North Yorkshire bus manufacturer secures NZ$40m New Zealand deal

Optare, one of the UK’s leading bus manufacturers, has secured its biggest ever Australasian export order with a NZ$40m (£21m) deal to supply 114 buses to Tranzit Group, one of New Zealand’s largest public transport operators.

The agreement will see Optare, subsidiary of India-based Ashok Leyland, provide 114 innovative and environmentally efficient Metrocity buses to the New Zealand capital, Wellington, and the surrounding region, with the first of the Metrocity buses due to be delivered in March 2018 and the entire order set to be fulfilled by July 2018.

The buses feature Euro 6 compliant engines, best in class unladen weight, innovative monocoque design and higher seating capacity, altogether delivering significant annual savings in fuel consumption and operating costs.

Graham Belgum, President of Optare, said: “This is a significant step for Optare as part of our international export strategy and signals the exciting growth opportunities available to us in Australasia.  Further, it recognises our continued innovation in lightweight products that use fuel efficient and environmentally friendly technologies.”

Paul Snelgrove, Managing Director of Tranzit Group, said: “A team of us travelled the world to find the ideal lightweight solution (12-tonne GVM) for New Zealand roads.  We were impressed with the lightweight design of the Metrocity combined with the excellent passenger capacities it offers. The design’s reputation for excellent performance with regards to fuel efficiency particularly appealed to us.

“In addition, the Metrocity provided us both a small and medium sized vehicle option 10.1m and 10.8m respectively, with identical body and running gear. The 10.1m Metrocity, with a shorter wheelbase is ideal for travelling through some of Wellington’s narrow streets and hilly terrain.”

“Overall, we were impressed with Optare’s approach and willingness to work in partnership, it was a no-brainer decision for us.”