UK bus manufacturers suspend production

The UK’s four largest coach and bus manufacturers have each suspended production as a result of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Alexander Dennis (ADL) and Plaxton have undertaken “an orderly idling” of manufacturing operations that will allow “a quick and efficient restart” at the group’s factories.

Field engineers remain on call and ADL is “working closely with suppliers to ensure that spare parts are available as needed,” says CEO Colin Robertson. The AD24 digital aftermarket platform continues to function fully.

Mellor has temporarily closed its Rochdale site, but General Manager James Vince says that normal business and aftersales support remains in place via the manufacturer’s usual contacts.

Optare has suspended production at its Sherburn-in-Elmet plant. Aftersales service is subject to prioritisation, but the company says its parts supply and call centre operation is continuing.

“We will make every effort to deliver on service and parts orders,” Optare says in a statement. “We will keep customers advised of any changes to this policy and our proposed return to normal operation.”

Like other bus manufacturers, a pause in production by Wrightbus is in place. It will last until 20 April, but that date will be kept under review, says CEO Buta Atwal.

“We understand that this is a difficult time for all concerned and we are seeking guidance from the government on the measures it will be taking to protect the UK manufacturing industry and its workforce.”