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View Poll Results: Most profitable long-distance Cruiser
Ashok Leyland 12M, Air-conditioned Semi Sleeper 20 18.87%
TATA 1618 Automatic, Air-conditioned Semi Sleeper 9 8.49%
ISUZU 2 1.89%
TATA DIVO 4 3.77%
VOLVO B9R 15 14.15%
VOLVO B9R Multi-Axle 51 48.11%
MERCEDES BENZ 3 2.83%
MERCEDES BENZ Multi-Axle 1 0.94%
Cerita 1 0.94%
MAN Front-engined Bus 0 0%
Voters: 106. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 21st September 2011, 06:54   #1
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Default Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser (Bus)

I've been thinking about this for a long time, if you are a Bus Operator, backed by your friendly neighbourhood Bank who has complete confidence in you, which Bus would you go for?
  • The EMI should be manageable on the earnings
  • The maintenance should not be a headache
  • It should be easy to attract Passengers
Eagerly looking forward to all your Inputs
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Old 21st September 2011, 07:05   #2
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

Including pictures of the long-distance Cruisers
Attached Images
          

Last edited by TheARUN : 21st September 2011 at 07:12.
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Old 21st September 2011, 10:24   #3
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

The newly launched Hispanos (280 Hp versions) are running with Maharaja Travels in Punjab and SRE travels in Karnataka. They claim a FE of close to 3.3 kmpl which is much more than the claimed 2.9 kmpl of the volvos on the same routes. A B9R was pressed into service by VRL in Bellary-Bangalore route which was apparently pulled back due to the bad condition of the roads (Of course one wouldn't want to mess with a one crore bus). This route is now serviced by the 280 HP Divo coaches of SRE and looks like there is a solid business case out there with no competition in sight.
Down south, the benchmark still remains the 12 M ALL of ABT and ARC. Prakash seems to have done a decent job of building the bodies which are still holding good despite the 700 kms done by these buses daily.
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Old 21st September 2011, 10:34   #4
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
I've been thinking about this for a long time, if you are a Bus Operator, backed by your friendly neighbourhood Bank who has complete confidence in you, which Bus would you go for?
  • The EMI should be manageable on the earnings
  • The maintenance should not be a headache
  • It should be easy to attract Passengers
Eagerly looking forward to all your Inputs
The right people to answer this would be the folks in Parveen coz they've experimented with almost everything on 6 wheels. Cerita, King long, MB, Volvo, ALL, TML, Eicher, Isuzu ...... you name it. I'm sorry i do not have any contacts in Parveen to offer but definitely remember one statement from a senior person there whom i met in Chennai....... he said "Volvo is very comfortable to travel but then as an operator you have to hang yourself". This was when i quizzed him on the Chennai-Bangalore Kinglong (The fastest known Chennai Bangalore bus yet).
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Old 21st September 2011, 11:19   #5
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

LPO 1618 is MT and not AT.

Last edited by Ashley2 : 21st September 2011 at 11:26.
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Old 21st September 2011, 11:26   #6
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
if you are a Bus Operator
I am not a Bus Operator
Quote:
Eagerly looking forward to all your Inputs
Okay, here goes... I'll be inclined to click on the AL 12M.
  • The EMI should be manageable on the earnings
Finest example is ARC/ABTX's business model. They don't charge you a bomb but they charge you a premium though they aren't running Volvos, Mercs, Kinglongs, Isuzus and Divos. Still they are profitable. So, I wouldn't doubt the capability of the AL 12Ms in attracting people and consequently bringing in revenue good enough to earn profits after EMIs.
Quote:
  • The maintenance should not be a headache
Being an AshLey, I wouldn't doubt the serviceability. Should something go wrong mid way, I will be able to find a decent mechanic/workshop. I may be wrong here, this could be very much true in the south. AL 12M being in the market for all these years and very many operators going for it, reliability won't be an issue, IMO.

Up North, the scales would tilt towards the TM LPO1618 here.

Quote:
  • It should be easy to attract Passengers
Depends on how to market it and how you advertise your service. Even if it's not a Volvo, goodwill from people who've used the service and a good marketing team will attract more patrons.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SAE40 in veins View Post
The right people to answer this would be the folks in Parveen coz they've experimented with almost everything on 6 wheels. Cerita, King long, MB, Volvo, ALL, TML, Eicher, Isuzu ...... you name it.
+1 to that! Add Sutlej Lexia and the Corona also to their list.
Quote:
"Volvo is very comfortable to travel but then as an operator you have to hang yourself".
I think if they run the Volvos for passengers alone, then it may be true. But parcel service definitely keeps them running. Else we won't find these many Volvos and Mercs on the roads.

