I recently visited Japan to meet operators and manufacturers. It was a fascinating experience, with many surprises. Until recently, with a very strong motor industry that features household names like Toyota, Honda, Isuzu and Mitsubishi, Japan was the second largest economy in the world. But now China has overtaken Japan, and it is clear the country is concerned about its much larger neighbor.
Busworld is best known for its exhibitions, held every two years in the small Belgian city of Kortrijk. A few years ago the management decided to take the same successful formula to other parts of the world, including Shanghai, Mumbai and Istanbul.
Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia played host to this year’s Busworld exhibition in a center on the banks of the Oka River.
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.