Coach market bid too...
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VAN HOOL's announcement of its double-decker last week heralds a significant bid by the Belgian bodybuilder's Irish plant for an important slice of the British bus and coach bodybuilding market. The Van Boo! McArdle Ltd company is clearly setting out to woo British operators.
At a Dublin press conference Mr Liam Dunne, the company's general manager, explained that the doubledecker was only an initial development. By September production should begin in Dublin of slightly modified versions of Van Hook luxury coach range. Eventu ally the company may well develop commercial vehicle production there too.
A 20-acre site near Dublin has been purchased and a new factory is to be built. Even the current premises — formerly owned by CIE, the Irish State transport undertaking — are capable of turning out three-five deckers a week and possibly ,up to five coaches as well. It is hoped to have the new double-decker body — which is suitable for all existing chassis and probably for Leyland's new B15 as well — and the first Dublin-built coach on show at Earls Court in September.