Brent Maitland, MCI VP, marketing and product planning started things off by commemorating the fact that MCI is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2018. He also touched on the company's rebranding and the updates to the J coach series, including the transformation of the interiors with enhanced legroom, floorspace, and lighting functionalities, which allows customers to uniquely brand their image for themselves, he added.
Maitland also talked about the MCI's latest vehicle debut of the accessible D45 CRT LE, the new high-capacity commuter coach, which was on display. "The CRT LE is really our biggest development in twenty years," Maitland said. "We wanted to be able to deliver better accessibility for people with disabilities," adding that this would "set the tone for the entire D series moving forward."
NFI Group President/CEO Paul Soubry discussed recent company acquisitions including that of Carlson Engineered Composites. Insourcing of the fiberglass development will help the company to control quality, improve delivery performance and reduce costs for the company's bus manufacturing operations, he explained.
Soubry also talked about the acquisition of low-floor cutaway bus company, ARBOC Specialty Vehicles. "We have a target for 500 buses to be delivered this year," he said.
Ian Smart, MCI president talked about the company's work on new vehicle models, including a 35-foot model of the J series coach, aimed at smaller groups, which is currently being tested, with production planned for January 2019. He also talked about the availability of an electric prototype in 2020.
Service enhancements were another area of focus for the company, according to Smart, citing the recent opening of the Bay Area service center in Hayward, Calif.
To that end, Brian Dewsnup, NFI Parts president touched on the recent launch of the NFI Parts brand and the benefits and features of this new service, including an online web store featuring the availability of more than 8,000 parts online. The company is also developing a VIN searchability function to allow customers to narrow their search for specific products. Other developments include enhancements to the distribution network and warehouses, which will enable the company to provide customers with same-day service.
Patrick Scully, MCI exec. VP, Sales and Marketing, provided an overview of the company's growth, while MCI's VP, Engineering, JP Pelletier touched on future developments, including enhanced coaches for 2019 featuring a focus on operator features and total cost of ownership.