Alexander Dennis Inc. (ADI) continues to increase its North American footprint and underline its long term commitment to supporting this significant market with a multi-million dollar investment in a manufacturing hub in Nappanee, Ind.
ADI is part of the North American arm of Alexander Dennis Ltd. (ADL), the world’s biggest double-deck bus manufacturer. ADI has engaged with a contract manufacturer to produce double-deck buses in Nappanee since September 2014. From Dec. 29, 2016, ownership of assets and the facility lease wholly transitioned to ADI, who take over the entire operation.
ADI will invest in excess of $1.5 million to transform the existing facility with an improved customer reception area, office space and team member facilities, including refurbished break rooms. The project is slated for completion by March 2017.
The company will optimize manufacturing efficiency by consolidating all operations at the Nappanee site into one 127,000-square-foot building rather than the previous smaller footprint spread over multiple buildings. A second body assembly line will be added to the existing two lines (one chassis, one body) which will more than double weekly output. One body assembly line will focus on the world’s best-selling three axle double-deck, the Enviro500 13’6 model and one on the new Enviro500 SuperLo model.
The Enviro500 forms the backbone of fleets in Seattle, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York, Ottawa and Toronto. A further iteration of this best-selling model, the Enviro500 SuperLo, at a unique low height of 12’10, is set to transform the interurban transport landscape across the continent by resolving the challenge of low-bridge restrictions, which had previously curtailed double-deck services on some routes. Due to engineering expertise and innovative chassis design, the height saving has been achieved while maintaining the current, spacious interior saloon dimensions which maximize passenger comfort, according to the company.
Metrolinx, the Government of Ontario’s transportation authority for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, who already have a significant fleet of Enviro500 buses, placed an order for the brand new three-axle Alexander Dennis Enviro500 SuperLo double-deck buses in November 2014, with the first vehicles in service since summer 2016.
These vehicles are designed to deliver an exceptional passenger experience. On-board comfort is a core focus as the vehicles carry up to 81 seated passengers in a contemporary environment with reclining seats, individual reading lights, armrests and air vents as well as being wheelchair accessible and having an expansive luggage compartment of more than 6 cubic meters.
From January, the team in North America will number in excess of 250 full time members and a combined parts and manufacturing footprint of over 251,000 sq. ft. (21,480 sq. m).