Wahl to Star in States
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WEST GERMAN-based coach operator Wahl International has joined forces with American General Automotive International Corporation (GAIC) to set up a joint venture company — Star Coach Corporation — to market a range of luxury coaches in the United States.
Wahl already has branches in Oregon, California, Arizona and Washington in addition to five European countries.
The new Star coaches are being built at the GAC Ireland plant in Shannon, and are based on a modified MAN chassis.
The three-axle coaches powered by the 209kW (280bhp) MAN unit through a ZF S 6.90 manual gearbox are a chassised version of the SR280 coach adpated and built to meet all US Department of Transportation and Federal Safety Standards (FMVSS).
The first batch of 22 coaches will provide VIP transport at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and is nearing completion. Four prototypes have already been in service for six months with four major American tour operators and have reportedly been received enthusiastically.
The new company hopes to market the coach throughout the States and this should help fill spare production capacity at the former Bombardier production plant at Shannon.