John Hill summarises the year’s highlights Sales of Neoplan products have reached an all-time high in the UK market, according to MAN’s general manager for coach operations in the UK, John Hill.
He said: “Our display at the Coach & Bus Live event in October was a clear indication of how, increasingly, the brand has been catching UK operators’ attention. The arrival of a 13.2m, three-axle P20 for the Tourliner range had been driven by operator comment and demand, and we were able to deliver in time for the show. We were duly rewarded with firm orders for some 11 vehicles, as well as with lots of serious enquiries from operators who would be firsttime users of the brand, if and when their interest turns into orders.
“Similarly with the Starliner on display. The high specifications available with this model are making this a real fleet leader for operators, with companies like Ellisons using them in increasing numbers as team coaches on some very high-profile football club work.”
Well-known over many years for high levels of stylish design and fittings, the involvement of MAN has added new levels of engineering sophistication and reliability to the Neoplan marque. The all-MAN drivelines with their EGR engines have, apart from their excellent fuel-efficiency, also given operators a welcome release from the cost and complexity of AdBlue.
“The rise of Neoplan sales has not come about by accident. We have grown our UK coach operation to help develop operator confidence and support. For instance, we have a new aftersales boss, Wayne Ulph, who in turn has two regional managers, and a sales team which now numbers five specialists reporting directly to me.
“Similarly, to demonstrate our absolute confidence in every product which carries either the MAN or Neoplan names here in the UK, we have trialled a new four-year warranty package during recent months and are preparing to roll it out across the ranges for 2012. When you have confidence in the engineering quality of a product, it makes sense to share it with your customers. We are certain the Neoplan range with MAN drivelines is among the very best line-up available anywhere, and we are very comfortable in using this quality to the benefit of operators –hence the four year warranty.”
In addition to the new Warranty, MAN began trialling ‘MAN Bus & Coachline’ during the early part of the year. This is a new parts programme aimed at answering critics of its previous parts pricing policy. Trialled on an initial range of some 50 parts, MAN is now investing heavily in Bus & Coachline as it is rolled out over coming months to over 200 MAN and Neoplan parts.
Every part involved, covering a broad selection of fast-moving and regular repair and maintenance items, will be individually assessed to ensure it fits in with both national and local price structures.
Distribution of the MAN Bus & Coachline ranges will be through MAN’s network of 35 specialist bus and coach customer support centres across the country.
Contact MAN Bus & Coach (Manchester) on 0161 848 8331. Visit www.manmanchester.co.uk