ABC Companies recently delivered four new 2020 CX45 Van Hool coaches to new customer, Free Enterprise System of Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Established in 1976, Free Enterprise is a subsidiary of Sodrel Truck Lines, a 4th generation-family owned business that has been in the transportation industry since 1915, with original market of Louisville Metro. They are the oldest land-based carrier for the United States Postal Service.
“This sale represents the beginning of a great relationship,” said Aaron Babcock, ABC Account Manager. “We envision that Van Hool coaches will become a mainstay in the Jeffersonville fleet and we are committed to supporting Free Enterprise across all aspects of their motorcoach operations.”
The new Van Hool coaches feature Free Enterprise’s refreshed brand which integrates black metallic paint and a distinctive custom graphics package. Along with a host of new standard features for 2020, the Van Hool CX45 models are specified with additional amenities designed to offer passengers a comfortable, upscale experience and include: Kiel 1020 passenger seats with leather inserts and piping, REI wireless PA and media safety player, 110V plug-ins with USB at all seats and REI 360 exterior view camera system to enhance driver visibility.
The new 56-seat Van Hool CX45 coaches will be used primarily in charter service operations, according to John McCue, President and COO, Free Enterprise. Free Enterprise is a full-service transportation company specializing in group transport for tours, charters, airport shuttles, church and school groups, sports teams, wedding groups and all types of event and occasion transport. With locations throughout the greater Indianapolis metro and surrounding region and Lexington, KY, the operator also provides over-the-road service to New York City, Washington, DC, Orlando, FL and other popular charter group destinations. The company’s fleet of over 47 vehicles offers a diverse mix of options to accommodate groups from 14 up to 56 passengers in a modern fleet of full-size premium passenger motorcoaches, corporate coaches, 21 seat platinum coaches, Mercedes Sprinters and 30-passenger trolleys.
“Our purchasing decision was based on evaluating other comparable coach models in this class, and conducting a one-year pilot using a single Van Hool CX45 in the fleet,” McCue said. “The feedback from drivers and our fleet management and maintenance crew was unanimously favorable in terms of reliability, style, ease-of-maintenance and cost-of-ownership. Overall, we believe this is a solid equipment investment that will continue to reap tangible benefits within our operations.” McCue cited ABC’s introduction of the Van Hool CX35’ coach as a tipping point that gained his attention and respect for the brand, commenting “We were really impressed that Van Hool would produce a product that made sense all around for operators. Not just a new, smaller model, but a mirror image of their full-size coach that required little to no new training for drivers, maintenance crews and used many of the same parts and components. That’s true innovation that delivers practicality, value and the ‘big coach’ experience that customers are familiar with and expecting. We believe that Van Hool is at the head of the pack in innovation.”
McCue also said that Van Hool coaches score high points amongst industry peers, and most notably fellow IMG members (Free Enterprise is one of the founding members).
“We are truly excited to begin this relationship with the ABC team. We’ve had a great experience throughout this process and look forward to building a strong business relationship, as well as new friendships with the team,” he said.
McCue said he expects the new coaches to play a key role in supporting the company’s brand revitalization, and efforts to expand market reach and attract new customers seeking a premium passenger experience.