King Long takes control

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New future for King Long in the UK is promised after the importership passes under manufacturer’s direct control

Zabbar, Malta-based King Long Europe has taken back the UK importership for Xiamen King Long. King Long UK Ltd, to be wholly-owned by King Long Europe, the Chinese manufacturer’s European representation, is the distributor.

Xiamen King Long Overseas Deputy General Manager Ryan Zhao and King Long Europe Managing Director Chris Cassar confirmed in a joint statement that the previous importer had been “disenfranchised due to the recent press coverage that was threatening the good name of King Long.”

They say: “The previous shareholders Island Fortitude have accepted the loss of the franchise in a cordial manner.”

The new operation is initially being based at The Coach Travel Centre, Victoria Business Park, Biddulph in premises that are being leased from owner Phillip Baker although the objective is to purchase a site. Chris told CBW that no vehicle stock has been taken over as it was all financed. There were no part exchanges. The parts stock was already owned by King Long.

“Parts will now come direct from China and prices will decrease across all models to become the most competitive product range in the UK,” say Ryan and Chris. “King Long cherish all its clients and will do it’s utmost to protect the interest of all those clients and transport companies that have trusted King Long and bought its products and we will stand by them and the product.

“Unlike other Chinese bus and coach companies that are being imported into the UK via middle man, now the clients and transport companies will be dealing directly with the manufacturer and this will secure a better future for both the clients and King Long name.”

Ryan and Chris say that as “this is the 10th year that King Long has imported into the UK, from June this year a 10% discount will be given across the range from tri-axle to the nine-metre for every new order up until September 1, 2015.” The two add that they’re “aware of some deals been delayed however this will be put right and all warranty will be honoured by the manufacturer.”

Key members of staff including Aftersales and Service Director David Hoy have been offered new contracts of employment although Paul Bicknell and Ray McNally will not be officers of the new company. “Although they have given excellent service and helped establish the brand, they are moving on,” says the statement.

Chris will be leading the restructure over the next 12 months. There’s a new phone number 01782 523535 and the website has been revised with new details. The news it carries is that Collin Matthews is the new Managing Director (as reported by CBW, April 14, 2015). There are also information on up and coming road shows that are being held throughout the summer and King Long’s attendance at the CABS show in Paignton, Devon in June.