Bus Manufacturer News & Discussion

F262YTJ

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I feel Wright should make friends again with Volvo considering the Swedish firm's aspirations for alternative power and corner a share of the growing market whilst at the same time developing their own hydrogen technology.
 
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Jordan Adam

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I feel Wright should make friends again with Volvo considering the Swedish firm's aspirations for alternative power and corner a share of the growing market whilst at the same time developing their own hydrogen technology.
If sales in the latter years were anything to go by i don't really see the point. For the last decade the integral products on the whole from Wright have proven far more popular and they're far more profitable for Wright to make since it's fully their bus.
 

37114

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I feel Wright should make friends again with Volvo considering the Swedish firm's aspirations for alternative power and corner a share of the growing market whilst at the same time developing their own hydrogen technology.
Coaches aside, Volvo's only sizeable customer in the UK is Lothian who seem to be more than happy with the switch to ADL and MCV for bodies and even Lothian are playing with some BYD electrics so you have to question the merits in Wright's/Bamfords rekindling their relationship with Volvo.
 

F Great Eastern

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If sales in the latter years were anything to go by i don't really see the point. For the last decade the integral products on the whole from Wright have proven far more popular and they're far more profitable for Wright to make since it's fully their bus.

They sold almost 1,000 Volvo bodied Gemini's in Ireland between 2014-2019 for Bus Eireann, Go-Ahead Ireland, and Dublin Bus even if they weren't selling in the UK. That's not a small number but granted they lost a lot of UK trade.

I know many operators who would happily order a Volvo based decker from Wright who would never order an integral. In fact, a couple of them felt Wright were deliberately artificially marking up the pricing of their Volvo based products to make them less attractive compared to integrals.
 

Mikey C

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If sales in the latter years were anything to go by i don't really see the point. For the last decade the integral products on the whole from Wright have proven far more popular and they're far more profitable for Wright to make since it's fully their bus.
The Streetdeck in London has had minimal sales when compared to the B5LH
 

cnjb8

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By the sound of things, things started to go wrong when Wrights decided to start making integral buses, instead of just concentrating on bodying Volvo, Scania and VDL chassis. It's quite a major step, one which was perhaps beyond their abilities.

Optare made a related decision too to stop bodying other chassis, which really affected the East Lancs side of the business which had (in London) picked up some decent work on Volvo and Scania double deckers
I feel Wright should make friends again with Volvo considering the Swedish firm's aspirations for alternative power and corner a share of the growing market whilst at the same time developing their own hydrogen technology.
Heavyweights are becoming a thing of the past, as is hybrid technology to a degree. Not to mention the B5TL has a 4-cylinder engine when the StreetDeck can now be built with a 6-cylinder one.
If sales in the latter years were anything to go by i don't really see the point. For the last decade the integral products on the whole from Wright have proven far more popular and they're far more profitable for Wright to make since it's fully their bus.
I agree, it worked for Optare (before the build time issues) and ADL. Wright's going out of business wasn't because they switched to integrals.
Coaches aside, Volvo's only sizeable customer in the UK is Lothian who seem to be more than happy with the switch to ADL and MCV for bodies and even Lothian are playing with some BYD electrics so you have to question the merits in Wright's/Bamfords rekindling their relationship with Volvo.
Exactly, better sticking to integrals. Especially since Volvo don't have a double deck electric or hydrogen chassis
They sold almost 1,000 Volvo bodied Gemini's in Ireland between 2014-2019 for Bus Eireann, Go-Ahead Ireland, and Dublin Bus even if they weren't selling in the UK. That's not a small number but granted they lost a lot of UK trade.

I know many operators who would happily order a Volvo based decker from Wright who would never order an integral. In fact, a couple of them felt Wright were deliberately artificially marking up the pricing of their Volvo based products to make them less attractive compared to integrals.
Unfortunately Wright going bust effectively killed their dominance in Ireland. Now they seem to be very keen on the E400ER.
 

GusB

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Another order for ADL:


Alexander Dennis (ADL) has announced that Hong Kong operator KMB has ordered 56 Enviro500 tri-axle double-deck buses, which are scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2021. KMB is the largest franchised bus operator in Hong Kong, with a fleet of around 4,000 buses operating on over 400 routes. The company’s new Enviro500s will be 12.8m long and powered by low-emission Euro VI engines.

They will have a total capacity of up to 143 passengers, with 98 seats fitted with three-point safety belts. This latest order continues a long-standing relationship between ADL and KMB, which has now ordered over 2,500 Enviro500 buses since the current generation model was launched in 2012.
 

Swanny200

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Who would Wrightbus sell to abroad now? KMB was a customer for a while, most are going ADL now
 

GusB

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Who would Wrightbus sell to abroad now? KMB was a customer for a while, most are going ADL now
There's nothing to stop Wright selling abroad. If they have a good enough product to sell and at the right price (pun not intended), there's no reason why they still can't pick up orders from the likes of Hong Kong. Just because an operator switches to a different manufacturer doesn't necessarily mean it will be forever.
 

