Hong Kong seeks trod deckers
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LEYLAND is willing to resume building traditional frontengined double-deck bus chassis for export. A front-engined design powered by a Gardner engine based on the Daimler CVOG chassis could be in production from May next year.
This was revealed to CM by Humberto Wu Chang, purchasing manager of the 6,000-strong Kowloon Motor Bus Company in Hong Kong.
Dissatisfaction with rearengined Daimler Fleetline buses supplied by Leyland in the past caused the Kowloon company to look for a suitable front-engined design. Mr Wu told CM that the Fleetline, of which Kowloon Motor Bus has 600, has had an unhappy history of gearbox failures, overheating and other irritating faults.
Problems have reached a point where the bus's performance is damaging the reliability of his companies' services.
Kowloon Motor Bus has already taken delivery of Gardner-engined Dennis Jubilant chassis to which it has fitted its own bodies. The Jubilant is a front-engined version of Hestair Dennis double-deck bus coupled with a Voith D851 fully automatic transmission.
Leyland's willingness to produce a front-engined chassis is seen as an effort to counteract competition from Hestair Dennis as well as the Japanese.