Wrightbus enter administration

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Andyh82

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"Hi, I'd like to order X amount of the Y."
"We've not made the Y for the past 2 years."
I get the feeling leading bus company management a) are fully clued up on who makes what models and b) enter into more comprehensive negotiations than browsing their site when about to enter into a multi million pound investment.
 

Busman84

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Wright’s products over the years were absolute scrap.. Take the Streetlight it’s the worst bus I reckon I’ve ever driven and travelled on. Then you have small wheels too so poor handling aswell as poor ride quality. Braking was also an issue. Then the build quality was a joke. Rattles around the cab and saloon. This was also the case with the Gemini 3 which is shocking. I’ve travelled on them on B5TL chassis and while it’s smooth the rattling is shocking yet a B5/E400 is much much better.

Far cry from the days where Wrights built a proper bus. The Renown was some product on the brilliant B10BLE this bus was smooth and didn’t rattle. Along came the Gemini/Gemini 2 which were also solid and again smooth and rattle free (especially B9TLs). The Gemini 3 just looked a total mess and only until i travelled on one then you could see how awful they are with all the rattling and cheap plastics. No doubt the Streetdeck is even worse as it won’t be as smooth as the Volvo..

Wright’s appeared not produce a good bus over the years eventually operators would turn elsewhere for orders.. But if all they could build was scrap then it’s not a great loss to the bus industry. Never good to see jobs go but otherwise ADL have got it spot on with there E400 MMC. Although it’s light it’s better than what Ballymena have rolled out over the years.
 

Man of Kent

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Some of the rights may not belong to Wrights...........around 25 years ago they took out a unique licence to use aluminium extrusion technology developed by Alusuisse (aka Swiss Aluminium aka Lonza). Thats what they were using for a long time to build the bodies - dunno what the current licencing regime is. Could be that a new owner suddenly finds he doesn't have the rights to construct the buses, even if he owns the design rights
The licence for Alusuisse expired in 1996. Wrights then developed their own system.
 

Andyh82

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Wright’s products over the years were absolute scrap.. Take the Streetlight it’s the worst bus I reckon I’ve ever driven and travelled on. Then you have small wheels too so poor handling aswell as poor ride quality. Braking was also an issue. Then the build quality was a joke. Rattles around the cab and saloon. This was also the case with the Gemini 3 which is shocking. I’ve travelled on them on B5TL chassis and while it’s smooth the rattling is shocking yet a B5/E400 is much much better.

Far cry from the days where Wrights built a proper bus. The Renown was some product on the brilliant B10BLE this bus was smooth and didn’t rattle. Along came the Gemini/Gemini 2 which were also solid and again smooth and rattle free (especially B9TLs). The Gemini 3 just looked a total mess and only until i travelled on one then you could see how awful they are with all the rattling and cheap plastics. No doubt the Streetdeck is even worse as it won’t be as smooth as the Volvo..

Wright’s appeared not produce a good bus over the years eventually operators would turn elsewhere for orders.. But if all they could build was scrap then it’s not a great loss to the bus industry. Never good to see jobs go but otherwise ADL have got it spot on with there E400 MMC. Although it’s light it’s better than what Ballymena have rolled out over the years.
Part of that was due to what the industry wanted though, cheaper lightweight buses.

You only have to look at what many firms have replaced Wright Renown and Eclipse single decks with. It’s all Streetlites, Versas, E200MMCs, even for main road interurban routes.

I don’t know how all this will pan out but I can’t really see a situation where there is basically one mainstream double decker on the market (or two if you count the E400 City different from the regular E400MMC). I bet there will be some sort of rescue deal especially as it seems part of the issue seems to be the charity donations.
 

deanmachine

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Wright’s products over the years were absolute scrap.. Take the Streetlight it’s the worst bus I reckon I’ve ever driven and travelled on. Then you have small wheels too so poor handling aswell as poor ride quality. Braking was also an issue. Then the build quality was a joke. Rattles around the cab and saloon. This was also the case with the Gemini 3 which is shocking. I’ve travelled on them on B5TL chassis and while it’s smooth the rattling is shocking yet a B5/E400 is much much better.

Far cry from the days where Wrights built a proper bus. The Renown was some product on the brilliant B10BLE this bus was smooth and didn’t rattle. Along came the Gemini/Gemini 2 which were also solid and again smooth and rattle free (especially B9TLs). The Gemini 3 just looked a total mess and only until i travelled on one then you could see how awful they are with all the rattling and cheap plastics. No doubt the Streetdeck is even worse as it won’t be as smooth as the Volvo..