Robertj21a

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There's nothing to stop Wright selling abroad. If they have a good enough product to sell and at the right price (pun not intended), there's no reason why they still can't pick up orders from the likes of Hong Kong. Just because an operator switches to a different manufacturer doesn't necessarily mean it will be forever.
With ADL picking up much of the double deck bus orders from Hong Kong, Berlin, USA and even Switzerland it's getting difficult to see why they'd now bother with Wrights.
 

Markk1990

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With ADL picking up much of the double deck bus orders from Hong Kong, Berlin, USA and even Switzerland it's getting difficult to see why they'd now bother with Wrights.
I find it strange that we have this general idea that operators only buy one or the other (Wrights/ADL) and that once they've bought some of the other they have converted for good. It simply is not the case! If we don't take COVID into account (which contributed towards the demise of former Wrightbus) pretty much all operators bought a mix of both and others. The only example that I'm aware of that haven't is Stagecoach, but they appear to want uniformity amongst everything and the legacy of part-ownership probably helps. Through cheaper fuels and better bodybuilding Wright will see a resurgence in the future, they have a fantastic long-term reputation, I mean over 69% of First Bus must be Wright's products!I doubt in fact that First Bus for example even 'boycotted' them in the first place like some seem to think.
 

Swanny200

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I find it strange that we have this general idea that operators only buy one or the other (Wrights/ADL) and that once they've bought some of the other they have converted for good. It simply is not the case! If we don't take COVID into account (which contributed towards the demise of former Wrightbus) pretty much all operators bought a mix of both and others. The only example that I'm aware of that haven't is Stagecoach, but they appear to want uniformity amongst everything and the legacy of part-ownership probably helps. Through cheaper fuels and better bodybuilding Wright will see a resurgence in the future, they have a fantastic long-term reputation, I mean over 69% of First Bus must be Wright's products!I doubt in fact that First Bus for example even 'boycotted' them in the first place like some seem to think.
That is fair enough, but Wrightbus need to do a hell of a lot of work to convince the likes of Lothian and others who for the last couple of years were given substandard quality products in order to fill their order books again, change of ownership might do it, but it is business and in some parts of business, people have a long memory. Wright's business was starting to stall before COVID, companies had already raised concerns about build quality, Stagecoach inherited most of their Wright bodied vehicles through acquisition as Brian Souter had/has stakes in ADL, they were first choice.

2022 may be the time when we see the results, if there are no more COVID related issues once the restrictions are over and orderbooks are flowing again, hopefully Wrightbus will emerge like a phoenix from the flames, give ADL competition because let's face it, Optare can't even make 10 buses without long waiting times and be a success.
 

jammy36

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If we don't take COVID into account (which contributed towards the demise of former Wrightbus) pretty much all operators bought a mix of both and others.

Wright's business was starting to stall before COVID,
I know Covid feels like it's been around for ever, but didn't Wrightbus's collapse happen long before? Loss of over £1 million in 2017, two rounds of redundancies in 2018, seeking investors in summer 2019 because of financial difficulties and finally entering administration in September 2019 - I think that's the rough timetable - all long before most of us had even heard of Wuhan.
 

CN04NRJ

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I find it strange that we have this general idea that operators only buy one or the other (Wrights/ADL) and that once they've bought some of the other they have converted for good. It simply is not the case! If we don't take COVID into account (which contributed towards the demise of former Wrightbus) pretty much all operators bought a mix of both and others. The only example that I'm aware of that haven't is Stagecoach, but they appear to want uniformity amongst everything and the legacy of part-ownership probably helps. Through cheaper fuels and better bodybuilding Wright will see a resurgence in the future, they have a fantastic long-term reputation, I mean over 69% of First Bus must be Wright's products!I doubt in fact that First Bus for example even 'boycotted' them in the first place like some seem to think.

This is all purely speculation on your part though. Who knows what the future holds for ADL or Wright post covid, I doubt even companies like Lothian will be making any large orders any time soon as the whole fleet will be euro 6 minimum by the end of this year.
 

Markk1990

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This is all purely speculation on your part though. Who knows what the future holds for ADL or Wright post covid, I doubt even companies like Lothian will be making any large orders any time soon as the whole fleet will be euro 6 minimum by the end of this year.
It is purely speculation and for all we know we won't see any big orders for a couple of years once companies have fully recovered from COVID. There's a big chance over the next year or two we see larger groups re-engining to cheaper/better fuels and refurbishing vehicles to 'like-new' to avoid any large capital spend.

We need to remember they are businesses as somebody else put it so a lot of this is based on cost. If Wright's offer better value for money with their new products, I don't doubt that companies such as First will be placing big orders again. Yes managers have a memory but ultimately it's money that talks - there were no "fallings out", just another manufacturer offered a value for money with their products, i.e. ADL.

Obviously, all speculation and for all we know Arrival could be getting orders for 300+ buses in 2022 from the big players!
 

