- NEW COACH
- CUSTOMER CARE
- 360 TOURS
"Our clients are looking for real value in one of the Nation's most competitive markets," says Eddie Serrano, VP of Orlando, Florida, based Empire Coach Lines. "Re-powering and refurbishing three 2006 Van Hool C2045's has been an ideal way of providing our customers a new coach experience, while holding costs down."
"With the 2012 style front and rear caps, rear passenger window and renewed interior - from a passenger's perspective - there's no difference between these and brand new buses. The Detroit Diesel/Allison drive train gives us access to quality support from suppliers who have a long term commitment to our industry. We can count on these coaches to operate economically for many years. That frees us to put our energy into providing first rate customer service."
With both parents working for a coach operator, the 25 year old Serrano literally grew up with a passion for the bus business. Empire started with a single used coach in 2005 and now operates 14 coaches and 2 transit buses providing local shuttle and convention services as well as nationwide charter service for the Central Florida market.
Jeff Jolley, ABC Companies Account Executive said, "Empire is a real family affair. Eddie and his mother, Patricia Fontalvo, who is the President of the company, along with Edwin Vega, have made a lot of wise decisions, and have grown Empire into one of the top carriers in Orlando. That is quite an accomplishment in a market that is so large and extremely competitive. This group is savvy and passionate about the coach business and that shows both in the quality of what theyu2019re doing and their growth."
Serrano is proud of their success. "ABC helped us at the start and has been with us every step of the way. This means a lot to a company like Empire. Any time we've needed help, they've been right there.
The coaches were re-powered and updated at ABC Companies' Nappanee, Indiana, facility. Re-powers can also be completed at the ABC Minnesota and ABC Florida services facilities.
The Nappanee plant first gained national attention in the coach industry when it took on a refurbishing program for Greyhound Lines, renewing hundreds of their coaches. "Nappanee has been a real asset to both ABC and the Motorcoach Industry," said ABC Senior Vice President, Lee Loper. "The skills and work ethic in this region are phenomenal. These people do wonders with coaches. With the refurbishment program up and running successfully, it made sense to look for other ways to serve the industry. We're able to replace an obsolete power train with factory rebuilt units and offer a two year warranty at a very reasonable price. We can even offer extended warranties." He pointed out that in addition to repowering, ABC can do anything from new crowns to a complete refurbishment of the entire coach.
ABC opened the 110,000 square foot facility in 2010 after receiving a contract to rehabilitate 250 Greyhound buses. The program was so successful that Greyhound had them do an additional group, as well as retrofitting a number of coaches with wheelchair lifts to make them ADA compliant. The plant now has approximately 170 employees, and is doing refurbishment for a variety of companies.
When Caterpillar left the highway engine business, a number of operators looked at replacing CATS with other brands of engines. In response, ABC Companies introduced its repowering program mid-February of 2012 and has repowered more than 20 motorcoaches since.
According to Mike Papp, Operations Manager for ABC Companies' Van Hool Project, "ABC has become a leader in coach refurbishment and offers a number of specialized services including 3-point seatbelt retrofits and engine repowers. The breadth of services available, speed in which projects can be completed, and after sales support truly set ABC apart in coach refurbishment."
Lee Loper pointed out, "We're proud of the fact that we're adding years to the useful life of motorcoaches at a time when that is important for our industry. Not only are we saving resources by extending the life of buses, weu2019re also recycling 96% of all materials, minimizing environmental waste. That's 'green.'"
Delray Beach, FL----How2Media, the producers of the television show u201cWorldu2019s Greatest!...u201d, announced they have selected ABC Companies to be a part of the popular television series.
"ABC Companies is a leader in the motorcoach industry, recognized as such on multiple occasions. This family-owned and operated business had its beginnings in the early 1950's. Now, as a true one-stop shop for motorcoach owners and operators, they employ more than 600 people, and the coaches they sell can be found on the roadways all across North America, transporting people from point A to B in style and comfort. We think their story is meaningful, educational, and entertaining to our viewers," said Gordon Freeman, Executive Producer of the show.
As part of the show, How2Media sent a film crew to spend time at the company's Winter Garden, Florida, facility to get the story behind the story on ABC Companies, and to show the "World's Greatest!..." viewers why they were selected as the best in their category, and therefore featured on the show.
