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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.
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.