Wright’s appeared not produce a good bus over the years eventually operators would turn elsewhere for orders.. But if all they could build was scrap then it’s not a great loss to the bus industry. Never good to see jobs go but otherwise ADL have got it spot on with there E400 MMC. Although it’s light it’s better than what Ballymena have rolled out over the years.
I think it's unfair to say that the Streetlites are that bad, some of them I've driven are actually very nice buses, and trust me I would know, I've driven over 60 of the things. I think the biggest issue was consistency in construction rather than the buses themselves, and I know colleagues in my company rate Streetdecks a lot higher than Geminis, although my depot haven't had the privilege of any yet.
 

LOL The Irony

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I get the feeling leading bus company management a) are fully clued up on who makes what models and b) enter into more comprehensive negotiations than browsing their site when about to enter into a multi million pound investment.
If you're a first time buyer, it doesn't look good if you can't even update your product page.
 

Mikey C

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Part of that was due to what the industry wanted though, cheaper lightweight buses.

You only have to look at what many firms have replaced Wright Renown and Eclipse single decks with. It’s all Streetlites, Versas, E200MMCs, even for main road interurban routes.

I don’t know how all this will pan out but I can’t really see a situation where there is basically one mainstream double decker on the market (or two if you count the E400 City different from the regular E400MMC). I bet there will be some sort of rescue deal especially as it seems part of the issue seems to be the charity donations.
MCV also body the B5LH and B5TL, plus there is the rarer Optare Metrodecker
 

Busman84

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I think it's unfair to say that the Streetlites are that bad, some of them I've driven are actually very nice buses, and trust me I would know, I've driven over 60 of the things. I think the biggest issue was consistency in construction rather than the buses themselves, and I know colleagues in my company rate Streetdecks a lot higher than Geminis, although my depot haven't had the privilege of any yet.

Never been on a Streetdeck but to drive they may be ok and that will depend on how the Gearbox ECU is setup.. Least the Streetdeck has proper wheels unlike the Streetlight and E200/300s which also result on a poor steering lock aswell as poor ride quality.. I prefer something that feels heavy on the road plus doesn’t blow to the side when there’s a gust something more evident with lightweight single deckers..

Problem is with the industry while they want lighter plus smaller engined buses are these buses going to take the same abuse as the buses in the past. Take the Renown’s buses 18 years old still in daily service. Let’s see if these lightweight products last the pace.
 

Robertj21a

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I assume that the network of engineers used by Wrights have also lost their jobs, resulting is some early problems for many operators.
What happens to urgent repairs under warranty ?
 

NorthernSpirit

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This will be the relevant thread to ask, sorry - what happens to Wright vehicles staying in passenger service? For example, maintenance and spare parts etc?
Its possible that operators may take out of use their older Wright models and use them for spares to keep the rest of the fleet going until the last item breaks e.g window, fuel pump, etc. As with the LeedsCity Streetdecks lets hope that these will last for quite some time as parts for them will be non exisitant unless one of the slightly older models are cannablised for parts.
 

F Great Eastern

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I assume that the network of engineers used by Wrights have also lost their jobs, resulting is some early problems for many operators.
What happens to urgent repairs under warranty ?
That depends whether it's an integral bus or a bus with a body on someone elses chassis.

Vehicles these days are not often ordered on their own, normally they are part of a package that includes an agreement on maintenance, spares, warranties and other things and 99/100 that is took out with the chassis builder who will then subcontract a body builder to do that side of things.

Therefore if it was a product with a Volvo Chassis, it would not be the operators problem to resolve issues about spares and maintenance as their contract would be with Volvo, it would be Volvo's issue to resolve this and not the operators themselves.

However if it's a Wrightbus integral the future is less certain since these agreements would be with Wrightbus themselves which elaves the operator exposed. Saying that Mercedes do a bit of the support on behalf of Wright, so if operators are stuck ona Daimler engined product they might be able to get some support that way, but they'd have to pay.
 

507021

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How does it work then? Having an outdated product page doesn't look good, in fact, it looks lazy and doesn't reflect well on the company.
I'll agree that the product page should be up to date, but I don't think something like that is going to put off prospective investors. There are far more important things for them worry about.

As for operators who are looking to order new stock, they will know what's available.
 

