Yutong importer reaches key milestone
Castleford-based Pelican Bus & Coach has passed an important landmark – more than 300 Yutongs ordered in three and a half years of importing the Chinese-manufacturer’s products into the UK and Ireland. The actual total is 303, with 270 of those on the road with customers.
The top seller has been the 9.35m-long TC9 midi coach which seats up to 35 and 37, or 32 and 34 with a toilet. That accounts for more than 200 of the total with UK Sales Manager Bob Elliott pointing out that some of those are already repeat orders from operators who have chosen to replace after two years as part of their regular fleet renewal programme.
The 12.28m TC12 continues to sell well, although now that two-axle buses and coaches with a GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) of 19.5 tonnes will be permitted from October 1, regardless of fuel system, that has opened the way to introduce the 12.3m HTC coach that was unveiled at Busworld Europe, Kortrijk in 2015. A longer tri-axle version will follow and there will also be a lower-height LTC.
The 12m-long E12 fully electric bus has been kept busy since January, first demonstrating to Arriva in Liverpool and Manchester and more recently to Tower Transit-owned Whippet Coaches in Cambridgeshire. According to Pelican, the only issue has been replacing emergency hammers that had been removed. A Transport for London specification two-door 10.8m E10 is currently in build in China, which is expected in the UK before the end of the year.
Pelican’s 12m CB12 diesel city bus continues to demonstrate to operators around the country. Currently it’s with RATP Dev-owned Yellow Buses in Bournemouth.
The new dedicated Pelican Bus and Coach dealership at Wakefield Europort, Castleford is close to completion. Bob expects it will be operational late October or early November with a formal opening planned for early in the New Year.
“When the doors open, it’s worth pointing out that the whole project will have been paid for,” he said. “The uncertainty created by Brexit has not slowed us up. That’s a reflection of the reputation for quality that the Yutong product has and the back-up support we provide. I think our colleagues in China are pleased with progress.”