Adding UK value

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A pair of Newport Bus E12s in use carrying visitors at last year’s ITT Hub. JONATHAN WELCH











Jonathan Welch looks at the rise of Yutong in the UK and importer Pelican’s push to include more ‘locally-built’ content

The move towards ‘new energy’ power sources has seen a shake-up in the established order when it comes to manufacturers and suppliers. Until recently, the Zhengzhou Yutong Group to give it its full title was a name unfamiliar to all except the most astute of observers of the bus scene in the UK. If at all, it’s likely that those who had heard the name might associate it with the London-inspired City Master half-cab style double-deckers that the company produced for Skopje, the capital city of the Republic of Macedonia, in 2012.

In that same year, Pelican Engineering’s new Pelican Bus & Coach subsidiary was established as Yutong’s UK and Ireland importer and distributor. Based near Leeds, Pelican Engineering was established in 1919 and remains a family business, currently managed by Richard Crump, grandson of the firm’s founder.

Pelican Bus & Coach took over the importership of BMC vehicles into the UK in 2012, but following the closure of BMC in Turkey, Pelican approached Yutong to see if they would enter the UK market. It was offered the role of importer in summer 2013. Despite BMC’s demise, it is interesting to note that the firm is still able to provide parts and service support to BMC operators. The first Yutong vehicles arrived in 2014 and the fledgeling importer sold 21 that year. Within five years, Pelican Engineering was celebrating its centenary, and Pelican Bus & Coach was able to mark the delivery of its 500th Yutong in the UK and Irish market.

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