Does the EX excel?

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Van Hool’s revised EX has finally turned a wheel on British soil – now in right-hand drive trim. Peter Jackson finds out if it has what it takes to succeed in the UK

First unveiled at Busworld Europe back in October 2017 (CBW1314), Van Hool’s facelifted EX series is, by all accounts, an important machine for the Belgian manufacturer. The entry level model’s slightly lower price point puts it up against some tough competition – so it has to truly shine to make an impact in this segment.

Arriva Bus & Coach (ABC) is confident it will do just that, having secured exclusive UK distribution rights for the model you see here: the EX16M.

Hoping to kick-start UK sales, the West Yorkshire-based dealership embarked on what it called the EX16M Grand Tour – a four-day jaunt broadly encompassing the M1 and M6 motorway corridors, stopping off at a number of coach operators large and small.

According to Andrew Cullen, Commercial Director at ABC: “The purpose of this really is to relaunch it. We want to get it out there so people can see what it is and how it feels. The feedback so far has been really good; everyone likes the facelift, but how it drives has been the biggest complement.

“We were all talking about what we should do. We thought about holding an event at a hotel somewhere, but everyone does that – we like to do things a bit differently. We wanted people to actually drive it, and the best way to do that is to take it to them.”[…]

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