Robertj21a

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That depends whether it's an integral bus or a bus with a body on someone elses chassis.

Vehicles these days are not often ordered on their own, normally they are part of a package that includes an agreement on maintenance, spares, warranties and other things and 99/100 that is took out with the chassis builder who will then subcontract a body builder to do that side of things.

Therefore if it was a product with a Volvo Chassis, it would not be the operators problem to resolve issues about spares and maintenance as their contract would be with Volvo, it would be Volvo's issue to resolve this and not the operators themselves.

However if it's a Wrightbus integral the future is less certain since these agreements would be with Wrightbus themselves which elaves the operator exposed. Saying that Mercedes do a bit of the support on behalf of Wright, so if operators are stuck ona Daimler engined product they might be able to get some support that way, but they'd have to pay.
It's mainly the integral Streetdecks and Streetlites I'm thinking of, it appears that it's those two that cause most of the work nowadays...... The Wrightbus engineers do seem to be in attendance at some operators rather frequently, so I guess that those operators are quite likely to experience problems rather quickly.
 

R Scandle

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Lothian subsidiary East Coast Buses has dual purpose seated ones, on face value they look very nice and it's a high internal spec they've been built to but they are very rattly even on the A1 which is in fairly good nick.

Just realise the dual purpose probably isn't a phrase that's used anymore #showingmyage
I've travelled on a few of these and other LB Gem 3's. Horrible buses - especially upstairs. Three major problems - the windows are too shallow which means that in most seats your eye is level with the top of the plain glass/hopper line; secondly the seats are too firm and finally they rattle like heck especially on the B5L chassis - which is far less forgiving over bumps than the B9TL or B7TL.
 

Mikey C

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As a passenger, I find the Gemini 3/Streetdeck a massive step backwards on the Gemini 2, with its lower roof and shallow upstairs windows. Whether that has directly affected sales or not I don't know.
 

F Great Eastern

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As a passenger, I find the Gemini 3/Streetdeck a massive step backwards on the Gemini 2, with its lower roof and shallow upstairs windows. Whether that has directly affected sales or not I don't know.
The original Gemini was even better, but if Wright kept building that they;d have already been dead a few years, because it simply was vastly more expensive to run and buy than the competition which had gone down the lightweight, fuel efficent route.

ADL always had an advantage over Wright in that they just happened to have a bus company that they would always get orders from thanks to their common shareholders. Unfortunately Wright didn't have that luxury and the ownership connections of ADL and Stagecoach was neither a positive thing for the bus operator, or bus building market as both companies fed off each other's dominance.
 

Mikey C

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The original Gemini was even better, but if Wright kept building that they;d have already been dead a few years, because it simply was vastly more expensive to run and buy than the competition which had gone down the lightweight, fuel efficent route.

ADL always had an advantage over Wright in that they just happened to have a bus company that they would always get orders from thanks to their common shareholders. Unfortunately Wright didn't have that luxury and the ownership connections of ADL and Stagecoach was neither a positive thing for the bus operator, or bus building market as both companies fed off each other's dominance.
But surely if the OTHER bus groups (First, Go ahead, Arriva etc) felt that concerned about the ADL/Stagecoach links, that would have given Wrights a big advantage in selling to them?
 

Prestige15

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So it seems that Optare is now the second largest bus manufacturer, But even they aint doing so well recently.

However on regard on Wrightbus .
Worth remembering too that TransBus International had a similar fate back in 2004 and if you now look at Alexander Dennis they are the strongest bus manufacturer in the UK so you can come back from 'the dead' so to speak. Maybe with a totally different management Wrightbus could do similar, Who knows.
 

Y961 XBU

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So it seems that Optare is now the second largest bus manufacturer, But even they aint doing so well recently.

However on regard on Wrightbus .
Worth remembering too that TransBus International had a similar fate back in 2004 and if you now look at Alexander Dennis they are the strongest bus manufacturer in the UK so you can come back from 'the dead' so to speak. Maybe with a totally different management Wrightbus could do similar, Who knows.
Why have you just copied a Post word for word from The Merseyside Dennis Darts Forum?
 

F Great Eastern

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But surely if the OTHER bus groups (First, Go ahead, Arriva etc) felt that concerned about the ADL/Stagecoach links, that would have given Wrights a big advantage in selling to them?
You might think that, but not really if you think about it.

Do you really think that if ADL have a new product or innovation or something, that Stagecoach find out about this at the same time as every other single bus operator, or do you think that they have forward notice and the whole product is designed around their needs.

