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View Poll Results: Which one do you prefer - Company built vs Locally built
Company/ Manufacturer built buses 53 92.98%
Local Body builder 4 7.02%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 17th September 2012, 20:42   #1
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Default Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

In our country buses are being predominantly built by local body builders some big and others small / regional in scale to cater to various markets and their requirements.

The buses are typically built on a chassis procured by CV manufacturers such as Tata, Ashok Leyland, Eicher etc.

Then there are a few manufacturers (many of them who supply these chassis also) who offer fully built buses. The popular ones are the Marcopolo range by Tata, SML and of course Volvo buses. There are many more in the line to launch such buses as well.

Some highlights of Company built buses

1. Standardised products and ready to use off the shelf
2. Better build quality due to the technology and designs employed
3. Many options to choose from various manufacturers which suits the operators requirement

Some highlights of buses build by local body builders are-

1. Can be highly customized to the preference of local fleet operators
2. Built at a cost and cheaper than company built options
3. Flexibility in buying a particular chassis/ powertrain and building off it for fleet operators

There are many other pros and cons and arguments supporting either of these. So lets hear them and also many pics of both the types of buses.
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Old 18th September 2012, 16:58   #2
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Default re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

For those interested in the topic, here's an amazing thread : Bus Body Building Facility (Visit to a Bus Body Building Facility)
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Old 18th September 2012, 17:23   #3
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Default re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

Mods:- Can this thread be renamed as Fully built buses vs Third party body builders?

Companies selling Fully built buses
1. Volvo Buses
2. Mercedes Benz - Body building work is done through Sutlej.
3. Ashok Leyland - Involves Irizar TVS and other body building units for building buses. But sold as FBV. I have seen their FBV codes in their Irizar TVS built JNNURM buses running in TN. Please add the in-house unit details of AshLey.
4. Tata Marcopolo
5. Isuzu

Please add the missed names.
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Old 18th September 2012, 18:38   #4
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhandapanik View Post
Please add the missed names.
Adding:
-MAN FE bus is also sold as a fully built bus (albeit by AZAD, If i am correct)
-Kinglong (JCBL body)

Rumour/Future: Scania?
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Old 19th September 2012, 11:53   #5
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

I think the big buys like Sutlej are excellent and at par with the bus manufacturers or maybe even better. As for the local chaps (incl state workshops) the less said the better.
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Old 19th September 2012, 12:05   #6
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

How can we forget Corona? Theirs is too a in-house body building facility and there was an detailed article on their construction and procedures, here in TBHP.

Sgiitk sir, its not that all local workshops are bad, personally, I know that AE coach builders(belongs to ABT/Gounder and Co. Coimbatore) and some body shops based in Karur, TN are quite good and if able to spend some money, can even build better, safer bodies than mainstream guys. well, Prakash is one such example, who started off as a local body builder and went on to become one of the most sought after builder down south. They have their own designs. As you rightly pointed out, state transport workshops are doing mere patch work or just sheet metal shaped into buses.

All this could only be curbed, if there is strict norms from the govt. on bus bodies(sleepers, semi-sleepers) and some will from the owners to care for the safety of their passengers.
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Old 19th September 2012, 12:07   #7
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhandapanik View Post
Companies selling Fully built buses
1. Volvo Buses
Volvo is making fully built in their own setup? Or they're getting from Azad? That was the case if I'm not wrong few years ago.
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Old 19th September 2012, 13:38   #8
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

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Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Volvo is making fully built in their own setup? Or they're getting from Azad? That was the case if I'm not wrong few years ago.
You are right azad used to build bodies for volvos, but now they are doing it on their own.
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Old 19th September 2012, 13:45   #9
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I think the big buys like Sutlej are excellent
I disagree. Have seen a Mercedes bus made by Sutlej and the quality was completely non-Mercedes. I'd even go as far as to call it shoddy in many areas. I believe the tie-up with Sutlej was meant to be only a stop-gap arrangement until Mercedes built its own bodies inhouse.

Also, here's what AlphaKilo had to say after a ride in one:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
- But except for the headlamp cluster, the whole body work looks really cheap. It gives a impression to lame man that its another Leyland with Merc symbol. Well, it did happen on the very time i travelled in the merc. It stopped at shantinagar to pick up passengers, a Policeman came to get his share of free waterbottle!! then he was talking to the driver as to whether this is another AL with Merc symbol, then driver explained "nahi saar, yeh Mercedes ki gaadi hain - no sir this is a mercedes vehicle only"

- Here my seat no. was 4. the Fibre divider between the entry and the front seats felt really cheap, Merc should listen to it.

