USA Daimler Buses has announced fundamental changes to its operations in North America.
The company has signed a Letter of Intent with Motor Coach Industries International Inc (MCI) to establish a strategic partnership to combine MCI’s product, service and sales network with Setra’s North American coach distribution rights and network.
Daimler Buses is set to receive a minority ownership stake in MCI, and MCI would become the exclusive North American distributor of the Setra S407 and S417 German-manufactured premium coaches.
Daimler also confirmed it is ceasing production of Orion city buses and combining the sales network of its Setra brand in MCI in a bid to save costs and improve efficiency. Orion plants in Mississauga, Ontario and Oriskany, N.Y. both cease bus production. Oriskany remains open to focus on parts production and services for existing customers only.
Daimler blames falling sales and lack of government support for transit operations for its actions – although the New York Metro fleet incorporates a vast number of Orion hybrid buses supplied over the last few years.