The end result is the other builders are playing catch-up and also have to compete on the open market as they have no slam dunk orders that ADL have because they don't have any affiliated bus companies that will ensure that it is bought in numbers no matter what. ADL have a guaranteed volume from a customer that is always going to stay loyal in Stagecoach.

Then there's the fact if First are buying from Volvo lets say, Volvo are going to want a certain margin as they have no connection in First. If Stagecoach are buying from ADL for example, the margin is not as important to the shareholders because at the end of the day a lot of the Shareholders are the same. The success of ADL helps Stagecoach and the success of Stagecoach helps ADL .

The simple fact is that ADL could be working on a vehicle for 18 months before it's revealed in public, but Stagecoach could already knew about it for most of it's development but kept quiet. Stagecoach take the fist examples and then Wright/Volvo see them hit the road and thinks, crap we better respond. But they then have to design a new product to rival the new ADL Product which will take 12-18 months to design unless it's rushed out.

In that time the bus operators see that the new ADL product is rather good and cheaper to run then the Volvo/Wright product and they have a choice

a) Keep buying the old Volvo/Wright product and wait 12-18 months for Volvo/Wright to respond and see Stagecoach grow profits/passengers on the back of their new ADL product whilst you don't.
b) Buy the ADL product and line the pockets of ADL and Stagecoach, probably at a higher price than they charged Stagecoach themselves.

Many of the companies went for B. I know a few smaller operators who always bought Wright/Volvo but they went for ADL since stacked up to a Gemini 2, the ADL won on cost and fuel burn since Wright/Volvo were still playing catch up and working on the Gemini 3. They were fearful of being undercut on cost so reluctantly went down the ADL road.

The Office of Fair Trading did suggest that the ownership commonalities between ADL and Stagecoach could distort the bus market and they really should have blocked it. This isn't just my view, I know many people in the industry outside of Stagecoach and ADL that believe the combination of the two has generally been terrible for competition in the sector.

If you look at the choice of suppliers of vehicles now, and what it was 15 years ago, it'll tell its own story.

Worth remembering too that TransBus International had a similar fate back in 2004 and if you now look at Alexander Dennis they are the strongest bus manufacturer in the UK so you can come back from 'the dead' so to speak. Maybe with a totally different management Wrightbus could do similar, Who knows.
The key difference there was when the company was took out of administration by tSouter and co was they got a huge flurry of orders every year from Stagecoach. WIthout that the tale would be very different indeed.
 

Statto

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No, I know the guy from the other Forum who made we aware of this post knowing i am also a member here
I think he's also a member on this forum[quick search of members & he does have an account on here], & has posted from time to time on here, but uses the same forum name here, as he does on MDD
 

MotCO

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b) Buy the ADL product and line the pockets of ADL and Stagecoach, probably at a higher price than they charged Stagecoach themselves.
I've often wondered if Stagecoach in London were able to undercut TfL tenders by having access to a cheaper price for ADL products than other groups could get. Is this unfair competition?
 

jammy36

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You might think that, but not really if you think about it.

Do you really think that if ADL have a new product or innovation or something, that Stagecoach find out about this at the same time as every other single bus operator, or do you think that they have forward notice and the whole product is designed around their needs.

The end result is the other builders are playing catch-up and also have to compete on the open market as they have no slam dunk orders that ADL have because they don't have any affiliated bus companies that will ensure that it is bought in numbers no matter what. ADL have a guaranteed volume from a customer that is always going to stay loyal in Stagecoach.

Then there's the fact if First are buying from Volvo lets say, Volvo are going to want a certain margin as they have no connection in First. If Stagecoach are buying from ADL for example, the margin is not as important to the shareholders because at the end of the day a lot of the Shareholders are the same. The success of ADL helps Stagecoach and the success of Stagecoach helps ADL .

The simple fact is that ADL could be working on a vehicle for 18 months before it's revealed in public, but Stagecoach could already knew about it for most of it's development but kept quiet. Stagecoach take the fist examples and then Wright/Volvo see them hit the road and thinks, crap we better respond. But they then have to design a new product to rival the new ADL Product which will take 12-18 months to design unless it's rushed out.