The "World's Greatest!..." episode featuring ABC Companies will air on the ION Network on the following days and times:
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - 6:00 a.m. Eastern
Monday, October 1, 2012 u2013 7:00 a.m. Eastern
Monday, October 8, 2012 u2013 10:30 a.m. Eastern
"World's Greatest!..." is a thirty minute show dedicated to highlighting the world's greatest companies, products, places, and people. Each show is a fast paced tour around the world featuring behind the scenes footage, informative interviews, and exciting visuals.
How2Media is a 21st Century television production company. Their award winning programming can be seen on national cable channels and local network affiliates across the country. For more information on How2Media and their show lineup, please visit How2Media.tv
In a tribute to the beloved, late Larry Benjamin, Northfield Lines of Northfield, MN, served as a title sponsor of the 2012 Twin Cities Lung Run/Walk for A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation. A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation is a cause dear to Northfield Lines owner, John Benjamin's, heart.
"My late brother and former business partner, Larry, first became involved with the Lung Run/Walk in 2010 after learning that a good friend had been diagnosed with lung cancer," states John Benjamin, owner of Northfield Lines. About one year later, Larry, a non-smoker, was also diagnosed with the disease compelling Northfield Lines friends and family to become involved in the charity event.
"Compared with other cancer-related diseases, lung cancer is seriously under-funded," says Benjamin. "And, because there is a direct correlation between survival rates and project funding, supporting A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation is a critical investment that can subsidize essential research and potentially improve survivor outcomes."
At this year's event, Northfield Lines and Team Larry Strong had over 60 participants and raised more than $17,500. Northfield Lines also provided free shuttle service to 1,800+ race participants along with fundraising prizes. Overall, the day was a huge success raising a total of $150,000 toward lung cancer research.
ABC Companies was proud to support the Foundation and Northfield Lines by donating a new Van Hool motorcoach to transport lung cancer survivors and lead event participants along the 3.1 miles around Lake Calhoun. The ABC Van Hool coach was also used as the stage backdrop and featured custom graphics including a listing of names honoring the memory of loved ones.
For more information on the Twin Cities Lung Run/Walk or A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation, please visit their website at http://www.abreathofhope.org/
Named 2012 Operator of Year by Metro Magazine, Northfield, MN-based Northfield Lines offers a full range of regional tours and charters including private, business, airport, school and employee shuttles, as well as regular scheduled service. Featuring a diverse fleet of full size passenger motorcoaches, mini-coaches and school buses, Northfield Lines, Inc. has earned its reputation for safety, driver professionalism, quality equipment and professional services since 1989.
"My first job in the coach industry was servicing bathrooms," chuckled King Ward Coach Lines President, Dennis King. "You can't get more basic than that. When my dad (Bob King) and Russ Ward acquired the operating rights of the old Holyoke Street Railway and started King Ward Coach Lines in 1989 they put me to work. I've gotten to know the industry from the ground up."
After a humble beginning with two used GM coaches, King Ward has grown in size and now the Chicopee-based operator is the second largest in Western Massachusetts. They currently have 75 employees running over 30 pieces of equipment. The fleet consists of 57- and 47-passenger motorcoaches and 45-passenger "Budget Buses." Russ Ward passed away in 1994 and nine years later Bob King sold the company to Dennis.
King Ward recently took delivery of six new 2012 Van Hool C2045 coaches as well as two refurbished C2045s.
"This purchase provides our fleet with a firm foundation for years to come. At this point, all of our 45' coaches are Van Hool's. We have had good luck with them in the past, but we've had other coaches that performed well, too. We chose ABC and Van Hool this time because they really worked hard at meeting our needs," remarked King.
"We enjoy the fact that, after all these years, we're still dealing with many of the same people at ABC. They're real bus folks, and that means a lot to a guy who started off dumping lavatories. We've grown up in the industry together."
Janos Bokor, ABC's Account Executive pointed out, 'King Ward buys really well-equipped coaches. They also place a lot of emphasis on their customers' experience. When you call them on the phone a real live person answers, and that personal touch extends throughout their company. It's rare to see a company this diversified. They do line runs, charter, retail tours and serve the military. They cover the gamut from senior citizens to college athletic teams."
The new coaches are all equipped with Detroit DD13 engines and Allison B500G4 transmissions and have 3-point seat belts. King Ward also specified Van Hool's unique rear passenger window, WiFi, 110-volt electrical outlets, REI's elite 6-monitor entertainment system, and enclosed parcel racks.
