Ian Downie joins Pelican Bus & Coach to sell electrics

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Pelican’s Head of Yutong Bus UK, Ian Downie (left) with the Castleford importer’s Managing Director, Richard Crump. PELICAN

Former Wrightbus Managing Director – Sales & Customcare hails Pelican’s reputation for looking after customers

Pelican Bus & Coach has recruited Ian Downie to lead its bus sales operation. As Head of Yutong Bus UK he will primarily be talking to fleet operators, working alongside Pelican UK Sales Manager, Bob Elliott, and his team who have built the market for Yutong coach. More than 300 of those have been sold since the first TC12 was unveiled at the beginning of 2014.

Ian has 35 years of experience within the bus industry, having held senior positions at Volvo Bus and more recently as Managing Director – Sales and Customcare at Wrightbus. He began his new role on November 8 and has already visited Yutong in China to see its vast manufacturing operation for himself.

“I am delighted to be joining Pelican Bus & Coach,” said Ian. “Pelican Managing Director, Richard Crump, is 100% committed to developing the Yutong electric bus range in the UK and Ireland, and his team have already built an excellent reputation for looking after their coach customers. That’s because they provide support 24/7 – the sort of backup the industry wants.

“Yutong is the largest bus manufacturer in the world, with over 45,000 electric vehicles already in service. It builds more than 70,000 buses and coaches across its range annually. The scale of its operation is second to none and that goes for its technical and development expertise as well. The batteries it uses in its electric vehicles are the same as are used by Apple.

“With the ever increasing focus on reducing exhaust and noise emissions on our streets, Yutong, supported by Pelican, provides a proven and viable solution. The zero emission Yutong E12 bus that has been demonstrating since the beginning of the year has shown how efficient it can be and there have been no faults to speak of – something I’ve not experienced before in a demonstration programme.

“Representing the Pelican and Yutong brands and bringing to the market such well proven electrical technology is really exciting. It’s the right time to be outlining the quality of the product and the warranty packages available to both operators and local authorities. I will be emphasising Pelican’s credible, flexible and pragmatic approach. It’s great to be back and involved in what is a real opportunity.”

Richard Crump added: “I am absolutely delighted that such an experienced and professional senior industry figure is joining us to spearhead the introduction of the Yutong range of electric buses. It’s a completely different market to coach and one that requires a dedicated strategy. I have complete confidence in Yutong’s technology and commitment to the UK and Ian’s huge experience and knowledge will play a vital role in moving our plans forward. Yutong is committed to becoming a major supplier to UK bus operators and we will be introducing a full range of electric buses over the next 18 months.”

Following the successful launch of the 12m E12, the arrival of the first two 10.8m E10 electric midi buses built to Transport for London (TfL) specification is imminent. The range will be further enhanced with a fully electric articulated E18 towards the end of 2018 with an electric double-decker following late in 2019.

“The successful demonstrations of the E12 to date have shown its excellent reliability and efficiency,” reiterated Richard. “It provides a fully zero emission solution for public transport that, coupled with our 24/7 aftermarket support, will be of great interest to the market.”