Perhaps, it was not wise to hold the event in the frigid Danish capital.
Exhibits took up every square inch of available space at the 20th edition of Busworld held in Kortrijk, Belgium in October. Busworld Kortrijk is a truly global event. The 381 exhibitors from 27 countries that included 70 vehicle manufacturers saw the largest tented pavilion ever erected in Belgium. It allowed 20 percent more space than at any previous exposition.
Keeping you up to date with developments in Europe has never caused me hardship, but some assignments really are fantastic. This letter is from Stresa on the banks of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, where I visited the Fiat/Iveco test track at Balocco and Irisbus, a division of Iveco and the second largest bus and coach manufacturer in Europe.
The many innovations at the UITP conference and exhibition in June in Vienna, Austria, may have overshadowed the significance of the latest generation of fuel cell bus from Mercedes-Benz.