King Ward is a member of the United Motor Coach Association as well as being certified by The Department of Defense to support the military as a DOD carrier. In addition, they are certified by the Transportation Safety Exchange.
The Greyhound Fleet Revitalization program in ABC's Nappanee, Indiana, facility was featured on the May edition of Motorcoach Travel News (MTN).
Motorcoach Travel News, MTN, is a new web based television production of the American Bus Association (ABA) and Terrapin Blue Productions hosted by the ABA's Dan Ronan, a former Emmy Award winning network television news correspondent with CNN.
New episodes are published monthly and can be viewed at: http://www.buses.org/News-Publications/MTN
In what seems to be a good sign for the industry as a whole, ABC Companies has experienced excellent attendance at their four regional Open Houses/Live Bus & Parts Auctions hosted to-date this year, with successful sales of virtually every bus included in the auctions. A fifth event is planned for August 15 at ABC's facility in Costa Mesa, California.
"We've had several of these at our locations in recent years and each has been successful," Roman Cornell, ABC's Senior Vice President - East, pointed out. "We've noticed that in addition to increasing attendance, the level of enthusiasm appears to be building. Customers seem to feel that the live auctions offer some terrific values. We see big crowds around the 'rummage sale' area with customers finding bargains on all sorts of used parts and components that have accumulated as we refurbish used coaches and prepare new ones for delivery. "
Cornell credits some of the energy to operators feeling that the industry is poised for a comeback and to the enthusiastic participation of ABC's personnel in planning and running the events. "We get everyone involved. It's a great time, customers meet the people that help them on the phone, and get some real bargains on coaches and parts. It's an opportunity for us to show appreciation to our customers and strengthen relationships at the same time."
Clint Guth, ABC's Senior Vice President u2013 West, added, "The success of the events in New Jersey, Texas, Minnesota and Florida has our Costa Mesa team really excited. The Open Houses are not only a time to celebrate with customers, but also a great time for our staff to show how much we appreciate them. And, there are some great deals to be had at the auctions.
"The open houses also give us a chance to showcase the some of the outstanding refurbished coaches our Nappanee facility is producing as well as the new 2012 style front caps weu2019re installing some older model coaches. In addition, a lot of the customers who come for the first time are surprised by the size and scope of our Parts Division."
The August 15 event in Costa Mesa will be similar to the ones that have taken place, with a live auction of pre-owned coaches and pallets of parts, on-site service specials and a 15% parts discount for parts ordered onsite that day along with food and prizes. The California event has an added touch - customers who come to the Open House are invited to stay and watch the Angels vs. Indians at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA. Transportation to and from Angel Stadium will be provided with coaches departing from the ABC lot. To RSVP for the ABC u2013 Costa Mesa auction and open house, operators can contact their ABC Account Representative or call 800.322.2877. Additional information is available at www.abc-companies.com/CAauction.
ABC Companies announces its investment in the small and mid-size bus manufacturing market through its acquisition of the assets of TMC Group, Inc. located in Elkhart, Indiana. The new operating company will be known as Ameritrans Bus, Inc. ABC anticipates investing additional capital in the business to increase production and capacity.
"We believe this investment complements our core transit and motorcoach business and strengthens and diversifies ABC," said ABC President & CEO Dane Cornell. "We look forward to growing the business founder Al Foris and his team have built."
The small and mid-size bus products will continue to be distributed through the loyal dealer network already established by TMC Group, Inc.
John Ferrari didn't start out to be in the motorcoach business. "I grew up working in my family's five star restaurant, 'La Tour D'Argent'. I bought a limousine to complement the dining experience with first rate transportation to the theater district and around town. Our signature touch was a rose for the ladies in the limousine."
Ferrari's Houston-based AFC Transportation intended to buy one limo in 1992, but business took off, and he ended up with 10 after the first year, with 18 more added in 1993. In 1994 he ventured into mini-coaches, and by 1998 was also operating school buses. "In 1999 our customers were asking for motorcoaches," says Ferrari. "My first meeting with ABC's Greg Gates convinced me that he and ABC Companies came from the same tradition of customer service and friendliness that I'd grown up in. They treat AFC the same way we treat our customers - first rate, friendly service, always attentive not just to their needs, but to their desires."
