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2015 Press Releases

ABC COMPANIES WINS GOLD TRAILBLAZER CHIEF LEARNING OFFICER ANNUAL LEARNING IN PRACTICE AWARD

October 29, 2015 

The Training Team at ABC Companies led by Joe Malta was awarded the Gold Trailblazer Award in Division II. The award in this division showcases learning executives who have either launched or completely overhauled existing workforce development initiatives in the past year. ABC earned the Gold Award in the division for businesses with under 10,000 employees for demonstrating that "learning is a process not a one-time event" with the launching of ABC University.   "We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award from an organization such as Chief Learning Officer Magazine that recognizes the importance of investing in our human resources", said Tim Wayland, President & Chief Commercial Officer for ABC-Companies.  "Sharing this honor with such companies as Southwest Airlines, Division I, gold trailblazer award winner, is truly an honor for all of us at ABC-Companies."

The team continues to work hard in developing learning programs to meet ABC's current and future needs. These include an updated Learning Management System that will surpass anything currently used in the motorcoach industry. This system will not only support ABC's internal growth but will support their customers with learning and development opportunities. The team is currently implementing learning paths to continue employee development at every level of the organization.

Congratulations to the training team of Joe Malta and Mike Peterson for their outstanding accomplishments and continued efforts to support ABC Companies as an industry leader. 

Chief Learning Officer magazine, published by Human Capital Media (HCM), the largest integrated media company in the human resources industry, announced the winners of its 15th Annual Learning In Practice Awards at a recognition ceremony during the Fall 2015 Chief Learning Officer Symposium in Austin, Texas.

The annual awards recognize outstanding enterprise education leaders, departments and vendors who have developed and implemented exemplary learning and development programs that produce measurable results for their companies.  Awards were presented in more than 16 categories including business impact, collaboration, global learning, innovation, strategy, technology, trailblazer, academic partnerships, blended technology, community service, learning content, e-learning, gaming and simulations, and social learning.


ROADRUNNER COMPANIES TAKES DELIVERY OF EIGHT CX45'S

August 26, 2015

"I've loved coaches as long as I can remember and drove my first bus at 12 years old.  I grew up singing and traveling all over America with my family riding in motorcoaches," says Ron Wills, CEO of Euless, Texas, based Roadrunner Companies.  And now Wills has eight more to love. 

The eight new Van Hool CX4''s are equipped with Allison (Gen4) B500 Six-Speed Automatic transmissions, wood grain flooring, Alcoa DuraBright Aluminum wheels and Van Hool's exclusive contoured parcel racks, including REI Elite Video Systems with 22" video monitors.  Roadrunner (www.roadrunnercompanies.com)) serves the Dallas/Ft Worth market with 88 buses, offering charters to destinations throughout the US and Canada. Beginning with a single small bus in 2001, Wills' passion has expanded the company into one of the largest and most modern carriers in the region.

"We and our customers like Van Hool coaches a lot, but the thing that has us sold is ABC's support. Zane Gray and everyone at their Grand Prairie location go out of their way to take care of us, making it easy for all of us at Roadrunner to concentrate on our main task - which is serving our clients. This makes 15 2015 motorcoaches we have purchased this year from ABC Companies -   Van Hool's exclusive North American Distributor.   We're proud of our equipment but Roadrunner's greatest strength is its staff," Wills pointed out. "We've been careful to grow 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."

"Wills and the Roadrunner family continue to be market leaders in our industry,"says ABC Account Manager, Zane Gray. "They're long term thinkers and have been extremely successful in managing their acquisitions and growth. All of us at ABC are extremely grateful for their loyalty and our strategic partnership. 

HOTARD COACHES RECEIVES NINE TX45 LUXURY COACHES

August 24, 2015

"I have been very blessed to find such good people," says Callen Hotard, President of New Orleans based Hotard Coaches.  "This is a people business and it all starts with the people on your team. The bus business is really about relationships and the Hotard team 'gets it.'"

Callen represents the third generation of Hotard's to run the company since it was founded in 1935. Specializing on charters and contract transportation services, their fleet has grown to 78 coaches and 10 mini-coaches.

ABC Companies, Van Hool's exclusive US distributor, recently delivered nine Van Hool TX45 luxury motorcoaches equipped with REI deluxe entertainment systems, wood grain floors and leather accented passenger seating. The coaches are powered by Cummins ISX engines coupled to Allison B500 Gen V transmissions and are equipped with Van Hool safety features including 3 point seatbelts, backup camera, lane departure warning, antilock brakes, Smartwave Tire Pressure Monitoring, Kidde Fire Suppression Systems and Automatic Stability Control.  Hotard has seven additional TX's on order.

Hotard explained that they are drawn to ABC because "We have a lot of similarities. The people at ABC from top to bottom are involved with creating and maintaining a tremendous relationship with Hotard. They've proven to be creative and flexible with our needs.  It's not just about selling us buses, it's about helping us to be better and more successful. Both companies have a long family history and both of our success is driven by every individual exceeding expectations.  It's a successful partnership where we both benefit."

Greg Gates, ABC Senior Account Manager, points out that "Callen and Colleen have a world of motorcoach experience. It's a pleasure working with folks who thoroughly understand the industry. They make us a better company and we're proud to contribute to their success."


