SLEEPER COACHES A GROWING MARKET IN INDIA
The bus market in India is around 120.000 units a year. A small part of this consists of a new niche market 'sleeper coaches'. Prakash Bus Corp. Pvt. Ltd. builds them on 3 axle Volvo chassis with a BS4 (Euro 4) engine. The 'sleeper coach' is relatively new and is considered an innovation in the Indian bus market.
The market for this type of coach is growing rapidly as mr. Subhash Kaul, Executive Director of Prakash Bus Corporation, explained at a factory visit for the foreign journalists. Up to 40 berths – single and double beds - is the capacity depending of course on the length of the vehicle. Several sleeper coaches were in production in the factory. The high-end bus market as it is called in India is yearly between 8,000 and 10,000 units. Although Prakash is using Volvo chassis for its more luxurious coaches, it also builds coaches on Sunwin chassis, Ashok Leyland and Bharat Benz, all with front engines. In this factory were mr. Subhash Kaul is director Prakash only builds sleeper coaches and occasionaly it does repair work. On the stand at Busworld India Prakash showed the new 30 berth sleeper coach 'Prakash Capella' based on Bharat Benz chassis. Also a 45+1 seater bus called 'Prakash Vega' based on Ashok Leyland Chassis was shown. Praksh builds their buses on truck chassis in a factory located in the centre of Bengaluru, with all the traffic goiing in the city a sort of logistical nightmare they confirmed. In India most buses are build on truck chassis. All of them having a front engine and a high floor. Prakash did good business at Busworld India and received an order for several dozens of coaches from one customer.
Another large manufacturer in India is MG Automotives. During Busworld India it launched three luxury coaches during a festive unveiling event. Amongst them the 'DreamZ', a 15 metre luxury sleeper coach with 40 berths based on Mercedes-Benz multi axle chassis SHD 2441 (408 HP, 1900 Nm) chassis was unveiled. Also a sleeper coach is the 'Glider Z' with 30 beds based for the first time on a Bharat-Benz chassis and then MG Group also unveiled the new 'Glider Seater' with 43 seats. At the MG Group they were especially pleased with the opportunity at Busworld India to discuss strategic tie-ups with other suppliers for tech transfer and product innovation.