BannerAd   

Featured Vehicles For Sale


BannerAd

        



Plaxton bought by ADL

Article Image

Alexander Dennis Limited has purchased Plaxton for an undisclosed sum, re-uniting the two former TransBus businesses three years after they were split by the collapse of the Mayflower group. While the move makes sound business sense, it does evoke echoes of the 2000 merger of the UK bus manufacturing interests of Mayflower – Alexander and Dennis – with those of Plaxton’s then owner, Henlys which created the TransBus organisation.

“This move facilitates the exit of funders Aberdeen Asset Management, who have supported our business and its investment plans extremely well in the past three years,” says Plaxton chief executive Brian Davidson.

“It is now time for the business to find a major partner as the industry starts to consolidate”. ADL’s turnover in 2006 was £170million while Plaxton’s was £65million.

ADL employs 1,400 people – 900 at its Falkirk bodybuilding plant, 300 at the Dennis factory in Guildford and 200 in its worldwide aftermarket business. Plaxton employs 530 – most of them at Scarborough, but with some at Anston near Sheffield, location of its coach sales business and its small bus manufacturing unit.

ADL says that the current Plaxton management team will stay in place.

Plaxton’s business is entirely in the UK, and while the bulk of ADL’s customers are UK-based, the company has export sales in North America, where it is selling Enviro500 double-decekers, and in Hong Kong, also an Enviro500 market. Most of the two businesss’s product ranges are complementary, but Plaxton’s Centro bus competes with ADL’s Enviro200 and Enviro300 models.

Plaxton’s coach range dates back to 1999 and is due for an update, as ADL chairman Bill Cameron notes: “The coach business, in particular, now requires significant investment and we are ready to see that through, while continuing to play to the strengths and reputation of the brand.”

Davidson adds: “This is a positive step for both companies. It brings together like-minded people who know the British bus and coach business inside out – and who are enthusiastic about taking both businesses to a new level. At Plaxton we pride ourselves in having a strong management team, a committed workforce and a reputation for quality products. All of these factors will remain intact – with the added bonus that we are now aligned to a successful, financially-sound business that is prepared to invest and to accelerate our forward plans.”

Colin Robertson, who took over as ADL chief executive a month ago, says: “To stay at the forefront in the UK, while also creating a platform for growth internationally, requires a business with scale, purchasing power, unique skill sets and innovative products that can be woven into a powerful product line-up, both at home and abroad. It also needs shareholders who are prepared to invest in the future.

“This deal has all of these ingredients, bringing together three great brands with terrific recent histories. Alexander Dennis is currently outright market leader in the British bus sector – and has a worldwide reputation for double-deck bus products – while Plaxton is by far and away the UK’s most outstanding coach builder. Like ADL, it has experienced a remarkable turn-around in the past three years and re-established itself at the forefront of the industry.

“Importantly, we will continue to invest significantly in new bus and coach products, strengthening our in-house line-up while also forging strong alliances with international manufacturers. ADL and Plaxton are currently involved in new initiatives with names such as Volvo, MAN, Scania, Mercedes and VDL. I expect to see such relationships grow and expand, both at home and abroad.”

He added: “We have taken an important step today, bringing together two companies with complementary products and remarkable synergies. The dexterity this provides will enable us to bring a new dimension to customer relationships and to enthuse the market place with the realisation that the British bus and coach manufacturing sector is in good shape – and ready to take on new challenges.”

While the take-over may seem to some observers like a replay of the 2000 TransBus story, seven years later the two companies are quite different. TransBus inherited three factories building double-deck bus bodies and was slow to deal with excess capacity. All of ADL’s bus body building is carried out at Falkirk. ADL also has a much improved product range, with its Enviro400 double-decker being widely praised, and its new Enviro200 growing in popularity.

Plaxton – which this year marks its centenary – has remained UK market leader in coaches, and has diversified into buses with its Primo integral and Centro body on VDL, Volvo and MAN chassis. The small Primo does not compete with ADL’s existing products, but the Centro does.



Bookmark and Share  


Related Content

£60million Stagecoach order

Stagecoach has ordered 390 vehicles worth around £60million for its operations outside London.

Plaxton’s high-quality tourer launch

WITH its name to be announced at Euro Bus Expo, it is the most radical new coach from Plaxton since the original Panorama, and it’s designed to compete head-on with those models that are favoured by operators working at the top end of the corporate charter and holiday tour market, the buyers of Setras, or of Volvo’s 9700, for example.

Plaxton’s high-quality tourer launch

By the time you read this you’ll know its name.

StreetLite wins first big order

The first fleet order for the Wrightbus StreetLite midi has come from First, which is to take 46 in 2011-12.

Record £100million Stagecoach order

Stagecoach has placed record orders for almost 570 new buses valued at over £100million.

ADL pulls out of Australia

ADL has pulled out of Australia, putting its Custom Coaches business into administration.



International news

Going Gold at Optare

Gold Bus, part of the Donric Group, has taken delivery of two Optare Solo SRs for a school contract in Ballarat, Victoria.

All-Setra fleet for Hörmann

Hörmann-Reisen of Augsburg has converted its fleet to 100 per cent Setra with the delivery of a trio of Euro 6 S431DT double-deckers and five ComfortClass S516HDs valued at around €4.