NORTHFIELD LINES TAKES DELIVERY OF FOUR 2015 VAN HOOL CX45'S

August 4, 2015

Eagan, Minnesota, based Northfield Lines has recently taken delivery of four ADA compliant 2015 Van Hool CX45's from ABC Companies, Van Hool's exclusive North American distributor.

Reflecting Northfield's commitment to passenger comfort, the coaches are equipped with wood-grain floors, 110 volt outlets, WiFi, enclosed parcel racks and REI elite entertainment systems with 6 large video monitors, magazine nets, cup holders, Alcoa Dura Bright aluminum wheels, window shades and Van Hool's unique rear passenger windows.

The 56 passenger coaches come with Van Hool's standard safety features including Kidde fire suppression, Smartwave tire monitoring, automatic traction control, lane departure warning, backup camera and are UN ECE-RU66 rollover certified. They are powered by Detroit DD13 engines coupled to Allison B500G5 transmissions.

"ABC and John McFarlane have become like family to us. They seem as committed to our success as we are," says Northfield CEO John Benjamin. "Over the years, as we've expanded the company, we have worked hard at remembering where we came from. Our sales staff meets weekly to discuss how to better serve clients. We genuinely care about our customers, but even a good marriage needs fine tuning. We look for new ways to show them that they're our number one priority."

McFarlane points out, "Northfield has won numerous awards for excellence because they provide the region with a variety of services performed at a superior level. They prove that it's possible for a relatively small coach operator to be remarkably diverse. It's difficult for large companies to diversify effectively, and almost unheard of for a small company to do it successfully. They've done it with both style and quality."


DEAN TRAILWAYS ADDS FOUR VAN HOOL CX45'S TO FLEET

May 13, 2015

"We're passionately committed to offering our customers the best possible experience,"says Patrick Dean, Director of Business Development of Lansing based Dean Trailways of Michigan. "One expression of that commitment is a state-of-the-art motorcoach fleet, which is part of the reason that in the past two years we've purchased four new Van Hool CX45 coaches."

Dean Trailways was founded by Patrick's father, Kellie P. Dean, in 1994, to support Dean Transportation's service carrying Michigan's special needs students to the Michigan School for the Blind in Lansing, and the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint, from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They currently own 25 luxury coaches as part of Dean Transportation's diverse operation which includes 1,500 school buses and a number of transit routes. The Trailways division has grown to include Charters, Tours, Line Runs and Sports Packages.

The four new CX45's are equipped with Cummins ISX engines coupled to Allison B500G5 transmissions and have 3 point seat belts, Alcoa Durabright aluminum wheels, REI Deluxe entertainment systems, wood grain flooring, 28-110 volt outlets, 4G WiFi, and Van Hool's unique passenger rear window. Two of the coaches have contoured parcel racks with six 23" video monitors, while the other two have enclosed racks.

All four offer Van Hool standard safety features including back up camera, lane departure system, Kidde fire suppression, daytime running lights, curbside perimeter lighting and static aiming lights.

"From the beginning of our motorcoach operation, ABC has treated us like family and has gone the extra mile" according to Dean.  "They exhibit the same commitment to us that we offer our customers and it has helped us to succeed."

Pete Bachrach, ABC's Senior Account Manager, says "Patrick Dean and his staff are some of the most professional and practical individuals I've dealt with. From Nicole Enz, their Charter Manager to Scott Blackmer and his technicians, they clearly understand the idiosyncrasies that come with running a charter and tour company, and are willing to give the little extra to make Dean Trailways as successful as possible.


ABC DOUBLE-DECK REFURBISHMENT PROGRAM DELIVERS EXTENDED SERVICE LIFE AND EXCLUSIVE OPEN TOP DESIGN

May 13, 2015

ABC has launched a new refurbishment program to add years of service with an exciting array of applications to the proven Van Hool's double-deck bus. The program offers a number of refurbishment options to key market segments including traditional tour and charter operators, the day tour and sightseeing business, as well as a "conversion" model with customer-selected options for a variety of corporate users, professional sports teams and the conversion enthusiast. Since its market entry in 2008, the high-capacity, 81-seat coach is built by Van Hool for robust performance -- a key consideration in ABC's decision to provide this model for extended revenue service.

According to Roman Cornell, who envisioned the program and heads the company's Specialty Vehicles Division, "customer response has been very positive and validates our strategy to offer a broader commercial application to the secondary market. These units are proven performers offering all the durability of a true double-deck bus, plus many exciting features for the sightseeing market segment. Why not extend the life cycle of a viable market leader and offer a product that can still provide years of dependable revenue service?" states Cornell. 

Currently plans are in the works for the following coach offerings:

A traditional Charter Fleet Refurbishment Option will offer operators a refurbished - unit that has undergone a rigorous multi-point inspection for mechanical and engineering components. Additionally, the coaches will feature a number of interior and aesthetic upgrades that will provide a refreshed, service-ready vehicle to operators.

