Featuring more than 100 exhibitors, the 2017 Australasia Bus and Coach Expo was a great event for the industry and an opportunity to get an up-close look at new products
Featuring more than 100 exhibitors, the 2017 Australasia Bus and Coach Expo was a great event for the industry and an excellent opportunity to get an up-close look at what’s new to the market
Held at the Gold Coast Convention Centre over two days on September 25 and 26, the Australasia Bus and Coach Expo provided a great chance to talk directly to the manufacturers, owners and salesmen – the horses’ mouths!
The expo was the perfect opportunity to catch up with some familiar faces and meet some new ones all too happy to showcase their latest offerings.
Two days may seem like ample time but, as with these types of events, I probably needed a bit longer to get around and talk more in depth. I did, however, get to meet some passionate bus people, saw some new vehicles for our ever-changing market, and saw products that I had no idea even existed. There were some guest speakers I had hoped to watch but time just didn’t permit it – maybe I was having too good of a time chatting about what was there!
Some highlights of my rounds of the expo included meeting Craig Marshall from I-Bus Australia, which had the I-Bus 500 Series on show. Surprisingly, these buses are built on an Isuzu 500 truck chassis that was shipped overseas and returned as a bus. The model on display was a 34-seater, automatic with air bag suspension.
“This bus is ideally suited to school bus and country runs. Having the Isuzu chassis means they are very easy to maintain,” he says. “With over 50 dealers around the country, spare parts and servicing is easy.”
I imagine with an Isuzu chassis the I-Bus would be a tough workhorse, which I’m hoping to test drive in an upcoming review.
I met with Mark Gamer from Coach Concepts and went on board the brand’s latest 2017 luxury coach designed for the corporate market. This model included a slick new front and rear design with full LED concept.
“Coach Concepts have really concentrated on the European-style design of this coach. It’s what the Australian market is looking for,” he says. “This model includes a rear bar for the corporate customer.”
I was impressed that a bar is even included, and this coach’s dash resembles a plane cockpit – certainly both the driver and
passengers would be happy to be on board this luxury vehicle.
Luke Jolly from Custom Bus Australia was a familiar face, with the company’s CB80 Series II on display. The SB50 was also at the expo but I was familiar with that model. It’s always good to see new offerings or learn about products you haven’t seen before.
“The CB80 has plug-and-play technology throughout the entire vehicle. A full multiplex system makes this bus very electronically advanced,” Jolly says. “Regardless of the chassis chosen by the operator, the full layout design and step height remains exactly the same. This gives operators the exibility of choosing variations to suit their needs.”
Bruce Moseley from BCI had some of the new eet – which serves the changing transport needs of city and busy urban areas – on show.
“The Proma is a low-oor 21-seater plus driver, where our normal bus is a 28-seater,” he says. “This operator wanted a bus that was wider and more fuel friendly. BCI has achieved this by going single one side and double down the other.
1: MAN’s line-up looking the goods 2: Neil Wang from Yutong unveiling the latest coach T12 3: Custom Bus CB80 Series 2’s stainless steel frame 4: The digital display on Yutong’s T12 coach 5: Craig Marshall showing off the I-Bus 500 Series 6: Scania’s 13-litre Euro 6 K450. Everything is at your fingertips – not to mention luxury for the driver 6