AFC's recently delivered 2012 Van Hool C2045 is the 13th they've purchased. Like every vehicle that AFC purchases, it is outfitted with Omatics GPS and DriveCams providing clientele with quality assurance. The new coach comes equipped with high-end leather trimmed seats with 3 point seatbelts, woodgrain floor, oversized 22" video monitors mounted in Van Hool's unique contoured overhead rack, along with PC and iTouch connections. The coach is powered by a Cummins ISX engine coupled to an Allison GenIV B500 transmission.
While offering charters to 48 states, they specialize in offering chauffeured luxury service in the Houston area. In addition AFC serves a number of local corporations with both transportation and shuttles. Every motorcoach operator is a trained, uniformed chauffeur. AFC currently operates three divisions - Limousine, Charter and Transit. Among them they run 9 motorcoaches, plus 18 low floor transit and shuttle buses, as well as a variety of limousines, limobuses, and executive vans.
ABC Companies' Senior Account Executive, Greg Gates, points out, "At a time when so many folks are standing still or cutting back, John continues to thrive. It's a tribute to AFC's commitment to offer first rate service by going the extra mile for their customers." Ferrari added, "The only coaches we've ever owned are Van Hool's purchased from ABC Companies. Our clients and staff love the buses, and we love the fact that ABC is there when we need them."
Scott Habr travelled a circuitous route to his current position as General Manager of Campbell, CA, based West Valley Trailways. One of the coach industry's few executives sporting a Culinary Arts degree, Habr says, "Motorcoaches and restaurants aren't that different. The key is service and making sure customers have a really good time."
After a varied career in disciplines ranging from food service through construction, Habr who grew up helping in the family business was agreeable to returning full time when his father, West Valley CEO, Stan Habr, decided he needed help in managing the growing company.
"I'd stayed involved part time, while doing other things, and when my Father asked me to become General Manager, it felt like things fell into the right place," said Habr. "My first priority was fine tuning our staff and right now I think our team is one of the best in the industry. Our great people and my cooking background make for some terrific company picnics."
"ABC was opening a facility in Redwood City and quality support is key to any coach's success," pointed out Habr. "We decided to try two pre-owned Van Hool C2045's and see how they did. After a trouble free year, we ordered five new C2045's and a late model 46 passenger pre-owned u2018Premium Coach' with lots of amenities and leg room."
The new 2012 57 passenger Van Hool C2045's are powered by Cummins ISX engines coupled to Allison B500 Gen IV transmissions and have Saucon GPS tracking, and REI luxury entertainment systems.
West Valley Lines was started by Scott's grandfather, John Habr, in 1966. An aircraft mechanic himself, Habr saw a need for commuter transportation for airline employees. He quickly figured out that the buses that were busy all week would be in demand for charters and tours on weekends, and the business "took off." His son, Stan Habr, continued to expand the company until his retirement in 2009.
Located in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, West Valley Trailways has grown to 21 full-sized coaches and 4 miniu2019s, and operates charters and tours throughout the US and Canada.
ABC's Senior Account Executive, Don Jensen, says, "We're proud to be working with the Habr family and West Valley Trailways. ABC is a family-owned business, and we love serving family owned operators. It's a real partnership, and we're grateful for the opportunity to serve the Habr's."
"Our whole business is about relationships - with our customers, employees, suppliers, even our competitors," says Louis Sanders of Marrero, LA-based Louisiana Motor Coach. "We started with 2 coaches in 2010, and this new Van Hool C2045L represents a tripling of our fleet since then, all built on solid, honest relationships."
"We try to treat everyone as if they are partners and that seems to have worked out well for everyone. We spend a lot of time helping our employees translate that philosophy into action at every level of our business."
Louisiana Motor Coach serves the New Orleans and southern Louisiana market with charters to 48 states, as well as tours, convention shuttles, airport and cruise ship transfers and casino trips.
ABC's Senior Account Executive, Greg Gates, pointed out, "Louis and Mary Sanders, along with their son, Jeffrey Celeste, have more than 30 years of combined experience in the motorcoach business. Louisiana Motor Coach may be relatively new, but Louis, Mary & Jeffrey really know what they're doing and how to offer superior service. And they're really creative, as evidenced by the fantastic graphics they put on their coaches."
Louisiana Motor Coach has just taken delivery of their sixth coach in two years, a 2012 Van Hool C2045L. It is their second coach equipped with a wheelchair lift. The coach is also equipped with 3 point seat belts, rear passenger window, Alcoa DuraBrite aluminum wheels, Saucon GPS, REI entertainment systems with 15.4" monitors and satellite radio / TV and is powered by Cummins ISX engine coupled to an Allison B500 Gen IV transmission.