The TD925 Sky Deck Refurbishment Option converts the proven double-deck to an open-top sightseeing bus that offers many exclusive features including up to 85 passenger capacity - that's 15 more seats than standard open-top competitors. And unlike competing models, the Van Hool TD925 Sky Deck offers a true double-deck design with a robust suspension system designed and built to carry two levels of flooring, seating and passengers safely. With extensive experience in coach body and mechanical services, ABC's in-house team has successfully reintroduced the new TD925 Sky Deck model.  The roof is removed and the top deck is taken down to its original wall frame structure and composite flooring. New perimeter wall panels and deck drains are installed to allow water to escape from the top deck area while keeping the lower level out of the elements. Seat tracks are installed to receive 61 new weatherproof seats that feature standard seat belts which are not typically offered in an open-top sightseeing bus.  Next, the interior walls and deck of the upper level is prepped for installation of a proven weatherproof two part hybrid modified polyurea seamless coating system and slip-resistant floor. Finally a stainless steel perimeter safety railing is installed. Downstairs, the upholstery is renewed offering customers a choice of seating fabric colors.

A variety of standard features include:

  • Seat belts
  • A/C on lower level
  • Restroom equipped
  • PA system equipped
  • Low-floor ADA accessibility
  • Aluminum wheels
  • Paint and graphic design

Upon completion of refurbishment, the sleek TD925 Sky Deck is ready for sightseeing duty and intracity tours. With plans set to carry a limited number of stock units, the revamped TD925 Sky Deck has already proven to be a very popular program.

Finally a third "Conversion" Option will be built featuring both a second "open deck" and third deck "Race Deck" design. Offered to appeal to corporate customers, professional sports teams and high-end tailgaters, the Race Deck design offers customers custom build-outs in a limousine-type interior that features all the comforts of home. A flowing design will house comfortable living space that provides a full kitchen, dinette with seating for six and powder room facilities.  Passengers can relax and enjoy the "main event - be it NASCAR, college or pro-sport tailgating, corporate outings, etc., from a custom "Race Deck" that features a collapsible roof railing or from the "open deck" which provides an ideal outdoor space for round-table seating for six and stairs to access the lower deck level. Indoor accommodations include a master bedroom with front windshield view, a full-size bath and two additional bunks. The race deck can be custom-configured to any customer preference. ABC plans on building a demo unit that will be available for test and inspection in Q3-4 of 2015.

For complete information about the Van Hool TD925 Refurbishment Program and specialty model options, please contact Roman Cornell, Executive Vice-President at 800-222-2871 or rmcornell@abc-companies.com.


A P XPRESS TAKES DELIVERY OF A NEW ADA EQUIPPED CX45 MOTORCOACH

May 13, 2015

"We'd like to think of A P Xpress Bus Company as an ideal combination of traditional value and youthful energy,"says Tim Wilson, the Hyattsville, MD, based charter company's CEO. "Our Chairman and founder, Arthur Peterson started the company with a single used coach in 1995 after a successful career in construction. I was 21 when I started in the bus industry, and worked for several Washington, DC, area companies, in a variety of jobs on my way up, before becoming a partner and CEO at A P Xpress Bus at the age of 30."

According to Wilson, "The company continues to build on the reputation for superior service that 'Mr. Pete' insisted upon. He's a real stickler for quality in every aspect of A P Xpress'' relationship with customers. That results in lots of happy people and repeat business. With all the safety and passenger comfort innovations recently coming on line, part of offering first rate transportation is operating modern coaches."

A P recently took delivery of a new ADA equipped CX45 motorcoach from ABC Companies, Van Hool's exclusive North American distributor. The 56 passenger luxury coach is powered by a Cummins ISX engine in combination with an Allison B500G5 transmission. 

In addition to some of  Van Hool's standard  features including back up camera, lane departure system, Kidde fire suppression, daytime running lights, curbside perimeter lighting and static aiming lights, A P Xpress ordered an REI Elite Entertainment system with 6 video monitors, Saucon WiFi, 28 110 volt electrical outlets, passenger cup holders and Alcoa Dura Bright Aluminum wheels.

"Our customers love the CX45," points out Wilson, "and we've found it to be remarkably versatile. It works well on everything from school charters to our retail luxury tours.  I had great experiences with Van Hool vehicles while   working at another company, so I knew what to expect and it's really nice having a coach that does a good job on every type of trip. In my experience ABC treats their customers the same way we treat ours - like family."

ABC's Account Manager Jonathan Robbins said, "has been such a pleasure working with Tim and Mr. Pete at A P Xpress.  Everyone at ABC Companies is looking forward to this new partnership!"


SCENICRUISER DONATED TO MUSEUM OF BUS TRANSPORTATION

April 27, 2015

Last year the Museum of Bus Transportation (MBT) completed one of their most successful summers ever, in large part due to the excitement surrounding one new exhibit.  "It seems like every visitor can relate to it,"says President Tom Collins, referring to an iconic 1956 General Motors PD4501 Scenicruiser - the Hershey PA based MBT's latest addition.

Gratified by the positive attention that the coach brought to both the Motorcoach Industry and the Museum, ABC's Chairman and CEO, Dane Cornell, has decided to donate the coach to MBT. "We feel this will give more people the opportunity to see how much our industry has contributed to the country and how far it has progressed over the years."

The restored high level coach had been on loan from ABC Companies. "Attendance at the museum was up last summer, and we think that's in great part due to the public's interest in this iconic motorcoach."He explained that it's not just bus enthusiasts that flock to the display, but everyone that loves the 1950's.

According to Collins, "Over the years ABC has provided great support to MBT. Clancy Cornell has served several terms on the Board. He, Dane Cornell, and everyone at ABC have been instrumental in restoring four of our most popular historic coaches."The four coaches were restored by several ABC facilities, including Faribault, MN, Camden, NJ and Winter Garden, Fl.

