The traditional home of Plaxton coaches, Scarborough, its to recommence production of its popular Panther and Leopard models
Alexander Dennis (ADL) has announced that it is restarting production of Plaxton coaches at its Scarborough factory. Production had been temporarily paused after the coronavirus pandemic caused demand to slow, whilst the ADL-owned brand continued to sell existing stock of Plaxton coaches.
ADL said that demand for Plaxton coaches continues to rebound, driven by interest in the Leopard for high-capacity duties such as home-to-school transport, private hires, and day excursions. As a result, coach production at the firm’s factory in Scarborough is now restarting. New Leopard stock will be available from April this year with a mix of 12.2m and 12.8m vehicles built in 2+2 and 2+3 seating configurations for up to 72 passengers. All are based on the Volvo B8R chassis, with options of I-Shift or ZF automatic gearboxes. A limited number of PSVAR-specification Panthers will be also ready at the same time. Also running on Volvo B8R with I-Shift, these 12.8m long coaches will have between 53 and 61 seats depending on specification.
Simon Wood, ADL’s General Manager for New and Used Coach Sales, said: “The coach industry has had a tough time over the last two years, so we are glad to see signs of recovery. The versatility of our Plaxton Leopard gives operators the confidence that they will continue to earn their keep even the type of work changes. With the range of specifications we will have available from this spring, there’s no business we can’t support.”
ADL delivered 89 Plaxton coaches to operators in 2021, despite a cautious market. The company reports that it is continuing to grow its presence on the island of Ireland, where in addition to 15 Plaxton Leopards for the Education Authority in Northern Ireland, no fewer than 14 Plaxton Panthers were delivered to independent coach operators in the Republic of Ireland during the year.