SCANIA LAUNCHES COACH RANGE Four years ago, at Busworld India in Mumbai, a small team from Scania went round all the stands, carefully checking all the products on offer. Scania had already entered the Indian market, supplying heavy duty trucks to the mining sector, but this was the first indication that the bus market could also be in their sights.
Subsequently, Scania established a subsidiary company and started building a factory about 40km from Bangalore with an initial target to build around 2,000 trucks and 1,000 coaches per annum within the next five years.
At Busworld India this year, Scania took a prominent stand and showed three coaches that had been developed to Scania designs and built by a partner in Malaysia. They were assembled in a modular system and, by next year, will be fully built in the new factory in India. There will also be around 20% local content in the chassis range.
The entry model was a 12 metre Metrolink HD seating 45 and powered by Scania 9-litre engine. Next in the family is the Metrolink HD, built to an overall length of 13.7 metres on three axles. It can have either 49 semi-sleeper seats, or 53 without calf support. This is powered by the larger 13-litre engine. The longest in the range is the 14.5 metre tri-axle coach which can have up to 53 semi-sleeper seats or 57 without calf support. All three coaches have Euro 3 engines, the Opticruise 8-speed automated gearbox and are built to an overall height of 3.7 metres.
The Metrolink has distinctive styling, featuring the established Scania “wrapping T” motif that distinguishes the truck range and sweeps from the front panels into the window line on the first bay on each side.
Coach chassis and body production is due to start on a trial basis from September this year with series production of complete coaches scheduled for early 2014. The three coaches at Busworld India have started a series of trials and will complete whole vehicle Type Approval and Certification within the next two months.
A spokesman for Scania at Busworld India also said that the company was looking at the market for high-end low floor city buses, but had not settled on any timescale. The first priority was to get the new coach range up and running.
Although Scania continues to work with its original Indian partner on trucks for the mining industry, a new sales and service network will be established for on-road trucks and coaches at strategic points throughout India.