The coach will be formally donated by ABC Companies to the museum in a ceremony at MBT's annual "Spring Fling" on June 6.

The Scenicruiser design was a collaborative effort by Greyhound Lines and General Motors. It was the first 40' highway coach in North America, and its styling, passenger amenity and engineering advances changed the motorcoach industry for generations to come. Only a thousand Scenicruisers were manufactured, all originally sold to Greyhound Lines. Bearing serial number 932, this is one of the last built.

Clarence Cornell was still operating Faribo Lines in Faribault, Minnesota, when he became one of the first private companies to buy Scienicruisers as Greyhound began to release the buses to the industry. ABC has restored this coach to Faribo's configuration.

As recently as May of 2010 this coach completed a 3,100 round trip from ABC's Florida facility to the "Housnd of the Mother Road" celebration in Adrian,Texas.

MBT's Collins pointed out, "One of the things that makes ABC special is that they really are rooted in the bus business. They have a unique sense of where their success has come from and the Museum of Bus Transportation is very grateful for all their efforts to preserve our mutual history."

The Museum of Bus Transportation ( www.busmuseum.org ) is located in Hershey PA, sharing a facility with the Antique Automobile Club of America. One building houses two world class collections, antique automobiles, as well as MBT's Bus fleet, offering a unique opportunity to see both under a single roof . Hershey itself is a tourist mecca, with a number of attractions including world famous "Hershey's Park and "Hershey's Chocolate World."


GOLDFIELD STAGES TAKES DELIVERY OF TWO 2015 VAN HOOL CX'S

April 17, 2015

"It's the classic bus industry story,"says Goldfield Stages' Kevin McClintock.   "In 1978 I was a 19 year old washing buses at a big Los Angeles based coach company and training to be a driver. I got the bug, and in 1984 my wife, Dalyce, and I moved to San Diego. We started Goldfield with two used 35' coaches. Dalyce handled sales and administrative duties while I did maintenance, bus washing and driving."Since that time Goldfield  (www.goldfieldstage.com) has become San Diego's' second largest bus company, with one of the region's most modern fleets, with charter vehicles ranging from a 13 passenger executive van to 29 and 30 passenger mini-coaches and 25 full size motorcoaches.

Specializing in luxury charters, McClintock attributes their consistent double digit annual growth to a passion for quality service - trying to exceed their customer's expectations on every trip. "Our customer service is not by accident - we periodically hire an outside consultant to do customer service training for the entire company," McClintock points out.

The growth accelerated in 2007 when they purchased another local company and virtually doubled in size overnight.  "Kevin and Dalyce's work ethic and their commitment to their customers is inspiring and instructive to watch.  Going from washing buses to operating a modern fleet takes special people,"says Charlie Walser, ABC Companies Senior Account Manager.

Goldfield recently took delivery of two new 2015 Van Hool CX's from ABC Companies, Van Hool's exclusive North American distributor. The luxury coaches, powered by Cummins ISX engine  coupled to Allison's B500 Six-Speed Automatic (Gen5) transmission boast Van Hool's  exclusive contoured parcel rack with 22u201d video monitors, leather seats, rear passenger windows and wood grain floors".

u201cOur fleet is primarily made up of Van Hool coaches.  We've found them to be very reliable, easy to work on, with great support by ABC, and most importantly, our clients love them,"McClintock says.  "In the early days it was difficult to get used coaches financed, but ABC, from Goldfield's beginning, was there.   They really became more of a partner with us than simply a bus sales or financing company.  They really wanted us to succeed. "


WINDSTAR LINES TAKES DELIVERY OF FIVE 2015 VAN HOOL CX'S

April 17, 2015

Founded in 1995, with virtually the whole family involved, Carroll, Iowa, based Windstar Lines (www.gowindstar.com) has grown dramatically. They added locations in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Des Moines, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Rochelle, Illinois, and with a recent move into the Kansas City market the fleet has now grown to 75 motorcoaches, offering luxury tours, convention planning and charter service in Iowa and Illinois as well as portions of Nebraska.

In addition, according Scott Greteman, Windstar Vice President, they operate another 10 minicoaches, Sprinter Vans, and 3 school buses.

Windstar recently took delivery of 5 new 2015 Van Hool CX2045's powered by a Cummins ISX engines and B500 Allison transmissions. The coaches boast Alcoa Durabright wheels, chrome mirrors, and an ASA back up camera and they are equipped with wood-grain flooring, leather passenger seats, RE's Elite multi-monitor DVD entertainment system, Van Hool's unique rear passenger window and ASA Side-view cameras.

Pete Bachrach, Senior Account Manager for ABC Companies, Van Hool's exclusive US distributor, points out "The Gretemanu2019s treat everyone like family - customers, suppliers and employees. For 17 years now, all of us at ABC are delighted to have been their partners. Windstar has the special ability to grow the company, and integrate technology without losing the personal touch."


SCOTT EVANS JOINS ABC COMPANIES

March 17, 2015

ABC Companies has announced the appointment of Scott Evans as Account Manager in their Southeastern Region. Scott will be partnering with Ryhan Cornell and Claude Payne to work with customers in Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Scott spent 15 years in the automotive industry employed by both Lexus and a major software provider, Reynolds & Reynolds, covering the Southeast.

