On the initiative of the Ulm, Germany-based Setra brand, 40 young bus operators from Germany, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland as well as the Netherlands and Turkey recently came together in Prague for the mutual exchange of information and thoughts.
The overriding topic this year at the meeting of the Young Bus Operators, the eleventh to date, was the "change of generations." Along with lectures by experts, workshops and information of current interest from the bus sector, the agenda included a visit to the Willax bus company in Vilseck, Germany.
For Lothar Holder, manager, sales, Setra Bus and Coach Unit, EvoBus GmbH, these meetings, which take place every year in a different European city and often includes North American operators, have long since acquired highest importance for the harmonious interaction between brand and customers.
"Through and with the Young Bus Operators we are always up to date, get to know the problems of the generations of young entrepreneurs and can provide incentives," said Holder. "Entirely in the spirit of the Setra Family, the participants can establish new contacts in a relaxed atmosphere and exchange their ideas."
The Young Bus Operators began in 2000 with 20 participants and has now doubled in size.
"This form of exchanging ideas has become a tremendously important element of everyday business," said Marco Gössi managing director of the Swiss operation Gössi Carreisen.
With this opinion, the young entrepreneur and vice-president of the Professional Association of Swiss Bus Operators also voices the sentiments of other YBO members. International friendships have long since been formed among the participants and are cultivated outside the annual meetings too and, in some cases, even have resulted in the provision of active assistance when breakdowns occur.
"I can no longer imagine doing without these Young Bus Operator meetings," said Gössi.