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We’ve gath­ered up all the key, hard-hit­ting Aus­tralasian and in­ter­na­tional bus and coach news to keep you in the loop.

IN AD­DI­TION TO tak­ing a look at Volgren’s lat­est man­u­fac­tur­ing process, Vic­to­rian Min­is­ter for Trade and In­vest­ment, In­no­va­tion & the Dig­i­tal Econ­omy and Small Busi­ness, Philip Dal­i­dakis MP, joined CEO Peter Dale in in­spect­ing a com­pleted low-floor city bus be­fore the ve­hi­cle is ex­ported to Ja­pan, it’s re­ported re­cently.

The bus is one of 30 units that are soon to be shipped to Tokyo Metropoli­tan Gov­ern­ment, which op­er­ates around 1,450 buses in the Greater Tokyo re­gion.

The Op­ti­mus low-floor city buses built on a Sca­nia NUB E6 chas­sis will be the first of their kind in Ja­pan, Volgren states. Built in Dan­de­nong, the buses are 100 per cent com­pli­ant to strin­gent Ja­panese ve­hi­cle spec­i­fi­ca­tions in­clud­ing the coun­try’s com­plex on-board pas­sen­ger in­for­ma­tion sys­tems, tick­et­ing equip­ment and emer­gency exit re­quire­ments.

The visit from Min­is­ter Dal­i­dakis fol­lows a del­e­ga­tion from Tokyo Metropoli­tan Gov­ern­ment, which was on hand to in­spect and fi­nalise the first two ho­molo­ga­tion units in March this year.

Volgren’s lat­est part­ner­ship with Tokyo Metropoli­tan Gov­ern­ment is one of four op­er­a­tor re­la­tion­ships that Volgren has es­tab­lished, in­clud­ing their on­go­ing as­so­ci­a­tion with Ja­pan’s largest bus op­er­a­tor, the Nishitetsu Rail­way Com­pany.

Volgren chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Peter Dale said, “Volgren have built a rep­u­ta­tion in Ja­pan for man­u­fac­tur­ing high- qual­ity, niche ve­hi­cles in ar­eas that lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers cur­rently do not sup­ply into.”

“There’s cur­rently no lo­cal Ja­panese bus body man­u­fac­turer pro­duc­ing a com­plete low-floor bus with the only other op­tion be­ing buses from Europe that are non- com­pli­ant to Ja­panese

reg­u­la­tions and not equipped with any Ja­panese spe­cific equip­ment upon de­liv­ery to the cus­tomer.”

“This ready-to-roll so­lu­tion is well re­ceived by op­er­a­tors and is one of the key planks to our suc­cess in Ja­pan” Dale said.

POS­I­TIVE FEED­BACK

Nick Carnie, prod­uct man­ager and in­dus­trial de­signer for Volgren, ear­lier said feed­back from Sca­nia Ja­pan and TMG was “highly pos­i­tive” with both par­ties sig­nalling their ex­cite­ment re­gard­ing the fu­ture of low-floor buses in Ja­pan and the newly formed re­la­tion­ship.

“Since re­ceiv­ing the or­der in De­cem­ber, a huge amount of work has gone into re­fin­ing the de­sign and build process based on the find­ings from our first two units.

“These re­fine­ments aim to ad­dress any small teething is­sues with the in­tro­duc­tion of the new elec­tri­cal com­po­nents for what is a highly cus­tomised spec­i­fi­ca­tion, as well as re­fin­ing the de­sign of the Volgren body when fit­ted to the Sca­nia NUB Euro 6 chas­sis.

“The im­prove­ments aim to en­sure a re­peat­able and high- qual­ity out­come when it comes time to en­ter into the pro­duc­tion run of the re­main­ing 28 units,” Carnie said.

“There’s cur­rently no lo­cal Ja­panese bus body man­u­fac­turer pro­duc­ing a com­plete low-floor bus.”

Left: (L-R) Nick Carnie, Volgren, prod­uct man­ager and in­dus­trial de­signer, Peter Dale, Volgren CEO and Vic­to­rian Min­is­ter for Trade & In­vest­ment, In­no­va­tion & the Dig­i­tal Econ­omy and Small Busi­ness, Philip Dal­i­dakis MP.

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