... not this time.
Reports on Coach & Bus Live 2009 start here
There’s an industry’s showcase at the NEC each year. ‘Odd’ years, like 2009, feature the junior family member, Coach & Bus Live. With fewer exhibitors and guests, there’s an opportunity to be a little more hands-on, if that’s what you want. If you enter the Volvo 9700 driving skills challenge, follow my tip from 2007. Concentrate more on the accuracy element of the course, rather than speed.
What will the 2009 show present? Well, not a great deal of new. May be that’s something to do with hard times. Certainly, nothing high profile, like bigger brother Euro Bus Expo 2008 when, to gasps of disbelief, Optare launched its Solo+, now deleted. Also launched there and withdrawn in favour of the more conservative Olympus was the Rapta.
This year, after a troublesome 12 months for its management, Optare’s playing it safe, with a possible new-look. Another one, if you remember Darwen and Optare 2008-style. Present will be a 100-seat Olympus, a leather seated Versa and two Solos, one SR and one fully electric EV. No Tempo, though.
Things are slightly different at Plaxton, where you can actually witness a launch, albeit of a product we saw new at Expo 2008, in tri-axle format. 2009’s will be the 12.6m *two* axle Elite, on a Volvo B9R.
Adjoining ADL is expected to show five vehicles within, plus more outside. But there’s little new. Expect an already operating TfL-spec Metroline Enviro 400H hybrid, with an impressive five year warranty on its battery pack plus, outside, the first 400H demonstrator, where guests might witness the vehicle’s noise reduction. There’ll be a highly-speced Enviro200 within, with leather and all the trimmings.
Volvo will major on its already legendary customer support plus its dealer network & parts distribution. Similar story at Wrightbus, where there’ll be a TfL-spec Eclipse Gemini for London General but not much else, it seems. Wrightbus will concentrate instead on its Customercare activity, including the launch of a UK mainland parts distribution centre.
May be hard times have something to do with MCV’s example of its double deck refurbishment programme. There are two Evolutions planned, the longer on a MAN 14.240, the other on a VDL SB18.
Coach & Bus Live 2009 kicks off on Wednesday & also Thursday at the NEC, Birmingham
Monday, 5 October 2009
... not this time.
Posted Monday, October 05, 2009