Based on surveys of the major motorcoach manufacturers that sell vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, motorcoach sales from the participating manufacturers saw a drop of 52% in sales over the first quarter 2020, according to the latest Motorcoach Builders Survey released by the American Bus Association Foundation (ABAF).
The biggest drop in sales came in the mid-sized bus (40 to 44 feet) dropping from 67 buses sold in 2020 to only three sold in the first quarter of 2021. Forty-five-foot buses saw a decrease of 37% falling from 244 to 153 quarter over quarter. The small bus market saw a drop of 76% falling from 38 units to nine units sold.
Pre-owned sales over the same period fell by 52% from sales in the first quarter of 2020 at 219 down to 105 in the first quarter of the 2021.
“The COVID pandemic not only decimated the bus companies but also the suppliers who service in the industry as well,” said Peter Pantuso, president of the ABA Foundation. “If buses are not running and industry companies are shuttering their businesses, then they are not buying buses. This effect will be felt by the supplier sector of the industry for some time as companies struggle to get back up and running with little help from the government.
“The bus industry is the greenest and most affordable transportation sector and was moving more than 600 million passengers annually before the pandemic. If the United States wants to rebound from the effects of the pandemic and get Americans working again, it needs to support the motorcoach industry and its suppliers.”