Bus Stop Sales & Ser­vice de­liv­ered its 100th Yu­tong bus in Aus­tralia dur­ing early May this year, Di­rec­tor Pete White says the most de­mand right now is for ve­hi­cles in the mid-sized sec­tor

Bus Stop Sales & Ser­vice de­liv­ered its 100th Yu­tong bus in Aus­tralia dur­ing early May this year. ABC takes a look as how it got started and how things are go­ing for one of Yu­tong’s big­gest deal­er­ships mid-way through 2017

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Bus Stop Sales & Ser­vice, headed up by di­rec­tor Pete White and sup­ported by his fa­ther Dick White, de­liv­ered its rst Yu­tong in March 2014 to a western Queens­land min­ing op­er­a­tor.

Since that time, the com­pany has es­tab­lished it­self as the lead­ing sup­plier of Yu­tong ve­hi­cles in Aus­tralia and be­come one of the na­tion’s largest sup­pli­ers of new and used buses and coaches.

Ac­cord­ing to Pete White, the most de­mand right now seems to be for ve­hi­cles in the mid-sized sec­tor – up to 40 seats.

“There is a lim­ited range of qual­ity prod­ucts in this realm and, as such, this has been a key fo­cus of our busi­ness, with th­ese ve­hi­cles com­pris­ing about 65 per cent of all sales,” he says.

“We are nd­ing that the in­dus­try de­mand is gen­er­ally com­ing from the ed­u­ca­tion and in­bound tourist sec­tor.

“So work­ing to cus­tomise ve­hi­cle so­lu­tions to schools and uni­ver­si­ties, in ad­di­tion to in­ter­na­tional clients, has proved very ef­fec­tive.”

The 100th ve­hi­cle, a new Yu­tong 39 pas­sen­ger school/char­ter coach, was de­liv­ered to Bris­bane-based op­er­a­tor Char­ter Ser­vices Qld early last month. It is the cus­tomer’s fth Yu­tong over­all, hav­ing ini­tially pur­chased two sec­ond-hand ve­hi­cles be­fore up­grad­ing them with three brand new mod­els.

Char­ter Ser­vices Qld man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Jeff Osborne says he is very pleased, not only with the qual­ity of the prod­uct and value, but also with the af­ter­sales sup­port and parts avail­abil­ity.

“The Bus Stop Sales and Ser­vice team strive to sup­port my bus op­er­a­tions in ev­ery way,” Osborne says.

To cel­e­brate the mile­stone, Yu­tong Aus­tralia gen­eral man­ager Neil Wang trav­elled to Bris­bane to par­tic­i­pate in the fes­tiv­i­ties at Bus Stop’s Archer eld sales and ser­vice fa­cil­ity.

“This mile­stone reects the in­dus­try-lead­ing sales and cus­tomer part­ner­ship pro­grams that the Bus Stop team has im­ple­mented across its Aus­tralian deal­er­ship lo­ca­tions,” Wang says.

Bus Stop Sales & Ser­vice cur­rently has three bases in Queens­land, north­ern New South Wales and Western Aus­tralia.

As a Yu­tong dealer based in Bris­bane, hav­ing supplied 100 ve­hi­cles of this make in just over three years is a good ef­fort. Pete says what op­er­a­tors want most when buy­ing a new bus is pretty sim­ple.

“We nd that op­er­a­tors look for value, ser­vice and sup­port,” he says.

“We fo­cus on fos­ter­ing a re­la­tion­ship over the ve­hi­cle’s life, rather than only dur­ing the ini­tial sale or war­ranty pe­riod.”

“The owner of our 100th Yu­tong, Jeff Osborne, rst pur­chased a sec­ond-hand Yu­tong from us which we had traded back to help him into a new ve­hi­cle of the same model, even though the used bus was only four years old.”

CAN’T BEAT EX­PE­RI­ENCE

The Whites came to be Yu­tong deal­ers after a long his­tory in the bus busi­ness as well as other in­dus­tries.

Pete had a ca­reer span­ning 12 years at Vir­gin Blue Air­lines – cul­mi­nat­ing with man­ag­ing the brand through its re­birth as Vir­gin Aus­tralia. He grew up in the bus in­dus­try un­der his fa­ther Dick, who has more than 40 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the bus in­dus­try.

This in­cluded own­er­ship of Mo­tor­coach Aus­tralia, a bus man­u­fac­turer in Bris­bane, as well as long-term po­si­tions at Den­ning and Ley­land in sales and ser­vice.

In late 2013, Yu­tong identied Dick as its ideal part­ner across a num­ber of Aus­tralian states.