Quote:
Chennai-Bangalore Kinglong (The fastest known Chennai Bangalore bus yet).
If you're talking about actual running time, that would be Roadlink India's 9400 (B7R), and not Parveen's Kinglong. Do they have that bus now? Haven't seen it recently, instead they have a Volvo (not sure if it's B7R or B9R) now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
LPO 1618 is MT and not MT.
You meant to say "not AT", right?
He must've meant the LPO1616 with AT. AFAIK, LPO1618 is not available in AT

Last edited by GTO : 22nd September 2011 at 15:55. Reason: Removing naked quote tag
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Old 21st September 2011, 14:35   #7
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

I will vote for AL 12M. Even though, TML 1616LPO was the first 12 meter chassis in the market, today this segment is ruled by AL 12M undoubtedly.
When we take into account the numbers of luxury intercity buses, south India would be having the highest, as north is well connected by rails. So i believe AL 12M will outnumber TML 1616 or 1618.

Why AL 12M?
1. AL12M leads by competing with other including Volvo.
2. Operators choose it as the next alternative to Volvo and not MB or Isuzu.
3. AL has been constantly upgrading this product to meet market demands.

With MAN, MNAL, VECV (Volvo) going to launch equivalent 12 chassis/bus in sub-premium segment, the success of AL 12M is evident.
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Old 21st September 2011, 14:36   #8
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

As expected the B9R has stolen a march over the rivals. TATA and AL are locked head-on. This should make for a very interesting result once we have all hands on board commenting on this
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Old 21st September 2011, 16:31   #9
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
  • The EMI should be manageable on the earnings
  • The maintenance should not be a headache
  • It should be easy to attract Passengers
Actually these comparisons are not apple to apple.
If you choose purely based on the operating economics I would definetely vote for(Voted for) Volvo B9R XL.
But if its based on user freindly and with sales point of view its only 12M.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAE40 in veins View Post
The newly launched Hispanos (280 Hp versions) are running with Maharaja Travels in Punjab
Are you speaking about this bus from Maharaja!
If so its older ones and not the new Divo - 285 hp ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAE40 in veins View Post
...They claim a FE of close to 3.3 kmpl which is much more than the claimed 2.9 kmpl of the volvos on the same routes. ... This route is now serviced by the 280 HP Divo coaches of SRE and looks like there is a solid business case out there with no competition in sight.
Nice to see some updates on Divo.
Are there any other operator who have got Divo's.
Earlier Hispano's are with SRS, Neeta, APSRTC (though no repeat order from all of them)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAE40 in veins View Post
Down south, the benchmark still remains the 12 M ALL of ABT and ARC. Prakash seems to have done a decent job of building the bodies which are still holding good despite the 700 kms done by these buses daily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAE40 in veins View Post
The right people to answer this would be the folks in Parveen coz they've experimented with almost everything on 6 wheels. Cerita, King long, MB, Volvo, ALL, TML, Eicher, Isuzu ...... you name it. I'm sorry i do not have any contacts in Parveen to offer but definitely remember one statement from a senior person there whom i met in Chennai....... he said "Volvo is very comfortable to travel but then as an operator you have to hang yourself". This was when i quizzed him on the Chennai-Bangalore Kinglong (The fastest known Chennai Bangalore bus yet).
If you ask them now, they will say MB's are best as they have got 4 MB's now in their fleet.
They need not be taken as a benchmark.
Yesterday they got the ASC for KL's so they had them in their fleet.
Today they are going with AMW and soon they may have their buses ans will claim they are best.
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Last edited by GTO : 22nd September 2011 at 15:53. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another!
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Old 21st September 2011, 16:49   #10
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
As expected the B9R has stolen a march over the rivals. TATA and AL are locked head-on. This should make for a very interesting result once we have all hands on board commenting on this
I think it depends on which route and what segment one would want to cater to . AL or Tata buses might be cheap to buy ,but I dont think people would prefer them on long distance routes catered to by Volvos or MB buses as these buses would not stand much chance in terms of comfort and speed.