Brian Pinckney, Sales Manager of ABCu2019s Southeast Region remarked, "We are very pleased to have Scott join our ABC Team. His experience in sales and account management and his commitment to providing excellent customer service and support is a perfect fit with ABC's customer-focused direction."

With award-winning success in both sales and account management, Scott has a proven record of increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty by fostering a culture of honesty, transparency and personal integrity that will easily translate into his new customers.


BLUE LAKES CHARTER AND TOURS ACQUIRES FOUR VAN HOOL CX'S

February 9, 2015

Pictured left to right: Dane Cornell, Dave Cupp, Debbie Cupp, Roman Cornell

"We're  now in our third generation of family ownership," according to Blue Lakes Charter and Tours President, Dave Cupp, and Vice President, Randy Cupp. "We  feel our success in today's competitive and complex environment is based on family values and innovation. Those may sound contradictory but they're not. The combination has been a formula for success."

The Clio Michigan based carrier's roots go back more than 50 years when Stan Cupp started driving a school bus while he was still in High School. The family business ( www.bluelakes.com ) has evolved into a highly diverse motorcoach carrier with 55 coaches running out of four major terminals in Michigan and Ohio and is the largest privately-owned charter operator in Michigan. "One of my early bus memories is driving a used 4106 we'd just purchased from ABC's facility back to Clio," says Dave Cupp.  "We go back that far with ABC and the Cornell's. We still buy new and used coaches from them because we feel they share our values and treat us like partners."

The family side of the equation is seen in Blue Lakes' determination to provide their communities with a variety of services custom tailored to local needs. Part of the formula is personal service by a staff that Cupp points out is extremely loyal both to the company and to the customers. "We'reproud of how many of our people have been with us a long time. We try to maintain that relationship by keeping them informed with a newsletter every two weeks. "Being family-owned provides Blue Lakes an advantage in the bus business. There's a family member involved in every facet, from maintenance though safety to sales and dispatch. "Family involvement really helps us be 'hands on' both in the industry and our operation."

Agile in their efforts to meet all sorts of unique transportation needs, Blue Lakes operates personalized tours, charters, shopping shuttles, casino trips and scheduled service with a fleet ranging from 25 passenger mini-coaches and limobuses to 56 seat luxury coaches. The innovative part is evident in their commitment to providing their customers and staff the finest technology available. That can take the form of tracking software providing real-time location of every bus, to safety equipment options ordered in their buses, luxury passenger amenities, or coaches "wrapped" to meet a customer's special needs.

Operating a large fleet out of several locations means that remote access to company information is vital. Ten years ago, the company switched from paper dispatching to the Internet-based software "Motorcoach Manager,"which has provided improved customer service with more efficient dispatching and coach utilization. When customer's needs require it, the Cupp family is not afraid to invest in specialized technology and vehicles. 

Their recent acquisition of four Van Hool CX45' s adds to their ability to provide luxury transportation for their clients in Michigan and Northern Ohio. The coaches are powered by Detroit DD13 engines coupled to Allison transmissions, and offer Van Hool's innovative contoured parcel rack with 23u201d video monitors and unique rear window, REI Elite entertainment system and 110 Volt outlets. They also are equipped with Amaya Torino seats, passenger sunshades and Alcoa Dura Bright aluminum wheels.

Pete Bacharach, ABC's Senior Account Manager, says, "Blue Lakes is a joy to work with. The Cupp family is a special combination of solid Midwestern business values combined with the imagination and will to take advantage of modern technology. We're delighted to be part of their growth."

Dave and Randy point to the long relationship between the Cupp family and ABC, Van Hool's exclusive North American distributor. "The Cornell's, who own ABC, and Pete Bachrach have always been there when we needed parts or service. We know we can count on them, and that's why we operate 36 Van Hool coaches. We've also got 3 of their new Ameritrans M2 Vista mini-coaches on order, to serve customers who need smaller capacity coaches."


BADGER COACHES TAKES VAN HOOL COACH DELIVERY AT ABA MARKETPLACE

February 9, 2015

Mr. John Meier, President of Badger Coach and Badger Tour & Travel and Chairman on the board of ABA, took delivery of a new Van Hool CX 45u2019 coach during ABA marketplace 2015.

A preferred provider to the University of Wisconsin, as well as the school district of Madison and Edgewood College, Badger Coach has enjoyed an enduring relationship with ABC and Van Hool, and includes the Van Hool TD925 double-deck models and the new CX45 coaches in their 60-coach fleet.

Founded in 1920 by Herman Meier, Badger Coach operated scheduled service from Madison, WI to Monroe, WI and later won the rights to operate the Madison to Milwaukee service. For 95 years the company has remained in the Meier family and is now operated by 3rd generation cousins John, David, and Jim Meier.  Today Badger Coaches operates a fleet of 60 coaches of various sizes and configurations and has included Van Hool coaches since 2009.

u201cOur relationship with ABC/Van Hool began in 2009 with the purchase of the first of four TD925 81 passenger coaches,u201d says John Meier. u201cThe 81 seat coaches have proven so successful, that we took delivery of seven new age CX45u2019s in January of 2014, which have proven to be reliable and economical even after 70,000 miles,u201d states Mr. Meier.

u201cABC is excited to build a successful partnership with Badger Coach,u201d states Tim Wayland, ABC Companies President and CCO.   u201cWe can offer the right solutions - backed by knowledgeable support - to help them achieve their business goals and continued growth.u201d

LOS PAISANOSu2019 COMMITMENT TO CUSTOMERS CONTINUES

January 21, 2015

"I learned the business from the ground up," says Uriel Chavira, owner of El Paso, TX, based Los Paisanos Autobuses. "started as a bus sweeper and progressed to mechanic and ticket agent working for bus companies in El Paso.  In 1998 I decided to start my own business and felt that a combination of quality coaches and great customer service was the key to success."

