Wright extends range with 53-seater citybus
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• Midibus builder Robert Wright & Son of Ballymena is preparing its first full-length single-deck citybus body.
The aluminium body will go on sale in March for around £38,000. It will be built with up to 53 seats on a range of rearengined chassis from 10 to 12m in length.
The family firm has traditionally specialised in buses up to 42 seats; it is evaluating seven chassis for its prototype which will have a riveted and bolted body structure. This is said to be 50% stronger than an equivalent welded structure and allows easy body panel repairs.
The body is expected to have a minimum service life of 15 years. It has a curved wind screen in up to three sections and can be fitted with bonded or rubber gasket fitted windows. The design has DiPTAC standards; the floor covering reaches up to the seat rail, enabling the vehicle to be hosed out.
Wright expects the body to compete with Plaxton's Verde and Optare's Delta: it plans to sell around 50 in the first year of production.
"We see a gradual recovery in the big bus market," says commercial director Jeff Wright: the 45-year-old firm is also considering a re-launch of its 53-seater Contour coach body, which went out of production four years ago. "We put the Contour on the shelf," says Wright. "We think probably the industry wasn't ready for such a radical design around eight years ago."
Wright has won orders for more than 250 midibus bodies in the past year. It has enough midibus work to keep its Ballymena-based workforce of 160 busy until March 1992.