Sanders emphasized, "We buy the best possible coach in an effort to take good care of our customers. Great equipment is a fine tool, but there is no substitute for customer service, and our folks do a great job of that every day. We've felt that ABC treats us the way we treat our customers and the partnership has really helped us grow. We're a family business and no one cares more than us about getting it right."
"I can't remember when I fell in love with buses, but I was only 12 when I first drove one. I grew up traveling and singing, riding all over the place in buses with my family." says Ron Wills, CEO of Euless, Texas, based Roadrunner Companies. "Running a coach company is something I've always wanted to do. When a member of the church where I was working suggested we start a bus company, I jumped at the chance."
The jump has turned into a giant leap, as Roadrunner (www.roadrunnercompanies.com) now serves the Dallas/Ft Worth market with 34 buses, offering charters to destinations throughout the US and Canada. Beginning with a single small bus in 2001, the fleet now includes 18 full-sized coaches, 10 of which are less than 3 years old.
The most recent acquisition is a 2012 Van Hool T2145, equipped with leather seats, Alcoa DuraBright Aluminum wheels and Van Hool's contoured parcel rack, including an REI Elite Video System with 22" video monitors. The coach is powered by a Detroit Diesel DD13 coupled to an Allison (Gen4) B500 Six-Speed Automatic transmission.
"We're proud of our equipment, but Roadrunner's greatest strength is its staff," Wills pointed out. "The most important part of our business is our people. We've been careful to grow the company only as fast as we can find excellent people. Great customer service is more than just shiny coaches, and our folks work hard at making sure our customers have a great time, every time."
Bob Holloway, Senior Account Executive for ABC Companies, Van Hool's exclusive US distributor, said "Ron and his staff are a genuine pleasure to work with. They're real 'bus people', who just want to make sure their customers get the best possible ride. They bring out the best in Van Hool and ABC and weu2019re proud to work with them."
"Other manufacturers have facilities near us and they all do a fine job," indicated Wills. "We like the Van Hool coach a lot, but the thing that has us sold is ABC's support. Bob Holloway and everyone at their Grand Prairie location takes care of us, making it easy for all of us at Roadrunner to concentrate on our main task - serving our customers."
ABC Companies recently hosted their annual Collision Workshop for nearly 50 Insurance Adjusters, collision repair specialists and other Coach Industry professionals. The National Truck & Heavy Equipment Claims Council (NTHECC), a prestigious association in the collision repair/insurance adjustment industry had several members in attendance.
The workshop was held on March 16, 2012, at ABC's facility in Winter Garden, Florida, and offered classes in a variety of subjects designed to help adjusters and repair technicians understand the intricacies of repairing modern coaches involved in major accidents. Among the topics discussed were finding and documenting hidden damage and the implications accidents may have on the new technologies present in modern coaches.
Dirk E. Smith, Ph.D, P.E. (Senior Vice President, Forensic Division, Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.) did a presentation on Vehicle Accident Reconstruction. This class offered attendees Continuing Education credits valid in 13 states.
"Safety Compliance and Research Crash Data" was covered by Wesley F. Barber, of the Commercial Passenger Carrier Safety Division of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, including a discussion concerning the standards for repairing a vehicle and documenting the process to meet regulatory standards.
ABC's Lee Loper and Jon Savitz led a discussion of methods for understanding the differences between a used coach, and one of the same vintage that has been refurbished and how to factor in the value of the refurb work into planning and pricing repairs.
Tony Molla of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence discussed the merits of using certified repair technicians and the virtues of OEM parts versus aftermarket parts. Attorney Robert Pickett of Taylor and Associates made a presentation focusing on "Early Settlement, Fraud, and Claim Cost Control."
The workshop wrapped up with a tour of ABC's latest refurbished T2140 bus next to a T2140 non-refurbished bus and the state of the art collision repair facility. Ed Harmon, ABC Companies' National Director of Operations pointed out, "Attendees were able to meet with the technicians and review work in progress using some of the newest equipment available in repairing and modernizing coaches. We felt that would offer them a real 'hands-on', interactive, experience with the people who do the work."
Windstar Lines, of Carroll Iowa, received the prestigious United Motorcoach Associationsu2019 "Vision Award" at the recent Motorcoach Expo in Long Beach, California.