- Moreover, the overall bodywork feels taller than volvo and gives a AL or TML feeling. No highend luxury feeling.

- NVH: Worst ever!! Sutlej. Mercedes, didnt expect this from their product. Even while idling the bus was roaring, vibrating and while starting from zero, I felt as if the engine is under my seat. So loud and quite a lot of vibration.
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Old 19th September 2012, 13:56   #10
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I disagree. Have seen a Mercedes bus made by Sutlej and the quality was completely non-Mercedes. I'd even go as far as to call it shoddy in many areas. I believe the tie-up with Sutlej was meant to be only a stop-gap arrangement until Mercedes built its own bodies inhouse.

Also, here's what AlphaKilo had to say after a ride in one:
Thanks GTO! I was searching for that post. and this(a review of the "Original" Mercedes-Benz Travego Multi-Axle):

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...ml#post2396739 (Intercity Bus travel reviews)

Hope this clarifies the difference between the real quality body-building and the so-called "Travel with the Star" experience that we get in India.

Personally, I feel Coronas/Prakash/Azad(Mk.1 volvo's) are/were better than Sutlej built Merc.
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Old 19th September 2012, 15:45   #11
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

Down South, operators prefer local body builders as against a fully built bus from the manufacturer as it allows them for plenty of customization.

As for the quality, many of the local builders are well known for the quality of work. Especially for stage carriage operations, erstwhile LGB & Bros (L.G. Balakrishnan & Bros) were pioneers in building quality buses and they do command a better resale value. At present few of the companies like AE Coach (Anamalais Engineering), PEE TEE Coach (they also export to Middle East), Shillibear, etc. are known for the quality and to some extent SRT coach is also good and have a good resale value (though the initial investment is more)

As for Omni buses, Prakash, Veera, Azad, Irizar, etc are doing a good work and well known for their quality.
I am not sure about the importance given to safety by the above mentioned companies.

As mentioned by fellow BHPians, it's not always true/necessary that fully built buses supplied by manufacturer are better in quality than getting built by local builders or vice versa.

Last edited by v1kram : 19th September 2012 at 15:51.
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Old 19th September 2012, 21:43   #12
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by v1kram View Post
Down South, operators prefer local body builders as against a fully built bus from the manufacturer as it allows them for plenty of customization.

As for the quality, many of the local builders are well known for the quality of work. Especially for stage carriage operations,
While we are in this topic, heard that a private operator in Kerala (UFO) could not register their Tata Marcopolo Starbus as a stage carriage in Kerala as it violates the Kerala Motor Vehicles Act. Not sure about the details (Anybody know the full story?). This was supposed to be the first Fully Built Stage Carriage bus in South. So before we talk about Fully Built Buses, we need to have a "National Bus Code" and all states should honor it.

Last edited by teamveevee : 19th September 2012 at 21:46.
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Old 19th September 2012, 21:53   #13
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
While we are in this topic, heard that a private operator in Kerala (UFO) could not register their Tata Marcopolo Starbus as a stage carriage in Kerala as it violates the Kerala Motor Vehicles Act. Not sure about the details (Anybody know the full story?). This was supposed to be the first Fully Built Stage Carriage bus in South. So before we talk about Fully Built Buses, we need to have a "National Bus Code" and all states should honor it.
What I heard was it had something to do with the internal height. Not sure what exactly was the issue.
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Old 19th September 2012, 21:58   #14
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
While we are in this topic, heard that a private operator in Kerala (UFO) could not register their Tata Marcopolo Starbus as a stage carriage in Kerala as it violates the Kerala Motor Vehicles Act. Not sure about the details (Anybody know the full story?). This was supposed to be the first Fully Built Stage Carriage bus in South. So before we talk about Fully Built Buses, we need to have a "National Bus Code" and all states should honor it.
I did see that Marcopolo built bus on LPO 1512 platform elsewhere in the forum (i think it was in a body building factory for some modification), but no idea about the further developments/issues.
May be experts from Kerala can comment / provide further information.

Last edited by v1kram : 19th September 2012 at 22:03.
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Old 19th September 2012, 22:16   #15
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Default Re: Fully built Buses vs Third party body builders

Buses like the Volvo are built by Azad and I can say they are better in build when compared to the Merc's. I have never seen a badly built Volvo's be it B7R's or 9400.

In the local builders I guess Prakash holds the high respect for its bodies.

When it comes to quality and technology of manufacture then all the bus companies as far as possible should start their body building unit and ship the bodies to the assembly line and roll the bus out than doing the whole in one area (Space constraints).
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