Van Hool announced that it will begin building a factory in Tennessee in the second half of 2018, De Tijd reports.
“From 2020, we want to produce 400 buses per year with about 500 employees,” said CEO Filip Van Hool. “In time, we think the factory will have about a thousand employees.”
In 2014, the Koningshooikt, Belgium-based bus builder opened a factory in Macedonia, where almost 800 buses are made per year. The lower wage costs ensure that Van Hool can play a part again in order to win orders where the price is decisive. The coaches with high added value are only made in Belgium.
“In the U.S. there is a Buy America Act, which means that the public authorities can only buy buses that have been manufactured for the most part in their own country,” said Van Hool. “Thanks to this new factory, we can now also comply with this and focus on the gigantic market for public transport. It is even bigger than the private market of the coaches, of which we have about one-third.”