Drawing upon his Hispanic heritage and culture, he wanted a name for his business that would denote friendship and family - two of the hallmarks on which he was determined to build a successful business. Paisano's means friend, so Los Paisanos was a logical name for a coach company dedicated to treating customers like family.  That philosophy has served Chavira well, and the Los Paisanos fleet has grown to 26 Van Hool coaches and 30 vans.  None of the coaches is older than 2012, and with the recent addition of three 2015 Van Hool TX45L luxury motorcoaches, they boast one of the most modern fleets in the region.

"Offering scheduled service between El Paso and six major destinations, as well as charter coaches and vacation packages, Los Paisanos is one of the most diverse operations around," points out Bob Holloway, Senior Account Manager for ABC Companies, Van Hool's exclusive North American Distributor. "One of the keys to their success is Mr. Chavira's dedication to customer service. It's no secret that whenever time permits, he actually still drives coaches to stay close to his customers and staff. He and his staff are a pleasure to work with."

Los Paisano's commitment to serving their customers is reflected in the new wheelchair lift equipped TX45's which are configured with 110 volt electrical outlets, WiFi, wood grain flooring, and an REI Elite entertainment system with upgraded monitors. The coaches are powered by Detroit DD13 engines coupled to Allison B500 transmissions.  Two additional TX45L's will be delivered in coming weeks that will have Van Hool's innovative Contour parcel racks with 23" video monitors.

"Bob Holloway and ABC have given me and Los Paisanos personal attention from the very beginning," Chavira indicated.   "ABC was the first company to offer help when we were starting out and have always been there when we needed them."

ABC DEBUTS NEW VAN HOOL TDX DOUBLE DECK COACH AT UMA EXPO 2015

January 21, 2014

The newly designed Van Hool TDX double deck coach offers operators a high-end solution for high capacity passenger transport. With seating for up to 81 passengers, the new TDX has been revamped --

integrating a variety of enhanced features, passenger amenities and styling.

Key highlights include:

  • Enhanced driver compartment
  • Improved front and rear caps
  • Enhanced multi-set with LED lighting
  • Three-point passenger seat belts

The next generation TDX represents Van Hool's latest expansion of their X-series equipment product
line. "We believe the evolution of the TDX Series will continue to drive market demand for high-capacity transport solutions that take up to 81 cars off the road and reduce the carbon footprint,"states
Jay Oakman, ABC Companies Vice President, Commercial Group.  A limited inventory of TDX models is currently available and the coach will be on display at UMA Expo

2015 at ABC Booth #140. Attendees are invited to visit, inspect and learn more about the new model and all ABC Companies transport solutions.

ABC ANNOUNCES NEW VAN HOOL CX35 COACH COMING SOON

January 21, 2015

Production units of the new Van Hool CX35 are slated to be in market by Q3 2015 with a full product rollout anticipated in early 2016. Modeled after Van Hool's market-leading CX45 coach, the smaller CX35 comes with as many standard features as its larger 45 foot counterpart. A multitude of high-end amenities and functionality comparable to full-size Van Hool models will be featured, with the added benefit of lower operating costs.

"With  the launch of the new Van Hool CX35 coach, ABC and Van Hool clearly demonstrate our ability to listen and respond with solutions that meet our customer's needs. We are extremely excited to round out our product line by offering a smaller, more fuel efficient solution that still delivers the performance and reliability of the larger Van Hool CX coach,"states Tim Wayland, President and CCO of ABC Companies.

The CX35 validates Van Hool's passion and innovation for creating solutions that align with operational needs and business goals. By integrating standardization and parts interchangeability in new product offerings, Van Hool solutions can enable operators to reduce lifetime costs, preserve value, and enhance equipment serviceability.

Key Product Highlights Include:

Industry-leading interchangeable parts such as windshields, HVAC evaporator and motors, front and rear bumpers, etc.

Tight turning radius for increased maneuverability

Reduced operational expenses

Manufactured on the same assembly line as the CX45 ensuring greater continuity between the Models

"This new product is designed to drive major benefits to an operation's bottom line,"says Roman Cornell, Executive Vice President of ABC Companies. "Because it is purpose-built for smaller groups, the CX35 enables greater fleet flexibility and fuel savings."ABC Account Managers will be on hand at Booth #140 to answer questions and provide more information about the new Van Hool CX35. Attendees are invited to visit and learn more about the new model and all ABC Companies high-quality transport solutions.

ABC COMPANIES ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE AND SALES TEAM MANAGEMENT PROMOTIONS

January 21, 2015

ABC Companies, the market-leading transport solutions provider, has announced the promotion of two members of their executive leadership team.

The promotions include:

Roman Cornell has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Eastern Region & Specialty Vehicles. Roman has supported ABC sales efforts since 1992 in a variety of management roles throughout the North American market territory. Along with continued sales and operations responsibilities for the Northeast and Southeast regions, he will also have oversight for ABC Specialty Vehicles sales, consisting of the New Flyer, Alexander Dennis and Ameritrans equipment brands.