But yeah ,on shorter routes or routes through bad roads, the difference in time wouldnt be much and where operators can charge something similar to Volvos,maybe an AL or Tata bus might make more sense.
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Old 21st September 2011, 16:59   #11
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAE40 in veins View Post
The newly launched Hispanos (280 Hp versions) are running with Maharaja Travels in Punjab
Are you speaking about this bus from Maharaja!
If so its older ones and not the new Divo - 285 hp ones.
Attachment 612968
Source : Unknown(Not mine)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAE40 in veins View Post
...They claim a FE of close to 3.3 kmpl which is much more than the claimed 2.9 kmpl of the volvos on the same routes. ... This route is now serviced by the 280 HP Divo coaches of SRE and looks like there is a solid business case out there with no competition in sight.
Nice to see some updates on Divo.
Are there any other operator who have got Divo's.
Earlier Hispano's are with SRS, Neeta, APSRTC (though no repeat order from all of them)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAE40 in veins View Post
Down south, the benchmark still remains the 12 M ALL of ABT and ARC. Prakash seems to have done a decent job of building the bodies which are still holding good despite the 700 kms done by these buses daily.
They are now comfortable as Rathimeena have positioned 12M 225 hp in che-tvm route and claim they cover the distance in nect to neck with Volvo.
Time difference will be around Max 45min - as told by Rathimeena driver



Quote:
Originally Posted by SAE40 in veins View Post
The right people to answer this would be the folks in Parveen coz they've experimented with almost everything on 6 wheels. Cerita, King long, MB, Volvo, ALL, TML, Eicher, Isuzu ...... you name it. I'm sorry i do not have any contacts in Parveen to offer but definitely remember one statement from a senior person there whom i met in Chennai....... he said "Volvo is very comfortable to travel but then as an operator you have to hang yourself". This was when i quizzed him on the Chennai-Bangalore Kinglong (The fastest known Chennai Bangalore bus yet).
If you ask them now, they will say MB's are best as they have got 4 MB's now in their fleet. They also charge permium of Rs.100 in Che-Tvm route aganist competition.
They need not be taken as a benchmark.
Yesterday they got the ASC for KL's so they had them in their fleet.
Today they are going with AMW and soon they may have their buses ans will claim they are best.

Last edited by Ashley2 : 21st September 2011 at 17:01.
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Old 21st September 2011, 18:02   #12
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

Boted for B9R.

Volvo has a superlative brand recall and from what i got to know from the MSRTC Operators(I frequent the Mumbai -Pune ROute practically every week and take use of the reliable Shivneri Volvo Services), the buses are extremely reliable.

Also, the cost of repairs are manageable and the breakdown rate is lower.

Worst among the lot would without doubt be the Cerita line.
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Old 21st September 2011, 18:25   #13
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

VOLVO sells their B9R Multi-axle with a mantra

"The Multi-Axle has 8 extra seats, and when full, these 8 seats take care of the fuel costs for the entire journey"

I'm surprised at this.
Their mileage - is supposed to be 1.5 kmpl
Now, Bangalore - Bombay is 1,000 kilometers
They thus need 667 liters of fuel
Taking Diesel at Rs.45, the fuel cost for the trip would be 30,015
The money got from the 8 seats would be 8,000

The B9R, if you look deeper is not economically viable at all. I don't know why operators are buying them
- Maybe they have black money
- Maybe they have other businesses that subsidise this (Kingfisher sell mineral water only because they and use it in advertisements)
- The Business is glamourous and hence they want to come here and lose money for glory

I really don't know
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Old 21st September 2011, 19:13   #14
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Default Re: Most profitable Long-distance Cruiser

These comparisons are not robust unless they into account ALL costs, not just fuel, such as depreciation, utilization factors, servicing, taxation, loan repayments (if any) etc. etc.

All these combined will come up with the true cost per mile per seat, which needs to be exceed to return a profit.
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Old 21st September 2011, 21:12   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VCheng View Post
These comparisons are not robust unless they into account ALL costs, not just fuel, such as depreciation, utilization factors, servicing, taxation, loan repayments (if any) etc. etc.

All these combined will come up with the true cost per mile per seat, which needs to be exceed to return a profit.
Even if you look at recovering the investment in a B9R Multi-Axle,

1 Crore over 50 months works out to Rs.125 per seat per day, that is without calculating the interest and assuming that the Bus runs at 100% Occupancy daily.

More realistic would be 60% Occupancy and 14% Interest, then it works out to Rs.325 per seat per day

Coupled with fuel, the Bus has to run for 500 kilometers daily just to recover Capital and Fuel expenses

Then you still have Maintenance, Taxes and Salaries not to mention Profits.

Any which way you look at it, the B9R looks like a losing proposition - for the Owner. Passenger wise and Crew wise its a winner, even Company wise and Gas station wise it is a Winner
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