UK Bus Manufacturer News & Discussion (ADL, Optare, Wright etc)

mbonwick

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Are they though?
No, they aren't. You're right Gary - 10xxx is simply overspill from when 19899 was reached (19900-19999 being reserved for preserved deckers).
Deliveries started at 10001, and demonstrator (now) 10000 got its number retrospectively when it entered fleet.
 
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KGGXXXY

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https://news.sky.com/story/tfl-supplier-wrightbus-weighs-sale-amid-financial-downturn-11768855
A Northern Irish bus-maker whose major customers include Transport for London (TfL) is courting potential buyers after a financial downturn that has left it facing a plunge into the red.

Sky News has learnt that Wright Group, which is one of Northern Ireland's biggest exporters and employs about 1,400 people, has drafted in the professional services firm Deloitte to advise it on talks with prospective investors.


A number of turnaround funds have been approached to canvas their interest in ploughing tens of millions of pounds into the family-owned company, City insiders said on Tuesday.

The status of talks with potential bidders was unclear, although a source close to the process insisted that Deloitte was working on "restructuring" options.

Annualised losses are currently running to approximately £15m, and the company may need a capital injection of at least £30m, the source said, although Wright Group's most recent accounts recorded a pre-tax profit of about £1.5m, down from £10.7m in 2016.
Possible investors include other players in a transport sector which is facing tough trading conditions, they added.

It is unclear what the prospects are for Wright Group unless it can secure new financial backing.

The company's bus-making division, Wrightbus, is based in Ballymena in County Antrim, where it has had a presence for decades.

Sir William Wright, who founded the company with his father in 1946, was knighted in last year's new year's honours list for services to the bus industry and the UK economy.

In its current form, Wright Group became the world's first developer of a hybrid-electric double-decker bus in 2006.

Wright Group, which also counts the Kowloon Motor Bus company in Hong Kong among its big export customers, has already been forced into making redundancies.

Last month, it said it was axing 95 jobs across its operations in a move which angered union representatives at Unite.

That followed an identical round of cuts three months earlier.

Mark Nodder, the company's chairman, said in June: "There is a good deal of continuing uncertainty - specifically in the UK market - at present, which is causing private and public bus operators alike to delay or postpone their vehicle investment programmes.

"This has a direct impact on production levels at our Ballymena facilities and the announcement that we are making today - difficult and regrettable as it is - is nonetheless necessary to align workforce requirements with our near-term order book."

In addition to its bus-making unit, Wright Group encompasses a chassis design arm, EN-Drive

A spokeswoman for Wright Group declined to comment on the Deloitte-led process.

Deloitte could not be reached for comment.
 

37114

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4 Jul 2019
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Not sounding good but hardly a surprise with their loss of some key customers and overall reduction in the amount of new bus orders.
 

cnjb8

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Not sounding good but hardly a surprise with their loss of some key customers and overall reduction in the amount of new bus orders.
They just need to improve their build quality and then they will get their orders back. The StreetLite is appalling, just glad Nottingham has none.
 

Mikey C

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Sad, but perhaps not surprising. It's a big leap forward from just bodying chassis to producing integral buses, maybe they bit off more than they can cope with trying to cope directly with ADL with the StreetLite, considering ADL has 100 years of Dennis chassis experience
 

Jordan Adam

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Sad, but perhaps not surprising. It's a big leap forward from just bodying chassis to producing integral buses, maybe they bit off more than they can cope with trying to cope directly with ADL with the StreetLite, considering ADL has 100 years of Dennis chassis experience
Even then the the newer Volvo/Gemini builds are equally as poor. Most of their bodies now are just poorly designed and badly built.
 

duncombec

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Wrightbus got a brief mention towards the end of today's Parliamentary debate - it's a whole minute between question (from the Honorable Member for North Antrim) and answer, but it is available on the Parliament live feed for the House of Commons for today, between timestamps of 13:51:30 and 13:52:23. (I advise against starting from the beginning......)

The current link is here: https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/05844a50-a0d9-4d16-bd19-e9e3df717acb, but it will probably change at a future point.
 

Bornin1980s

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Genuine question; Alexander Dennis has a plant in Canada. However, for some reason no vehicle maker can remain British owned, and ADL recently succumbed to foreign takeover. It's new owner is New Flyer, a Canadian company.

Now, do any of the profits from the Canadian plant still come to the UK, or do they just remain in Canada?
 

37114

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Genuine question; Alexander Dennis has a plant in Canada. However, for some reason no vehicle maker can remain British owned, and ADL recently succumbed to foreign takeover. It's new owner is New Flyer, a Canadian company.

Now, do any of the profits from the Canadian plant still come to the UK, or do they just remain in Canada?
It depends on how the company is legally set up but assuming that ADL Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ADL holdings company registered in the UK then yes, cash would flow into ADL in UK then back out to NFI in Canada. NFI may wish to change this for tax reasons but it is not always a simple thing to do and will involve a one off cost of change.
 

Robertj21a

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Sad, but perhaps not surprising. It's a big leap forward from just bodying chassis to producing integral buses, maybe they bit off more than they can cope with trying to cope directly with ADL with the StreetLite, considering ADL has 100 years of Dennis chassis experience
It's not just the Streetlite (poor as it is), the Streetdeck has also been a troublesome vehicle in a number of fleets.
 

Mwanesh

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Genuine question; Alexander Dennis has a plant in Canada. However, for some reason no vehicle maker can remain British owned, and ADL recently succumbed to foreign takeover. It's new owner is New Flyer, a Canadian company.

