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Old 30th July 2010, 11:54   #1
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Default Ashok Leyland acquires 26 percent equity in UK bus maker

Ashok Leyland has said it will acquire 26 per cent stake in UK-based bus manufacturer Optare for USD 7.5 million (about Rs 35 crore) as part of its strategy to expand into new markets.

"The deal is expected to further benefit Ashok Leyland in its endeavour to accelerate technology, new product development and address new markets," the company said in a statement.

As a result of the acquisition, ALL will get access to Optare's technology, including a modern range of mid-size and full-size city buses, which can be targeted at international global markets, the company’s statement added. "This strategic alliance is a critical part of our 'Global Bus' programme, which is under development," Ashok Leyland Managing Director R Seshasayee said. Under the agreement, Ashok Leyland will nominate two nominees on the board of Optare, it said.

Optare, in turn, will seek Optare, in turn, will seek to improve its competitiveness in the UK and its export markets through access to Ashok Leyland's lower-cost supply chain, collaboration in new product development and improved management of working capital





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Old 30th July 2010, 13:32   #2
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Few pics of optare buses in UK

1.optare solo
2.new optare solo
3.optare versa
4.optare versa
5.optare tempo
6.optare tempo
7.optare excel
8.optare excel
9.optare olympus on volvo B9TL chassis
10.optare olympus on scania N230 chassis
11.optare spectra-currently not in production
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Last edited by conjon : 30th July 2010 at 13:46.
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Old 30th July 2010, 20:03   #3
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A welcome news for bus fans in India.
Conjon its good collection indeed.
BTW how is the brand Optare been looked in UK. any idea

Last edited by Ashley2 : 30th July 2010 at 20:04.
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Old 31st July 2010, 03:16   #4
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The below stated is only WRT to low floor city bus application:
Volvo is the undisputed leader in the uk market among the chassis manufacturer,followed by Alexander Dennis in the city bus segment. Optare is probably third on the list followed by MB,Scania and MAN.

Among the major body builders its Wrightbus that enjoys a major marketshare,followed by
Dennis-plaxton a subsidiary of Alexander Dennis. Optare is probably, only third on the list. The other significant body builders are MCV and VDL.
Few operators like ARRIVA and London Central uses fully built MB Citaro and Citaro Artic(articulated).

It's in the mini bus segment that Optare has a large chunk of the market share. Their model Optare Solo and the newly introduced Solo SR comes under the mini bus segment.
They are available in various lengths from 7.1-10.3 metres and have three engine options:MB-154bhp,Cummins-201bhp,MAN-177bhp. Solo is an integral bus with chassis and body frame built as one piece.Biggest operator of solo's are Stagecoach Group. more than 4000 buses have been sold so far making it the most popular minibus in UK.
They also come as hybrids and few electric versions are on trial with various operators.

The optare versa was introduced at the end of 2006. They are available in lengths of 10.4 and 11.1m. Again comes with the above mentioned 3 engine options.These are popularly known as "spaceship bus". Slowly making inroads into the market. i'vnt seen many on the roads.

Optare Tempo is the regular low floor integral fitted with 282 hp MB engine and ZF/Allison transmission. Also a MAN and cummins engine option is available. The bus is available in 10.6m,11.4m,12m and 12.6m lengths.
Again not many are seen on the road when compared to the volvos.

Advantages of Optare:
Fuel efficiency for the above three buses are the best in class due to the light body made of GFRP(glass fiber reinforced polymer) composites and aluminium.

Disadvantages:
Too many niggles and failures, poor fit and finish. Commonly seen problems are with aircon, pneumatic suspension and interior body panels.

The sales have picked up rapidly with the new management takeover at the end of 2008 and reviews from bus forums suggest that Quality levels of the products have improved considerably. They have started investing into R&D of hybrids and electric buses. A Few of them are running in london.

Optare has its origins from one of the Bodyshops owned by British leyland.
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Last edited by conjon : 31st July 2010 at 03:32.
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Old 19th September 2010, 21:53   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conjon View Post
The below stated is only WRT to low floor city bus application:
Volvo is the undisputed leader in the uk market among the chassis manufacturer,followed by Alexander Dennis in the city bus segment. Optare is probably third on the list followed by MB,Scania and MAN.

.......
The sales have picked up rapidly with the new management takeover at the end of 2008 and reviews from bus forums suggest that Quality levels of the products have improved considerably. They have started investing into R&D of hybrids and electric buses. A Few of them are running in london.

Optare has its origins from one of the Bodyshops owned by British leyland.
Yep, you are right. Have seen very few optare buses in London. Seen most with Alexander Dennis with operators like Arriva and others. If I remember right, there is a sample bus at TFL transport museum. The buses do look quirky
Cheers !
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