Mikey C

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Wasn't it First who pushed Wrights to develop the Gemini 3 body, with its lighter construction to save weight (and as a result the horrible narrow windows upstairs instead of the deep ones of the Gemini 2)
 

Goldfish62

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Wasn't it First who pushed Wrights to develop the Gemini 3 body, with its lighter construction to save weight (and as a result the horrible narrow windows upstairs instead of the deep ones of the Gemini 2)
As I understand it there was a significant weight penalty with Euro VI which would have pushed double decks over the maximum allowed gross vehicle weight. Glass is heavy and Wright's saw part of the solution as reducing the amount of glass used, resulting in the hideous look. Other manufacturers had different weight reduction solutions.
 

Jordan Adam

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As I understand it there was a significant weight penalty with Euro VI which would have pushed double decks over the maximum allowed gross vehicle weight. Glass is heavy and Wright's saw part of the solution as reducing the amount of glass used, resulting in the hideous look. Other manufacturers had different weight reduction solutions.
Until they increased the weight by adding in the glass staircase? I don't think the smaller windows look too bad, at least on the Stealth design it looks fine, it's just internally it makes the interior feel quite small.
 

awsnews

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There is an image on the Coach & Bus Week website of the forthcoming batch of Volvo 9900s for Lochs & Glens Holidays but impressive as the coaches are looking in the background there appears to be a new type of integral interurban. Has this model been previously announced?
Vehicle in question can be seen on the extreme left:
 
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GusB

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There is an image on the Coach & Bus Week website of the forthcoming batch of Volvo 9900s for Lochs & Glens Holidays but impressive as the coaches are looking in the background there appears to be a new type of integral interurban. Has this model been previously announced?
Vehicle in question can be seen on the extreme left:

They look like new 9700s to me.
At first glance it does look as if they aren't as tall as the coaches in the foreground, but I think it may be because they're so far back.
 

jammy36

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At first glance it does look as if they aren't as tall as the coaches in the foreground, but I think it may be because they're so far back.
The Lochs coaches in the foreground are 9900s. As @TRAX says the ones highlighted in the background by @awsnews look like they could be the new 9700 (was due to launch in RHD in late 2020) so could be lower height (3.61 vs 3.73m).
 

awsnews

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The Lochs coaches in the foreground are 9900s. As @TRAX says the ones highlighted in the background by @awsnews look like they could be the new 9700 (was due to launch in RHD in late 2020) so could be lower height (3.61 vs 3.73m).
Thanks for the responses, looking at the image a bit closer I think I have confused a sun blind for a destination display. The new 9700 would appear to be the likely contender.
 

cnjb8

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Hopefully they will offer the 9700 with PSVAR spec. Might attract a few more orders
 

Snow1964

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Ballard has announced it is supplying another 50 hydrogen fuel cell modules to Wrightbus (in addition to 50 delivered in 2020)

Seems they are for Aberdeen & London & Belfast & Birmingham double deckers. No indication of split between cities

Aberdeen has 15 & rumoured an extra 10 on order
London and Birmingham both getting 20 each
Belfast has 3 with 20 on order
Some still being delivered, but has to be more as doesn’t add up to 100

 

Jordan Adam

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Ballard has announced it is supplying another 50 hydrogen fuel cell modules to Wrightbus (in addition to 50 delivered in 2020)

Seems they are for Aberdeen & London & Belfast & Birmingham double deckers. No indication of split between cities

Aberdeen has 15 & rumoured an extra 10 on order
London and Birmingham both getting 20 each
Belfast has 3 with 20 on order
Some still being delivered, but has to be more as doesn’t add up to 100

The 10 additional Streetdeck-FCEVs for Aberdeen are no longer just a rumour and have been officially announced. (see below).

Hydrogen bus investment announced

Funding of £4.5 million has been awarded to Aberdeen City Council for the introduction of 10 new hydrogen buses into the city’s public transport fleet.

The money comes from the £62 million Energy Transition Fund which was set up to help ensure a green recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and support the energy sector’s transition to a net-zero economy.

The Fund, with a focus on the North East, underpins the region’s ambitions to become a world leader in the transition to net zero, creating good green jobs and growing the local economy in a way that is fair and benefits everyone.

The hydrogen industry has the potential to be worth up to £25 billion a year to Scotland’s economy by 2045. £100 million has been committed over the next five years to stimulate the sector and its supply chain.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said:
“We are delighted to have been awarded £4.5 million from the Energy Transition Fund as the investment will contribute to the funding of 10 additional hydrogen double decker buses. These vehicles will increase the world’s first hydrogen double decker bus fleet in Aberdeen to 25 and complement one of the largest and most varied fleets of hydrogen vehicles across Europe which includes cars, vans, road sweepers and waste trucks."
*Only quoted relevant parts.
 

MotCO

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aswilliamsuk

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Seeing as they cost at least £500k apiece, I don't think any manufacturer is going to be building Hydrogen buses for stock just yet.

That said, Go-Ahead are working on expanding the long-mooted hydrogen bus order for Crawley (funding already confirmed for 20) to around 50, apparently, and I'm struggling to see how anyone other than Wrightbus is likely to get that order (especially as now they have a heavier weight single decker available).
 

Volvodart

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Dundee are supposed to be getting 12, which were subject to the tender for London, Aberdeen, Dundee and Birmingham which Wrightbus won the double decker order, although I do not know if that is affected by the Wrightbus administration.
 

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