Now, do any of the profits from the Canadian plant still come to the UK, or do they just remain in Canada?
The ADL owners wanted to sell up. It was not a hostile takeover. I dont get your idea that no UK motor or coach can remain British owned. Souter and his colleagues have steadied the ship and decided it was time to hand over to new owners.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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The ADL owners wanted to sell up. It was not a hostile takeover. I dont get your idea that no UK motor or coach can remain British owned. Souter and his colleagues have steadied the ship and decided it was time to hand over to new owners.
It's also one of the slightly ironic, unintended consequences of Brexit and the attendant uncertainty we are experiencing that, as the pound has weakened against other currencies, it becomes cheaper and easier to purchase British companies.
 

Mikey C

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Brian Souter has kept a stake in the combined operation anyway, so any profits will come back to him that way
 

Alexbus12

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The new Diamond streetdecks have been confirmed as a cancelled First Leeds order for August, so are Leeds spec. Anyone know why it was cancelled?
 

Jordan Adam

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I know. I'm saying Stagecoach use Scanias on express services. Could Volvos be used instead?
B5TL? No, engine would last 5 minutes if that.
B5LH? Yes, potentially. Stagecoach East Scotland frequently use these as back up on the X7 to Plaxton Interdecks and they work well.
B8RLE? Yes, potentially. Plaxton already body the Panther LE on this chassis
B8L? No, these have been specifically set up for city and shorter distance applications, the B8RLE is a more suitable chassis for rural work.
 

Colin M

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I know. I'm saying Stagecoach use Scanias on express services. Could Volvos be used instead?
Pretty sure any bus could be used on an express service if set up correctly. It all depends on your definition of "express" as express doesn't automatically mean skelping it down a Motorway.
 

cnjb8

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B5TL? No, engine would last 5 minutes if that.
B5LH? Yes, potentially. Stagecoach East Scotland frequently use these as back up on the X7 to Plaxton Interdecks and they work well.
B8RLE? Yes, potentially. Plaxton already body the Panther LE on this chassis
B8L? No, these have been specifically set up for city and shorter distance applications, the B8RLE is a more suitable chassis for rural work.
Pretty sure any bus could be used on an express service if set up correctly. It all depends on your definition of "express" as express doesn't automatically mean skelping it down a Motorway.
Thank you for the responses.
 

CraigonGLESGA

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New to here but not Scottish roads, from what I've learnt over the years, Aberdeen & the highlands are littered with steep inclines, a wee 5.1ltr Volvo engine in the latest geminis is concepted to improve on fuel economy within city operations not to be roared uphill.
 

CraigonGLESGA

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B5TL? No, engine would last 5 minutes if that.
B5LH? Yes, potentially. Stagecoach East Scotland frequently use these as back up on the X7 to Plaxton Interdecks and they work well.
B8RLE? Yes, potentially. Plaxton already body the Panther LE on this chassis
B8L? No, these have been specifically set up for city and shorter distance applications, the B8RLE is a more suitable chassis for rural work.
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding but hybrids make very little too no sense on any route other than city services.

The LT/LH use the exact same engine, the electrical motor only assists very low downs at very low speeds, at higher speeds no electricity is generated.

The gearboxes are different but in theory a torque converter auto much suits an area like Aberdeen with lots of bend, substantial inclines and open straights.
 

CraigonGLESGA

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Perhaps I'm misunderstanding but hybrids make very little too no sense on any route other than city services.

The LT/LH use the exact same engine, the electrical motor only assists very low downs at very low speeds, at higher speeds no electricity is generated.

The gearboxes are different but in theory a torque converter auto much suits an area like Aberdeen with lots of bend, substantial inclines and open straights.
A Panther LE weighs 14t with only 1400nm of torque, not much for such a heavy vehicle in a demanding area.
 

Jordan Adam

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The LT/LH use the exact same engine, the electrical motor only assists very low downs at very low speeds, at higher speeds no electricity is generated.
The LH is significantly more powerful and under much less strain with the electric motor (hence the better fuel economy is because the engine does less). That mixed in with the 12 speed I-Shift gearbox (a truck gearbox) means that on higher speed rural work they work fairly well. I can say from experience of using them on the X7 that they handle the route no bother. B5TL's on the other hand have became notorious for engine troubles, specifically the cylinder gaskets blowing off and random holes appearing on the cylinder blocks. The B5LH is far less prone to this issue because as mentioned above the engine is under much less stress.

Pretty sure any bus could be used on an express service if set up correctly. It all depends on your definition of "express" as express doesn't automatically mean skelping it down a Motorway.
My understanding is that they were more referring to high speed work. Although i agree, it does depend on the exact definition of Express. It should also be noted that in many cases specific routes may have limitations that stop certain vehicle types being used.
 

Jordan Adam

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Maybe it'll all get better with a decent parallel hybrid and hydrogen & electric buses
The B5LH is decent it only has a few niggles. I wish Volvo would offer the dual clutch variant of the I-Shift though. ADL Hybrids such as the Enviro350H are just awful, only 27 were built for the UK and we in Aberdeen are stuck with 22 of them! Looking in to the future in my opinion Hydrogen will be the way to go. However at the moment vehicle reliability and set up costs are a big issue.
 

CraigonGLESGA

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Truck driver for a few years now, my work has recently bought some Volvo FH460 units with the dual clutch boxes, there much better on hilly roads without the paused gap when it changes gears.
 

Jordan Adam

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Truck driver for a few years now, my work has recently bought some Volvo FH460 units with the dual clutch boxes, there much better on hilly roads without the paused gap when it changes gears.
One of the big issues with the B5LH on city work is how long they pause between gears, my understanding is that the dual clutch box would help reduce time between gears while also making them smoother. It seems odd to me that Volvo are thus far yet to offer it, especially given that the B5LH has mostly been sold in places like London.
 

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