Jay Oakman has been promoted to Vice President, ABC Commercial Group with overall responsibility for the New Coach process including scheduling, PDI, Van Hool relationship management and CustomerCare. Jay has most recently served as Director of Key Accounts and also worked as an Account Manager since joining the company in 2003.

"As we continue to grow and launch new innovations, we are aligning our organization to ensure we always provide clients with a world-class customer experience "from new equipment delivery to servicing our existing customers," said Roman Cornell. "I look forward to leading the team and working closely with customers to ensure their success."

It's important we continue to evolve and scale our teams to provide the leadership and focus to capitalize on market opportunities,"said Tim Wayland, President/CCO, ABC Companies. "Roman and Jay are proven leaders whose new roles will position us to further extend our leadership position."

ABC ANNOUNCES EXTENSION OF EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH WINNARD & SONS, LTD.

January 21, 2015

ABC Announces Extension of Exclusive Partnership with Winnard & Sons, Ltd. to Distribute Brake Pads and Rotors to the North American Bus Market

ABC announced it has extended its long-term partnership with Winnard & Sons, Ltd., as the exclusive North American bus parts distributer for its brake pads and rotors.  ABC distributes quality parts for the motorcoach industry as well as the transit industry through its Muncie-Baker operations.    The two companies have been fostering a relationship over the past three years and have gained considerable momentum in both the motorcoach and transit industries. 

"This is such an exciting partnerships", says Shaun Huxford, Vice President for ABC Companies.   "Winnard's products are in demand and ABC has an excellent North American distribution footprint making this a perfect fit."  Winnard brake parts sales have doubled year-over-year since 2013 and is expected to continue the trend in 2015. 

Winnard has been manufacturing brake components in the United Kingdom since 1930.  Its brake products comply with stringent ECE R90 European performance standards.  The ECE R90 standard means that Winnard provides the same interface dimensions as the original brake components and are classed as interchangeable with the OE.  In order to achieve interchangeable status, Winnard's brake parts must pass stringent performance, comparison and integrity tests.

ABC COMPANIES LAUNCHES REVAMPED CORPORATE WEBSITE

January 21, 2015

ABC Companies Launches Revamped Corporate Website featuring New Equipment Flipbook Library.

ABC Companies, a market leader in passenger transport solutions, announces the launch of their newly-designed corporate website.  Live at www.abc-companies.com,  the new site has been redesigned with a fresh new look and has been updated with information about the company's  latest products and services - including new digital brochures offered in an easy-to-read flipbook format.

The new site offers a sleek, uncluttered design, while providing users with a content-rich experience. The redesign includes technological and aesthetic enhancements, which will provide better-organized, SEO-focused content.

"The clean, responsive design of the website is built to the latest standards of the web, and contains all of the information operators need to learn about ABC Companies, and our full range of equipment brands, parts and service, and financial offerings,"states Dan Leo, Director of Marketing, ABC Companies. "The  new site has been designed to provide visitors with a more informative and efficient online experience."

New features on the ABC Companies website include:

  • ALL NEW e-book Equipment Brochures: VAN HOOL, NEW FLYER, AMERITRANS
  • Easy-to-read experience via flipbook brochures highlighting ABC's entire OE equipment line via desktop or any mobile device, featuring:
  • Easy-to-read page flipping format
  • Colorful, high quality photos
  • In-depth content for OE equipment information, specifications, features, highlights and more!
  • Improved Configuration and Navigation: The site is focused on a clean layout and incorporates an intuitive navigation menu structure.
  • Improved Downloads: Enjoy faster, instant downloads of spec sheets, technical bulletins, equipment manuals and more.
  • NEW Photo Gallery: View a wide variety of new, colorful, updated photographs on the sites new photo gallery.

"We are excited to unveil the new ABC design,"said President and CCO, Tim. "Our goal was to create a visually stimulating and informative website that provides users with easy access to ABC Companies and our brands. The new site reflects our corporate identity and core values, taking us one step further in our mission to be a leader in the passenger transport industry."

ARROW STAGE LINES TAKES DELIVERY OF THREE VAN HOOL TX 45 COACHES

January 20, 2015

Nebraska based Arrow Stage Lines has taken delivery of three new Van Hool TX 45 coaches. Arrow now serves 7 Western states, utilizing 12 locations, offering scheduled service, charters and tours as well as airport shuttle services. According to Gene Wordekemper, Director of Maintenance at Arrow Stage Lines, these coaches are a great fit for their tour clients.

The luxurious 56 passenger motorcoaches, sold by ABC Companies (Van Hool's exclusive North American distributor) are powered by Detroit DD13 engines coupled to Allison B500G transmissions and feature Alcoa Dura Bright Wheels, Rud autochains, wood grain flooring, passenger side shades and magazine nets, 110 volt outlets, WiFi, and an REI Elite entertainment system with 15" video monitors.

ABC Companies is a leading provider to the transportation industry with diverse product and service offerings that cover a full spectrum of operational needs including new and pre-owned full size highway coach equipment, double deck open top tourist buses, mid-size shuttle transport vehicles, and advanced design heavy duty transit equipment.  ABC supports customers with a comprehensive after sale service network for service and repairs, collision services, extensive OEM and quality aftermarket parts needs for transit, motorcoach and heavy-duty equipment from 10 strategically placed locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Additionally, private and municipal financing and leasing options are available for approved customers through the company's financial services group. For more information, contact ABC Companies at 800-222-2875 or visit www.abc-companies.com.