In that time the bus operators see that the new ADL product is rather good and cheaper to run then the Volvo/Wright product and they have a choice

a) Keep buying the old Volvo/Wright product and wait 12-18 months for Volvo/Wright to respond and see Stagecoach grow profits/passengers on the back of their new ADL product whilst you don't.
b) Buy the ADL product and line the pockets of ADL and Stagecoach, probably at a higher price than they charged Stagecoach themselves.

Many of the companies went for B. I know a few smaller operators who always bought Wright/Volvo but they went for ADL since stacked up to a Gemini 2, the ADL won on cost and fuel burn since Wright/Volvo were still playing catch up and working on the Gemini 3. They were fearful of being undercut on cost so reluctantly went down the ADL road.

The Office of Fair Trading did suggest that the ownership commonalities between ADL and Stagecoach could distort the bus market and they really should have blocked it. This isn't just my view, I know many people in the industry outside of Stagecoach and ADL that believe the combination of the two has generally been terrible for competition in the sector.

If you look at the choice of suppliers of vehicles now, and what it was 15 years ago, it'll tell its own story.



The key difference there was when the company was took out of administration by tSouter and co was they got a huge flurry of orders every year from Stagecoach. WIthout that the tale would be very different indeed.
I recall you posted similar comments before on the common ownership between Stagecoach and ADL. It certainly makes a good narrative, but I don't think its entirely true.

Yes Stagecoach have favoured ADL in their orders, but this was the case long before any common ownership. Stagecoach had been buying products made by ADL's predecessors for ages - Alexander RL bodied Olympians, Alexander Sprint minibuses, Alexander PS bodied B10Ms, Dennis Trident ALX400s, Dennis Darts with both Plaxton Pointer and ALX200 bodies, ALX100 bodied Varios, Plaxton Premier 320s, etc, etc.
I
Stagecoach's orders in the years either side of the millennium were comprised nearly entirely of Transbus products (73 per cent for chassis and 93 per cent for bodywork). This was before any common ownership.

Rather than having concerns about the takeover it was welcomed by other operators. The greater concern of other operators wasn't around common ownership between ADL and Stagecoach, rather that another manufacturer might have bought Transbus and limited competition in the manufacturing sector.

When under common ownership Stagecoach placed healthy orders for non ADL products, see for example the large number of Scania chassied double deckers that Stagecoach took in preference to an all ADL product.

Also whist ADL and Stagecoach had common shareholders, Souter Investments weren't the only shareholder in ADL (they owned around half the company at time of sale) and the board would have been obliged to act on behalf of all shareholders. It makes no business sense for ADL to decrease its sales of buses just to favour Stagecoach - other ADL shareholders wouldn't have stood for it.

Sorry, but I think people are looking for a conspiracy theory here, where non exists.
 

Goldfish62

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I've often wondered if Stagecoach in London were able to undercut TfL tenders by having access to a cheaper price for ADL products than other groups could get. Is this unfair competition?
The evidence is that that is not the case (insider
I recall you posted similar comments before on the common ownership between Stagecoach and ADL. It certainly makes a good narrative, but I don't think its entirely true.

Yes Stagecoach have favoured ADL in their orders, but this was the case long before any common ownership. Stagecoach had been buying products made by ADL's predecessors for ages - Alexander RL bodied Olympians, Alexander Sprint minibuses, Alexander PS bodied B10Ms, Dennis Trident ALX400s, Dennis Darts with both Plaxton Pointer and ALX200 bodies, ALX100 bodied Varios, Plaxton Premier 320s, etc, etc.
I
Stagecoach's orders in the years either side of the millennium were comprised nearly entirely of Transbus products (73 per cent for chassis and 93 per cent for bodywork). This was before any common ownership.

Rather than having concerns about the takeover it was welcomed by other operators. The greater concern of other operators wasn't around common ownership between ADL and Stagecoach, rather that another manufacturer might have bought Transbus and limited competition in the manufacturing sector.

When under common ownership Stagecoach placed healthy orders for non ADL products, see for example the large number of Scania chassied double deckers that Stagecoach took in preference to an all ADL product.

Also whist ADL and Stagecoach had common shareholders, Souter Investments weren't the only shareholder in ADL (they owned around half the company at time of sale) and the board would have been obliged to act on behalf of all shareholders. It makes no business sense for ADL to decrease its sales of buses just to favour Stagecoach - other ADL shareholders wouldn't have stood for it.

Sorry, but I think people are looking for a conspiracy theory here, where non exists.
Completely agree. It's conspiracy theory nonsense. I say that with more than a little industry insider intelligence.
 
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