Selected as the outstanding "large coach operation" in the nation from a select group of motorcoach companies, Windstar was cited for the creative way they mix old style Midwestern values with the latest in technology providing their customers with a unique combination of quality, personal service augmented with the best safety, luxury and comfort features currently available.
Currently ranked No. 33 among the 50 largest North American private sector coach operators in Metro Magazine's latest compilation, Windstar was founded in1995 by Mike and Cathy Greteman, who were operating a growing tour business in Carroll Iowa. They felt that owning their own coaches would allow them to improve the quality of transportation they provided customers, and started Windstar Lines with a single used Van Hool T840 and three sons.
One unique aspect of the Greteman family has been their ability to manage growth without sacrificing quality, and to integrate technology without losing the personal touch.
Windstar operates a large fleet of Van Hool motorcoaches and provides charter motorcoach service for universities, tour operators, church groups, and businesses of all types. Windstar does not sell tours directly, but provides motorcoaches for its sister company, Star Destinations, which is owned by the Greteman family as well.
Current Windstar President, Jeff Greteman, accepted the award on behalf of Windstar, his family and their loyal employees. He thanked ABC Companies for their help over the years, singling out Sales Manager Clint Guth, Senior Account Executive Pete Bachrach and Parts Territory Manager John Peckels for helping in helping make the company successful.
He also acknowledged Matthew Daecher of Daecher Consulting Group for helping manage risk through the National Interstate captive insurance program.
Greteman closed by dedicating the award to his parents, thanking them for their faith, and how it helped them build a worthy business.
Long recognized for having revolutionized coach travel in the US with its Megabus division, Coach USA was recently recognized for the environmentally friendly way they have achieved that goal.
At the recent United Motorcoach Association Expo in Long Beach California, Coach USA received the prestigious Green Highway Award, signifying leadership in reducing carbon emissions, and reducing the company's environmental impact.
"Committed to Delivering Safe, Affordable, Greener Travel' is not just a slogan, it drives everything we do," pointed out Dale Moser, Coach USA President and COO. "Weu2019re dedicated to providing quality transportation, and our definition of quality includes keeping the environment clean, and reducing dependence on foreign oil... serving our community while offering the best possible service to our customers."
Coach USA has instituted a variety of green initiatives, including fuel saving measures, policies that cut engine idling, maintenance procedures, recycling programs and facilities management. Facilities have been upgraded with energy-saving lighting, while LED lights have been added at the company's parking lots.
The company is continuing to update its fleet of over 1,600 buses with newer coaches featuring the latest clean-diesel engine technology. Many are 80 passenger double deck coaches, carrying nearly 40% more passengers than the standard motor coach, while using almost the same amount of fuel. Thus, the benefit to the environment and the reduced demand on fossil fuels is overwhelming. Coach USA is also testing new technologies that offer a 4% to 6% increase in fuel economy.
"We're constantly looking at new technology as part of our efforts to be both green and efficient," said John Oakman, Vice President of Fleet, Maintenance and Procurement. "Some operators are nervous about innovation, and we are selective about what we adopt, but there are some great opportunities available to run efficiently, saving money, fuel, and the environment. Each of our 185 Van Hool TD925 double deck coaches replaces a minimum of 40 automobiles, with all their related fuel consumption, emissions and safety concerns."
"Monitoring systems have actually allowed us to identify a failing tire, and radio the coach before it became a problem. GPS allows us to use coaches economically. We're grateful to our major suppliers like ABC Companies for keeping us abreast of emerging technologies that help us meet our goals" Oakman pointed out.
Moser feels that many companies see green mandates as a burden, "Coach USA and our parent company, Stagecoach Group, see them as an opportunity to serve our communities. Many of our programs to 'go green' have turned out to be good for business too. We've saved money, along with the environment, and have been able turn these efforts into savings for our customers. We're doing our best to re-invent intercity bus travel in an ecologically sustainable way and are grateful to the United Motor Coach Association for recognizing our efforts."
"We want to offer our customers the best possible experience while they're visiting the United States," said Kats Saito, Manager of Commerce, CA, based Nada Bus. "The five new 2012 Van Hool C2045 coaches we just purchased (and the two on order for April) represent one part of that commitment. We operate 15 coaches and keeping the fleet fresh not only serves our passengers, but makes us an efficient, 'green' company."
Founded in 1980 by Hiroshi Nada to offer inbound Japanese tourists quality service tailored to their needs, Nada Bus continues to thrive, despite a sagging economy.
