Leyland is favourite in race for Thai-breaker
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.LEYLAND BUS is emerging as the favourite in the race to win the world's biggest bus order this decade — for 4,500 buses and back-up in Bangkok.
Leyland is part of a British partnership bidding for the contract with the Thailand government. The others arc the National Bus Company and the MVA consultancy.
Company representatives have been devoting long hours to detailed discussions on the deal, which some of Leyland's international competitors already concede they have lost to Leyland.
It is a much-needed contract for Leyland, which
would supply Olympian And Tiger chassis, as the orders will help make up for the collapsing home market demand for new buses.
In the first four months of this year, Leyland has sold only 522 vehicles to United Kingdom operators C mpared with 729 in the same period last year, and its market share has slipped from 47.9 per cent to 41.8 per cent.
Whereas the Bangkok contract, which will be announced later this month, looks like being very good news for Leyland, the chances of it regaining London Buses' double-deck contract look less certain. Its Olympian is battling against the Metro-Cammell Weymann Metrobus for a 2 6 0-vehicle order to be supplied next year.
Although the three Olympians on trial in London are now performing reliably, the Metrobus is virtually the standard London double-decker and is at least the unofficial base vehicle for any order decision.
The London order is also vital for MCW, which only has one other major customer — West Midlands PTE — for the Metrobus. Metro-Cammell, its sister railway equipment company, has already cut its workforce drastically.