Alexander Dennis expands North American manufacturing

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The facility in Nappanee, Indiana, will primarily focus on producing two iterations of the ADL Enviro500. PAUL BATESON

Alexander Dennis Inc (ADI) is continuing to increase its North American footprint with a multi-million dollar investment in a manufacturing hub in Nappanee, Indiana.

ADI is part of the North American arm of Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL). ADI has engaged with a contract manufacturer to produce double-decker buses in Nappanee since September 2014. From December 29, 2016, ownership of assets and the facility lease wholly transitioned to ADI, which has taken over the entire operation.
ADI will invest in excess of $1.5m (£1.23m) to transform the existing facility with an improved customer reception area, office space and team member facilities, including refurbished break rooms. This project is due for completion by March 2017.

ADI said it will also optimise manufacturing efficiency by consolidating all operations at the Nappanee site into one 127,000 sq. ft. (12,000 sq. m.) building rather than the previous smaller footprint spread over multiple buildings.
A second body assembly line will be added to the existing two lines (one chassis, one body) which will more than double weekly output. One body assembly line will focus on the Enviro500 13’6 (4.1m) high model and one on the new Enviro500 SuperLo.

The Enviro500 is already utilised in bus fleets in Seattle, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York, Ottawa and Toronto. The 3.9m high SuperLo iteration of the Enviro500 aims to resolve the challenge of low bridge restrictions which had previously curtailed double-decker services on some routes. ADI said the height saving has been achieved while maintaining the current, spacious interior saloon dimensions.

Metrolinx, the Government of Ontario’s transport authority for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, which already has a significant fleet of Enviro500 buses, placed an order for the brand new three-axle 81-seater Enviro500 SuperLo double-deckers in November 2014, with the first vehicles in service since summer 2016.

From January, the team in North America will number in excess of 250 full time members and a combined parts and manufacturing footprint of over 251,000 sq. ft. (21,480 sq. m).