In addition to their original mission, Nada (www.nadabus.com) offers charter service, and operates weekend scheduled service to casinos. Mr. Saito remarked, u201cIf we provide our clients with the best possible service and the most modern coaches, weu2019ll continue to do well, regardless of economic conditions. Our passengers love the Van Hoolu2019s comfortable cabin and great air conditioning. Our mechanics and drivers feel theyu2019re the most reliable coaches available, and ABC takes great care of us on the support side.u201d
The 57 passenger coaches are all equipped with Detroit DD13 engines and Allison transmissions. They have Alcoa Durabrite aluminum wheels, REI multi-monitor DVD systems, Hi-Fi Audio and CD Players, full fabric interiors, wireless microphones and reclining Amaya Torino seats with footrests, as well as Van Hoolu2019s unique rear passenger window.
"Mr. Nada and all the people at Nada Bus are a joy to work with. They treat ABC like friends and that makes it fun for us to help them with their motor coach needs," pointed out ABC Senior Account Executive, Charlie Walser. "Nada's willingness to invest, even when the economy is tough, is one expression of how serious they are about doing things right."
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Mr. Frederick Dunikoski, who served on ABC Companiesu2019 Board of Directors for the past 24 years.
Mr. Dunikoski is a legend in the industry. He worked for Greyhound Bus Lines for 45 years starting his career as a clerk/typist in the NYC dispatch office and retiring as President and CEO in 1987. As a devoted industry champion he was active in numerous travel-related organizations including the Phoenix Visitors and Convention Bureau, as well as civic organizations including the Devereux Center and ASU's Sun Dome Performing Arts Association. His contributions to the transportation industry are far reaching and will be long remembered.
"Fredu2019s impact on ABC and our industry is immeasurable," said Dane Cornell, President and CEO, ABC Companies. "ABC and numerous organizations have benefited from his tireless and wide-ranging leadership over the past two decades. He will be greatly missed as a leader, a mentor and a friend."
The Board of Directors, management and staff of ABC Companies extend their deepest sympathy to Mr. Dunikoskiu2019s family and his many friends.
"Our mid-size coaches fill a valuable niche in our charter fleet, and when it came time to replace them, we looked for a vehicle with the same big coach features as the rest of our luxury fleet,& according to Stephen Brown, Vice President of Amsterdam, NY, based Brown Coach (www.browncoach.com ). The two M1235's we just purchased have coach style interiors with full height windshields, air ride suspension, and offer the efficiencies that a front engine chassis provides. ABC was able to offer us Amaya A2-Ten model seats with 3 point belts and added leg room."
Bob Brown, President of Brown Coach, drove school bus while attending college on Long Island. After graduating, when the opportunity to buy a small school bus company turned up in 1976, he took it. In 1980 he added a motorcoach division, and since then has grown the organization to more than 250 vehicles, operating 46 coaches and 225 school buses serving the Capital District of New York and parts of New England with charters, tours and commuter service. They are currently active in IMG, ABA, UMA, and the Bus Association of NY.
"We find that a lot of smaller groups are travelling. School groups, athletic teams and seniors feel like they're saving both money and the environment by riding a smaller coach." Brown pointed out. "We feel that the M1235 offers the economy they want, with no compromise in comfort and luxury. We're offering WiFi, 110 outlets, a video entertainment system with satellite TV, all the things they'd hope for in a big coach.
Janos Bokor, ABC Account Executive said, "The Browns are terrific to work with. It's unusual to see such a diversified company excel, but they have managed to position themselves very well in the marketplace. ABC is excited to serve them, and we've benefited from their feedback to ABC on their experiences as a motorcoach operator."
Long-time ABC partner, Van Hool, has announced the site selection for an additional manufacturing plant to support their commitment to meeting increased production demand for their North American customers. After an in-depth feasibility study, the company's management has selected a location in Macedonia, near Skopje as a prime location for the new facility. The new plant will enable the award-winning European coach manufacturer to continue to meet its high quality manufacturing standards to deliver products that offer North American operators consistent long-term pricing and greater scalability, as well as reduced cycle time from order to delivery.
"We are excited about this decision to expand production capacity, which was solely driven by our shared vision to invest in the North American market," said Dane Cornell, President and CEO, ABC Companies. "The commitment to increasing their manufacturing capabilities directly correlates with growing U.S. demand for European technology that enables American operators to continuously evolve and innovate fleet operations."