Granada launches BRT

A bus rapid transit service has been inaugurated in Granada.

Electric Citeas for Cologne

KVB Cologne has ordered eight articulated battery-electric buses from VDL.

Major order from SBS

SBS Transit has ordered 665 new buses valued at $311million (£147million).

Alsa adds Setras

Alsa, Spain’s largest bus and coach operator, has added 15 Setra ComfortClass 500 touring coaches to its fleet.



Product news

Compressor range from Voith

Voith Turbo, known for its automatic bus transmissions, is planning to launch a range of compressors for buses in the UK market.

Glass deal for Arriva Bus and Coach

Arriva Bus & Coach has appointed PSV Glass as its exclusive distributor and installation specialist for glass parts for the Van Hool and Temsa coaches it sells and supports in the UK.

Perth project for Parkeon

Parkeon is supporting a multi-million dollar public transport project in Perth that will provide real-time journey tracking for passengers along with Australia’s first underground dynamic bus stand allocation system.

BackGuard range extended by Ring

Ring has extended its range of BackGuard camera systems with a new 7” camera system kit which offers an introductory level system that fulfils legislative requirements.

New website and pricing from Quartix

Quartix has unveiled it new website which aims to enhance user experience and ensure visitors are kept up-to-date with product developments and company news.

French market presence from Compak

Compak reports that it continues to make progress in the French bus market and exhibited again this year at the Transports Publics show in Paris, where two bus manufacturers displayed products on which a ramp from Compak was installed.



People in the news

Martijn Gilbert becomes Reading CEO

MARTIJN GILBERT has been named as the new chief executive officer at Reading Buses, taking over from JAMES FREEMAN who is moving to First Bristol and West of England as managing director.

Elliott for MAN UK

SIMON ELLIOTT has been appointed managing director of MAN Truck & Bus UK.

Galloway management changes

Two Galloway managers have new posts.

Peace for Arriva NE

GAVIN PEACE is joining Arriva North East as engineering director at the end of this month, taking over from JOHN GREAVES, who is retiring.

PLS appoints Beck as MD

Passenger Lift Services has appointed ADAM BECK as managing director.

Arriva is IRTE top team for 2014

The top team in this year’s IRTE Skills Challenge, winning the Outstanding Achievement award, was made up of three engineers from Arriva, KEVAL RAYATT (Watford), COLIN HARRIS (Milton Keynes) and TOM HUBBARD (Wigston).

 

Latest News | View All News

Megabus.com trials 15m Scania

The UK's first 15m Scania Irizar i6 coach enters service this month on a six-month trial on Stagecoach's megabus.

Coach rolls on M5 motorway

There were no serious injuries reported in a dramatic crash in which a Volvo Plaxton operated by Prospect Coaches of Stourbridge left the M5 motorway in Gloucester and ended up on its side on an embankment.

Workshop accreditation from CPT

CPT has launched a workshop accreditation scheme.

Kirk leaving Oxford Bus

Philip Kirk is stepping down as managing director of the Oxford Bus Company after almost 20 years with the business, 14 as managing director He will be succeeded by Phil Southall, who is currently operations director.

Stagecoach criticises Spanish check

Stagecoach says that the driver of a megabus coach who was arrested by Spanish police last weekend was operating legally.

Dual-door Volvos cut dwell times at Bath

The Bath Bus Company has taken delivery of two Volvo B9TLs with open-top Unvi Urbis 25 bodywork.



Latest vehicle deliveries

Volvo support wins repeat business

Barnes Coaches of Swindon has added a new 53-seat Volvo B9R Jonckheere to its fleet.

Leopards launch new look for Sunfun

Cambridgeshire-based Sunfun Group has launched a new CambridgeCoaches.

Taf Valley takes VDL Futura

Taf Valley Coaches of Whitland, Carmarthenshire, has taken delivery of a new 12.

Elite strikes right deal for Hodgsons

Hodgsons Coaches of Barnard Castle has taken delivery of a 12.

Optare quality impresses Western Isles

Western Isles council is now running five new Optare Solo SRs on its cross-island routes centred on Stornoway.

Safety, reliability the key at Bluebird

Bluebird Coaches of Weymouth has added two Volvo B11Rs with Jonckheere bodies to its 22-vehicle fleet.



Coach tourism news

Register now for Group Leisure show

The Group Leisure & Travel Trade show takes place at the NEC on 25 September offering new ideas and networking for group holidays and coach tours.

Blackpool welcomes coach industry views

VisitBlackpool has thanked coach companies and drivers for helping with a study into the resort’s coach facilities.

Christmas breaks at 3-star Jersey hotel

With less than 150 days to go until Christmas, Jersey’s Modern Hotels Group is promoting a range of festive breaks.

New ideas at Group Leisure show

A new seminar programme is being launched at this year’s Group Leisure & Travel Trade Show which will tackle group travel issues and provide useful knowledge and ideas for forthcoming trips and holidays.

New Eastriggs museum recalls WW1

The new Devil’s Porridge Museum is opening on 31 July, offering a magnificent experience and enhanced facilities for coach parties.

Eurotunnel attacks MyFerryLink ruling

Eurotunnel has attacked the decision of the Competition and Markets Authority to require it to close or sell its MyFerryLink business.