As the Yu­tong brand had only re­cently launched in Aus­tralia, Dick encouraged Pete to re­turn to the bus in­dus­try and as­sist to build the Yu­tong brand. Bus Stop Sales & Ser­vice was then formed in Jan­uary 2014.

“Over the last three years, Yu­tong has led the eld as the fastest grow­ing brand [by sales] in the coun­try,” Pete says.

Its head ofce based in Archereld, Bris­bane has a fully equipped me­chan­i­cal and ser­vice fa­cil­ity, ac­com­pa­nied by more than $350,000 worth of gen­uine spare parts to sup­port the Yu­tong prod­uct.

“Our new and used sales lo­ca­tions in Bris­bane are spread across two sites to en­sure that Bus Stop has ad­e­quate new and used ve­hi­cles to match their cus­tomers’ re­quire­ments,” Pete ex­plains.

CHANG­ING AT­TI­TUDES

There are some op­er­a­tors who are still not will­ing to fully em­brace Chi­nese bus brands, de­spite their rel­a­tive af­ford­abil­ity. How­ever, the team has seen a denite shift in th­ese at­ti­tudes over the last three years, and also in the qual­ity of build.

“The Chi­nese bus prod­uct has de­vel­oped signicantly since the early im­ports pre-2010,” Pete re­veals. “Since that time we be­lieve that all man­u­fac­tur­ers have con­tin­ued to rene their prod­ucts to meet the mar­kets ex­pec­ta­tions.

“Based on our own per­cep­tion of Chi­nese buses, we were ini­tially hes­i­tant to en­dorse the Yu­tong brand but, after per­son­ally vis­it­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties of the world’s big­gest bus builder, any qual­ity con­cerns were ex­tin­guished as Yu­tong is at the fore­front of qual­ity com­pli­ance.”

The rened man­u­fac­tur­ing lines are very dif­fer­ent to the low turnover prod­ucts where it is very hard to en­sure a con­sis­tent prod­uct on ev­ery ve­hi­cle, ac­cord­ing to Pete.

“Ev­ery Yu­tong bus prod­uct is sub­jected to the equiv­a­lent of one mil­lion kilo­me­tres of test­ing across all ter­rains, in­clud­ing 24-hour-a-day test­ing at Yu­tong’s own test tracks in Zhengzhou, China,” Pete says.

Al­though Bus Stop Sales & Ser­vice is pri­mar­ily a new bus sales fa­cil­ity, it also buys, sells and trades used buses. Pete says used bus and coach sales roughly equate to about 20 per cent of the to­tal op­er­a­tion.

There are cur­rently four Yu­tong agents in Aus­tralia which are re­tail­ing the prod­uct, and Bus Stop Sales & Ser­vice has the largest area cov­er­age of any dealer through­out Aus­tralia.

Bus Stop Bris­bane has two sales out­lets in Archereld. The sec­ond lo­ca­tion was added in 2017 due to cus­tomer de­mand. There is also Bus Stop NSW based at Ballina in North­ern NSW and Bus Stop Perth in Western Aus­tralia.

Pete says its rapid growth can be at­trib­uted to pro­vid­ing an hon­est and gen­uine ser­vice and look­ing at things from a bus and coach op­er­a­tor’s per­spec­tive. This has led to re­peat cus­tomers and al­lowed them to grow, pro­vid­ing the rev­enue needed to ex­pand into new lo­ca­tions.

“We are very pleased with the sup­port that the in­dus­try has pro­vided us in launch­ing and grow­ing the com­pany,” he says.

“Our ex­pe­ri­ence and com­mit­ment to cus­tomer sup­port gave us a good plat­form to start with. Since that time, good old ser­vice and sup­port all day, ev­ery day has en­sured that we con­tinue to ob­tain busi­ness from our com­peti­tors.”

Pete has also re-in­vested heav­ily to de­velop Bus Stop across Aus­tralia, with the ob­jec­tive of be­ing the ‘go-to’ lo­ca­tion for all bus needs across the school bus, tourist, coach and ur­ban bus sec­tors.

“I’ve al­ways re­cruited staff based on attitude rather than their skill set.

“The can-do cul­ture at Bus Stop across both the op­er­a­tional and com­mer­cial teams, ex­ten­sive parts back-up, and the qual­ity Yu­tong prod­uct has proved to be a win­ning com­bi­na­tion.”

We fo­cus on fos­ter­ing a re­la­tion­ship over the ve­hi­cle’s life

Clock­wise from top

left: A Yu­tong for school ap­pli­ca­tion; Aus­tralia Zoo is on board; The Bus Stop Sales & Ser­vice team cel­e­brate

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