First Volvo coach handed over
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• Volvo bus and coach chassis may be shipped CKD to Britain for assembly at the new Ailsa site at Irvine. This possibility was voiced by Mr Helge Casten, Volvo vicepresident, when he handed over the first Volvo B58 coach to be delivered to a British operator. The occasion, at Loughborough also marked Yeates Distributors Ltd appointment as sole distributor for Volvo coaches in England and Wales.
The first coach is a Plaxton Panorama Elite III for Heyfordian Coaches, of Upper Heyford, Oxon; total price of the vehicle is £13,427, To mark the occasion Mr Casten presented the proprietors of Heyfordian, Mr and Mrs James Smith, with small plaques for the interior and exterior of the coach reading "The first Volvo B58 Plaxton coach to enter service in Britain".
Similar plaques, but referring to the first Duple Volvo to enter service in Britain, were presented to Mr L. Wilder, managing director of Golden Miller Coaches, of Feltham, who will receive the first coach of this type with a Dominant body. This vehicle will cost 113,567.
Plaxtons director Mr Brian Snell and Duple managing director Mr Harry Bigg represented their coachbuilding companies at the handing-over ceremony. Managing director of Ailsa Trucks, Mr Jim McKelvie, and Ailsa Bus director and general manager Mr Hugh Forrester were also present.
Yeates managing director, Mr Charles Yeates, told his guests his company's turnover on Volvo car and psv sales next year is likely to be £21m out of a total £6m forecast. He referred to the B58 as a good product which offered the chance of providing first-class service facilities from Day 1.
Mr Casten said: "We are in the UK to stay". Volvo's current psv production of 1500 a year would be raised to more than 2000 within five years.
An Ailsa spokesman told CM later that all imported Volvo psv would get two PDIs — a first inspection when the chassis arrived from Sweden and then a full examination after being bodied. To provide the latter service a Gothenberg-trained inspector/ fitter would be put on the road with a well-equipped van.