Manufacturers show the way of the future

Focus on Bus and Coach

Despite the prevailing global economic conditions, the Busworld Asia exhibition, which was staged at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre from 8 to 11 April 2009, attracted more than 180 exhibitors from 23 countries

Here are some details of the more noteworthy exhibits:

  • Shanghai ShenLong Bus exhibited a prototype, 12-m, hybrid city bus, designated SLK6121UF13, using a licensed Alcan Ecorange aluminium body construction system. This was a low-entry vehicle with steps over the rear axle, and was equipped with an Eaton hybrid drive system.
  • The SFH (Shanghai-Fiat-Hongyan) joint venture, which combines the Chinese driveline aggregate manufacturing interests of Shanghai Automotive/Iveco, Fiat Powertrain and Chongching Heavy Vehicle Group, revealed plans for extensions to its engine range at the show. The JV’s Hongyan plant already produces Iveco’s 6-cylinder, 8.9-l Cursor 9 power unit, and, from October 2009, will add the 5.9-l NEF6 engine to its production programme. This Euro 3-compliant engine will be available with power ratings up to 275 hp (202 kW), and can be upgraded to Euro 5 level by the addition of a Selective Catalytic Reduction exhaust after-treatment system. Further planned introductions include the 4-cylinder, 4-l NEF4 unit, and the 130 kW, 3-l F1C with variable-geometry turbocharger. This plant will supply engines to sister company SAIC Iveco, Sunwin Bus, and Naveco of Nangjing, which is the China-based manufacturer of the Iveco Daily range.
  • Brazilian bodybuilder Marcopolo SA’s wholly owned Marcopolo Auto Components plant, headquartered in Changzhou City, announced at the show that it is now manufacturing a range of city bus seats, coach seats and window systems at its Jiangjin City plant. These components are being exported to Marcopolo plants in South America and South Africa. • Voith Turbo Power Transmission (Shanghai) reported that its latest DIWA.5 automatic transmission unit had been fitted to 117 buses supplied to Chinese cities in 2008. Voith is now also offering its complete range of city bus axles to Chinese manufacturers, and recently supplied NanJing JinLing with complete running gear sets, including front steer axle, independent front suspension, inverted portal drive axle, trailing axle and DIWA.3 transmission, for fitment to its double-deck city buses.
  • Scania Higer launched seven new bus models during the show, among which was the Higer A30 in both school bus and intercity versions. The standard-height school bus model has a flat floor running for two-thirds of the bus interior, with step over the rear axle, while a the intercity version has a two-step entry and ramped floor to provide the required level of clearance over the rear axle. This model also features a wheelchair lift adjacent to its central entrance, and 3.5 m2 of additional luggage accommodation. A Scania A98 chassis was also exhibited at the show, fitted with a Higer double-deck body.
  • Paccar company DAF Components launched its 9.2-l PR engine to the Chinese market at this show. This engine is available in Euro 3, 4 and 5 versions, and follows DAF’s earlier launch of the PE (PR predecessor), and a 12.8-l MX truck engine to this market. A coach version of the MX is currently under development.
  • Following an 18-month period of marketing preparation and production/technology transfer from Spain, Tianjin-Irizar Coach Manufacturing Company has now established a product portfolio for the Chinese market. The products to be offered include the New Century touring coach in three 12-m versions, i4 CLE low-entry city bus, and compressed natural gas-fuelled i4 CLE city bus. The New Century is offered with varying heights, wheelbases, mass and power outputs ranging from 240 to 265 hp (180 to 200 kW).

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