Luxury Coach & Transportation

July 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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MCI Aims To Make 'Motorcoaching' Easy For Operators The builder is bringing out new models while promoting a program for affordable, refurbished coaches. By Martin Romjue, LCT editor I f you're considering the coach busi- ness or are ready move beyond the start-up phase, MCI offers a strategy and bus models suited to operators of all fleet experience levels. North and South Carolina operators Jeff and Laura Canady have found out how the MCI approach can make luxury motorcoach service possible. Going on four years with MCI, the Canadys' com- panies — CLT Express Livery, SC Ex- press Livery, SC Coaches, and Charles- ton Style Limo — make use of MCI's motorcoach regeneration program. Motorcoaches Present Many Options e program sells refurbished and re- generated MCI coaches outfitted with new engines, transmissions, and interi- ors, starting with 2007 models and new- er. ey can be customized to match an operation's needs and tastes. So far, Canady has bought eight 56-passenger J4500s from model years 2010-2012, which complement two 34-passenger Temsa coaches in a fleet of 90 vehicles. CLT Express Livery runs two offices, with its main one in Char- lotte that serves bus clients who break down 75% corporate and 25% leisure. Its related SC-branded companies in Ai- ken, S.C., serve a reverse bus client mix with three-fourths consisting mostly of school groups, sports teams, church groups, and college trips. A pre-owned bus is often a good way to test the market and gain experience at a lower price point. "I'm not in a po- sition to buy a new $500,000 coach, but with my rep I can save tens of thousands buying a regenerated bus and still pro- vide good corporate service without em- barrassment," he says. Canady's MCI coaches came with about 400,000 miles on average, and ranged in price from $195,000 to $245,000, depending on the model year and upgrades. "It's been an eight on a scale of one to 10," he says of the quality compared to a new bus being a 10. "It's as good as you can hope for something pre-owned." In his market, a new bus won't make any more money than a refurbished used one, since he can charge the same rates. "I'd rather buy two buses at $245,000 than have one new bus at $495,000," he says. e coaches arrive clean and in top condition. If something's not right, MCI fixes it within the first 30 days, Canady says. He also values the strong parts and support relationship MCI offers, with facilities in Kentucky and New Jer- sey within a reasonable distance of CLT Express Livery's Carolinas locations. "I can have parts the next day and there's an accessible technician available during normal working hours," Canady says. "My goal is to have similar coach buses so when my mechanic works on one he knows how to work on the other." A Growing Motorcoach Market e MCI pre-owned coach program evolved from the bus maker's leading market position in an industry where motorcoach demand is growing and more luxury transportation operators are seeking to buy motorcoaches in a competitive market. New motorcoach sales have trended upward for most of this decade, says Brent Maitland, the vice president of marketing and product planning for Des Plaines, Ill.-based Motor Coach Industries (MCI). Citing data from the American Bus Association, Maitland said OEMs sold 2,470 units to private and public trans- 1 8 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION JULY 2018 MCI vice president Brent Maitland has seen growth in the company's business from operators running black vehicles moving into motorcoaches. COACH MANUFACTURING

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