COMMERCIAL CARS' INTENTIONS FOR 1925.
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The Models Range from 2-tonners to 6-tonners for Goods, and Passenger Chassis Carrying from 16 to 46 Persons. Service Considered a Vital Factor.
TAT:RING a visit which we paid rel../ cently to the Luten works of Commercial Cars, Ltd., we learnt many interesting facts regarding the progress which is being made by this company.
The niodels marketed will consist of 2 and 3-tonners with live-axle drive ; chain-driven chassis of 4-ton; 5-ton and 6-ton capacity ; a passenger chassis suitable for coaches or single-deck buses seating 16 to 20 people, and which is known as the 2 P. type ; and a larger passenger model, to seat 23 to 46 persons, which is called the 3 P. This is intended for large coaches and single or double-deck buses, and both this and the 2 P. type have worm-driven axles and will be marketed in a range of wheelbases ; these will probably give the smaller model an increased seating capacity. In addition, the 3 P. type can, if required, be provided with a large engine developing 45 h.p. instead of the 40 h.p. unit employed in the standard machine.
There will also be the newly developed . chassis known as the 3 PG. model.
In order that every agent appointed by the makers shall have an opportunity' of showing to potential buyers practically every type of Commer Car vehicle, a special demonstration fleet is now being formed and is almost completed. This will consist of 2, 3 and 4-ton chassis carrying general-purpose bodies ;
a 5-loaner with a three-way. tipping body and Bromilow and Edwards hydraulic gear ; a 20-seater coach on pneumatics, provided with side curtains, etc., for which the 2 P. type chassis is utilized ; a 20-seater one-man-operated bus with Holison wind-up balanced windows, emergency door a the rear and a spare wheel mounted between the dash and the door pillar at the near side, this also being on the 2 P. chassis ; and, finally, a lute bus on the 3 P. model. • This whole fleet will travel round the country and will be placed at the disposal of the agents for short periods. The fleet will be manned and driven by salesmen demonstrators, who will thus maintain an intimate acquaintanceship with the vehicles they drive.
The question of adequate service has received great consideration. 'The sale a spare parts, due to the very large number of Commer Car vehicles in operation and to their being augmented by several thousand ex-service vehicles, is an important factor in this scheme. So well organized is it, that orders for spares received, say, from Glasgow or Edinburgh and other accessible cities in. Scotland and elsewhere, if received at the works by 11 a.m., are despatched in time to reach the purchaser by 9 o'clock the next morning.
It is the proud boast of the service engineers that Spare parts can be pro
vided for every Commer Car ever built ; this is a task of some magnitude when it is considered that many of the Commer Car vehicles have been on the road for nearly 20 years, There are, actually, over 5,000 bins of spare parts. and it is notable that any portion of the stock which may be superseded is immediately scrapped and replaced by parts of the new design, so that the 'user obtains the full advantage of the latest construction.
Cansiderable attention is being devoted to the question of overhauling users' machines, and the company now undertake either complete or partial overhauls both to chassis mid bodies. A considerable number of these has been put in band' during the past year, the vehicles.coming not only from near dia. tricts, but from all over the countr!r. The proposition is an excellent one and will be followed up.
In the ease of a complete overbaul, vehicle is entirely stripped, and the owner invited -to send a repreSentative to the works. This repreSentative examines every part in conjunction with the Commercial Car experts. and it is decided on the spot as to the replacements which mu4't be made. An estimate of the entire cost of the job is then supplied within 24 hours of this meeting. Every unit goes into its correct department, and the engine, on completion, passes through the teat shop, just as if it were new ; hi fact, the overhauled chassis may, as a whale, he considered very nearly as goon as when first produced.
Use is made in the service department of the card-index system, and this includes every known user of Comelier Car vehicles.
The question of equipping a service Wagon with service engineers in Charge, is now under consideration..
During the past year considerable business has been received in the form of repeat orders, and although many of these are no doubt due to the excellent results given by vehicles already supplied, yet not a few may be placed to the credit of the service department, for from our experience we know that nothing incenses a user more than -to have a vehicle or vehicles laid up through the failure of some minor part.
In 1924 more business was done in Wales than anywhere else, . and this market continues to present great possibilities. The overseas trade also shows signs of considerable activity, and two weeks ago the company shipped 12 vehicles of 2-ton capacity to. Wellington, New Zealand. From Colombo, on the day of our visit, last week, an order was received for two chassis of the 2 G. type, this being the fonrth repeat order from the same concern in five months and, in addition to these vehicles, they have purchased two chassis of the 3 P.G.,model.
In view of the recent emphasis laid'on the question of safety in passenger chassis, it is of interest to note that a number of the 3-.P. models recently supplied to the Ayr and District Motor Services had petrol tanks at the rear and petrol supply on the Autovac system.
The new radiator fitted on all models of the Commer Car constitutes a. great improvement in the appearance of the chassis, and with a larger bonnet it lends itself to the building of coaches and other passenger vehicles of a handsome and up-to-date appearance.
We were afforded an opportunity for making a minute inspection of the shops, stores and coachbnilding department, and we found a number of interesting vehicles in course of Construction, these iacluding the one-man-controlled bus, to which we have alrea4y referred, and lorries • and vans for a variety of trade's, including brewing. There was also .a special 3 P. passenger chassis for Wales, which has a wheelbase of 15 ft. 10 ins. and a frame length of 21 ft. behind the dash. This vehicle will have a special saloon body and will be equipped with Goodyear pneumatic tyres on all wheels.
Everywhere the works, •stores, etc., were in spotless condition, although a considerable amount of work was iD progress.
We rthist confess to have been surprised at the strides made during the past few months. Throughout there were signs of efficiency and orderliness. Everyone is working with a will, • and whilst every care is being exercised to Prevent the accumulation of stocks of vehicles, the situation has given confidence to allow chassis to be built in hatches. In fact, there is every indication that when the contemplated reconstruction takes place, the company will be in a strong position to exploit markets which have been satisfactorily opened uP of recent months.