Strong interest in KingLong Midi

The combination of good luggage and passenger capacity, plus a range of options – all in a rear-engine format – are making the King Long 9m 6900 midi coach a strong seller, says King Long Direct Sales Director Ray McNally.

Speaking at the Coventry dealership’s debut two-day Road Show at its Ibstock Road HQ, Mr McNally says that being able to offer 35 seats, or 31 with toilet, in a full-size style coach at 134,950 is proving very attractive to operators, especially following the demise of the Vario-based Plaxton Cheetah.

He expects to announce an order for 18 of the 6900 midicoaches, from a major operator, shortly. The latest operator to take delivery of a 6900 is London-based Anderson Travel.

The Road Shows – which continue throughout this month around Britain – also offer operators the opportunity to see two-axle and three-axle versions of the 6129/6130 coach, billed as ‘luxury as standard’, with a comprehensive specification. This includes leather seats, toilet, DVD player with three monitors and power sockets at every seat, in the standard price of 179,950 for the 49-seater 12.2m two-axle version, or 229,950 for the 13m tri-axle 57-seater.

Mr McNally adds that the Road Shows also give operators the chance to test drive coaches from the range. All coaches come with a two-year bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Another model attracting increasing attention is the two-door 6120 day-coach. It is most popular in its 12.9m form as a school coach, with 73 Prime seats in 2+3, priced at 150,000. The latest deliveries of the school coach – on show at the Coventry event – are to Prospect Coaches of Lye, Stourbridge, and Leons of Stafford. A 68-seater 12.2m version is priced at 146,000. It is also available as a 12m 55-seater for 149,000, or 12.9m 59-seater for 153,000.

Mr McNally says that while Euro 5 versions are still available, the “window of opportunity” is fast closing as the derogation deadline draws closer.

Euro 6 versions – with DAF engines – will be offered shortly and the first are expected to be revealed at 4-6 November Euro Bus Expo. Also to make its debut at the show will be a 10m version of the midicoach, as a 39-seater, or 35-seater with toilet. Another announcement at the show will be the introduction of model names, replacing the standard Chinese system of letters and numbers.

The next Road Show was held on 3 September at Beaconsfield, with events following on: 10 September, Hilton Newport Hotel, Newport NP18 2LX; 17 September, Harrogate showground HG2 8NZ; and 19-20 September, Holiday Inn Express, Motherwell ML1 3RB. All shows run from 0930-1630hrs.