Motor Coach Industries (MCI) unveiled the J4500 with a new tighter-turning ZF axle system with independent front- and tag-axle suspension; and smooth-stopping Bendix braking with optional Wingman, a radar-based adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation at the UMA Expo in New Orleans this week.

The company also showed the two-door Setra S 417 with club corner lounge and new Voyage Ambassador seats.

In addition to the robust ZF axle system and Bendix ADB 22X braking system, the newest version of the J4500 features a new Denso alternator that’s headed for a million failure-free miles in field service and is just one of the many changes that significantly improves reliability.

During a press briefing at the event, MCI’s CEO Rick Heller; VP, Sales and Marketing Patrick Scully; and VP, Marketing and Product Planning Brent Maitland discussed some of the new changes as well as provided an outlook on the company and its areas of focus for the year ahead.

“We want to be the absolute best partner we can be to our customers,” said Heller.

He added MCI’s main focus continues to be on improving the reliability of its coaches so operators can be confident when they purchase an MCI vehicle, enabling them to get the most for their investment.

Additionally, Heller explained that the company is making a major investment in improving its quality at its manufacturing plants and working better with all of its vendors to improve the reliability of MCI’s vehicles. He also discussed improvements in MCI’s improved aftermarket parts fulfillment, touting the company’s ability to ship “coach critical orders,” in full, 95% of the time within 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Scully said that it’s a “pretty exciting time at MCI,” while touting MCI’s lowest cost of ownership and its continuance as the market leader in the industry.

Bosch Proving Grounds fuel economy tests show that the MCI J4500 can save thousands of dollars a year in fuel versus its competitors while retaining more residual value, for a total 10-year advantage that exceeds $30,000, according to the company.

MCI also had several Setra officials on hand to speak with the customers about the newest Setra S 417, which on the show floor included a new second door, TopSky roof, a rear window and club corner lounge seating.

MCI officials also discussed their sponsorship for the new eRating.Org Driver of the Month Award in conjunction with the Certification for Sustainable Transportation at the University of Vermont.

The monthly award was created to honor drivers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in using and promoting eco-friendly driving behaviors and idle-free practices. Applicants can nominate themselves or others, and the contest is open to drivers of all coach makes and models. Winners will receive an award certificate and be recognized online through social media outlets.

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