THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL
If OEM bus and coach chassis are the ‘legs of Fred Flintstone’ then someone’s got to be making the vehicle body he ‘ran in’. In the bus world there’s a range of quality builders across Australasia turning out all kinds of lengths and styles of bus bodies
Sure you could technically drive around on a bus chassis all day, but without a body to seat and protect passengers properly, is it really a bus at all? We examine some leading body people.
It’s arguably been a rollercoaster ride for many bus body builders in the Australasian market over the past 50 years or so, with many success stories underwritten by the absorption of bloodlines or ending of others.
The nature of the public transport game, coupled with changing technology, bus-making processes, and route and contract wins and losses have affected the fortunes of many such companies.
In that context, the bus and coach building companies that still do business today – and good business by all accounts – are largely truly amazing organisations, making quality bus product featuring stylish designs and the latest enduring materials.
Even better, the best ones are open to feedback from current and potential customers, thereby mutually evolving the product.
Ultimately, operators are spoilt for choice, not just in terms of who they can choose to build the body they want for their newly-purchased chassis, but also in terms of the bespoke nature that select builders offer on each specific bus build, tailored uniquely to satisfy exactly what an operator wants for their fleet.
Most, if not all, also have extensive and excellent repair and maintenance skills and techniques under their warranties, or can work wonders on restoration, repair and/or upgrading of older vehicles.
Here, we merely commemorate just a few of the leading bus bodymaking and ancillary organisations that are doing great work in the Australasian bus industry today.