ALEXANDER-DENNIS AIMS TO CONQUER THE LEFT-HAND DRIVE MARKET
Alexander-Dennis is known worldwide as the largest builder of double-deckers. The iconic red double-deckers might as well be the business card of London, but in Hong Kong too, this manufacturer has traditionally been the undisputed number one.
Being located on an island, the British manufacturer can only tap into major new markets by also offering left-hand drive buses. Outside the United States (2006) and subsequently Canada and later Mexico (2016), Alexander-Dennis now definitively gained its foothold on the European mainland with the sale of 19 double-deckers to the Swiss PostAuto.
Although double-deckers are slightly more expensive to purchase than their articulated counterparts, double-deckers do offer a number of benefits such as lower maintenance costs (no turntable), better manoeuvrability and a smaller ecological footprint. Two articulated buses cannot stop one after another at the same bus stop, two double-deckers can.
Everywhere in the world, the population leaves the countryside to settle in or near the cities. This makes the average travel time to the centre longer. Studies have shown that travellers are not willing to stand as soon as the travel time reaches 10 minutes. The top deck of a double-decker offers seats only, it is quieter, the outside view is phenomenal, engine sounds are barely perceived and if the operator looks for a bit of decoration, you will find yourself in a coach. These positive experiences are very much needed if our government want to persuade more commuters to leave their car at home.
Cities like Berlin want to replace their entire double-decker fleet (400 pieces) by cleaner buses, quite an opportunity for Alexander-Dennis. Other European cities consider replacing articulated buses by double-deckers. With a century worth of double-decker knowhow, Alexander-Dennis is very well placed to profile itself in this market segment. We may expect more double-deckers on the continent in the years to come. At least, that is what ADL promises us.