ABC's NEW PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS DELIVER MARKET-LEADING SOLUTIONS TO NORTH AMERICAN OPERATORS

January 20, 2015

ABC Companies has long been known for their exclusive offering of Van Hool premium touring, charter and transit coach models. Affirming the company's strategic vision of continuous improvement and product diversification, ABC has expanded their distribution partnerships to bring fresh, versatile equipment offerings to the marketplace. "We are always looking for new ways to augment business opportunities for fleet operators throughout North America," states Roman Cornell, Executive Vice President, ABC Companies. "Our enhanced equipment lineup delivers an even wider range of specialty vehicles to support any number of fleet applications. These solutions are from key market leaders, recognized domestically and worldwide for their high-quality equipment engineering, design and product styling" states Cornell.

New partners and their respective equipment offerings include:

New Flyer MiDi and XcelsiorTransit Buses.

The New Flyer MiDi is a medium-sized, low-floor, clean diesel powered bus that is ideal for use in community, airport, university and hotel shuttle services. Available in 30' and 35' lengths, the streamlined design of the MiDi provides greater maneuverability while maintaining excellent accessibility for passengers with one or two doors and a 1:6 slope wheelchair ramp. Substantially lighter than vehicles in its class, MiDiwas developed through a joint venture with Alexander Dennis, and is based on their proven E200 design with over 16,000 vehicles deployed worldwide.

The New Flyer Xcelsior is a heavy duty, low floor bus that is ideal for use in rigorous duty cycles and provides higher passenger capacities. Available in 35', 40' and 60' lengths, the Xcelsior is offered with clean diesel, compressed natural gas, and diesel electric hybrid propulsion systems.

Ameritrans Premium Mid-Size Touring Coaches and Specialty Vehicles.

Ameritrans, a leading manufacturer and distributor of mid-size transport solutions offers a full range of luxury-level mid-size touring coaches, executive shuttles and specialty vehicles which can be custombuilt to operator specifications. With floor plan designs that accommodate from 25 to 47 passengers, Ameritrans coaches are available in many configurations, and offer Ford, Freightliner and RAM chassis options including the Ameritrans E-series, F-series, R-series and M2 and M2 Vista series. Several premier 2015 models will be exhibited during UMA Expo 2015 including the Ameritrans M2 Vista and Ameritrans E-285 Executive Coach. The newly-enhanced models offer a host of luxury features and passenger amenities for church, school, tour and charter, private transit and shuttle operations and will be on view at ABC Specialty Vehicles Booth #1153.

ABC Companies is a leading provider to the transportation industry with diverse product and service offerings that cover a full spectrum of operational needs including new and pre-owned full size highway coach equipment, mid-size shuttle transport vehicles, and advanced design heavy duty transit equipment. ABC supports customers with a comprehensive after sale service network for service and repairs, collision services, extensive OEM and quality aftermarket parts needs for transit, motorcoach and heavy-duty equipment from 10 strategically placed locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, private and municipal financing and leasing options are available through the company's  financial services group. For more information, contact ABC Companies at 800-222-2875 or visit www.abc-companies.com.


RYAN'S EXPRESS TAKES DELIVERY OF TWO VAN HOOL CX45 COACHES

January 19, 2015

Southern California based Ryan's Express has taken delivery of two new Van Hool CX45 coaches. With their home office in Torrance California, Ryan's serves the Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix markets with quality transportation ranging from car and van services through mini buses and motorcoaches.

The 56 passenger luxury coaches, sold by ABC Companies (Van Hool's exclusive North American distributor) are powered by Detroit DD13 engines coupled to Allison B500G transmissions, and feature Alcoa Dura Bright Wheels, wood grain flooring, passenger side shades and magazine nets, 110 volt outlets, WiFi, and an REI Elite entertainment system with 15u201d video monitors.

ABC Companies is a leading provider to the transportation industry with diverse product and service offerings that cover a full spectrum of operational needs including new and pre-owned full size highway coach equipment, mid-size shuttle transport vehicles, and advanced design heavy duty transit equipment.  ABC supports customers with a comprehensive after sale service network for service and repairs, collision services, extensive OEM and quality aftermarket parts needs for transit, motorcoach and heavy-duty equipment from 10 strategically placed locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Additionally, private and municipal financing and leasing options are available for approved customers through the company's financial services group. For more information, contact ABC Companies at 800-222-2875 or visit www.abc-companies.com. 

About ABC-Companies

ABC is the exclusive North American distributor of prestigious Van Hool motorcoaches. ABC also offers the largest selection of pre-owned bus and motorcoach inventory in the country.

With convenient service locations throughout the United States and Canada, ABC is there when and where you need us to keep your coach or bus working properly. We have parts for all makes and model motorcoaches and transit buses including Van Hool, Prevost, MCI, Temsa, Gillig, New Flyer, Novabus, Nabi, Goshen, Ameritrans, Blubird, etc. We offer fleet assist programs to keep your fleet running optimally while providing you with the convenience of a managed maintenance system. Our solution uses a proven fleet management software program to help you organize preventative maintenance activities based on your fleet composition, requirements and duty cycles.

We are at your service with 24-hour, 7 day per week customer care technical support.

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