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Ankai british partner

[2010-03-22]

Source: Autobizreview

Where the Big Bus tourism line extent, Ankai’s double deck buses are possible to be there. It is an interesting China-foreign cooperation mode for coach industry. 

Such a bus, to grab your eye ball easily even it stands there unpretentiously with its 4.2m height. However, the sponsor still makes it up deliberately for nothing but adding this exposure. 

Overall its red printed with British flag in the middle, and Shanghai EXPO logo & British pavilion dandelion ‘Experience the UK in Shanghai Expo’ on the above and below. A full-view windshield embedded on its staid and sharp face cover, the AK logo flickers resplendently by bunches of colorful balloons.

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Ankai double deck open-top bus

All these key words divert you to a certain product, with no doubt; it is the double deck open-top bus will appear on the Shanghai Expo which was born in Hefei, Anhui. On the date of 15th, March, 2010, it has been sent off from No.1 Gefei Road, Hefei, by two days tramp, exhibits at the entrance of Grand Crown holiday, Chengdu and dressed up again.

It is believe that everyone still remember the double deck bus in the “London 8 mins” on the Beijing Olympic Games closing-----the double deck open-top buses have long been the symbolic landscape on the London high streets. It is naturally therefore that the British China embassy shows special preference to this product and picks this one which can present British culture and feelings to start itinerant exhibition for Shanghai Expo.

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In the morning at 18th, March, a full-dressed bus takes on the board of the British Chongqing consul-general Mr. Nicholas Whittingham, UK public transport experts, enterprise representatives and media personnel, etc go across the Tianfu avenue with thousands of glances. For without words, by the sponsor’s every little effort, this bus surrounded by crowded people and received ever courteous reception during the only one hour’s parking at the well-known Kuan-Zhai alley square.

The football and food lover, Mr. Nicholas Whittingham wears white T-shirt, stands on the bus’s low floor inviting Chengdu civilians to Shanghai Expo experience UK pavilion which built with 60,000 seeds and encourages the low-carbon daily transport. According to the schedules, in the following 12 days, this bus will visit and have an exhibition in Chongqing, Changsha, Nanchang and Fuzhou, then be back to Shanghai finally.  

By journalist’s known, this bus operator is from Britain. Most Chinese possibly are not sure whether Big Bus builds or sells buses, but in fact, it purchases worldwidely the buses in accordance with its requirements and adds some adjustments on, then put those on the run. During the Shanghai Expo, these buses will provide transport service for the Huangpu tourism line.

The Big Bus Company is a family business at the earliest, its business started at 1991 with two double deck open-top buses; initially it conducted modification works then purchased some totally new buses with its development later, so far the Big Bus Company has became the largest operator for double deck open-top buses already and its business has penetrated from London (U.K) to Dubai (U.A.E), Philadelphia (U.S) and Hong Kong & Shanghai where one day city-sightseeing available. At present it owns up to 120 units of double deck open-top buses on the London high streets and has built the constant cooperation with local buses supplier.   

Taking account of the brand consistence, the Big Bus Company applies the similar exterior design on the buses operated everywhere but minor modifications on the mechanic assembly; for instance, to equip different engines in accordance with the emission requirements by different sites, two axles or three axles, alternatives for the internal decorating and full open-top or half open-top.

Just as other operators who are keen to explore overseas markets, the Big Bus Company turned its eyes on China in 2007, and at that time, it has the first contact with Ankai.

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The story stems from the 10 tourism buses in Dubai. Ankai supplies the prototypes soon as the requests by the Big Bus Company; Ankai too responses its amend opinions again and again-----the Big Bus Company is very much satisfied with Ankai’s attitude and the spacious space offered by the monocoque technology, in particular, after the senior management reciprocal visits, it is no doubt that both parties upgrade the relationship from the initial cooperation to strategic collaboration.

The Big Bus Company’s business operation mode decides it must keep hand in hand with buses suppliers, as informed by managing director Jeffrey Guan, prior to developing a new city, they will discuss with local partners in order to decide the operation mode on the basis of the local market situation, and the basic method is to find a competitive local tourism agency to operate a line with joint efforts. However, “no matter in what city, no matter in which the way to cooperate, firstly we must assure Big Bus brand, assure our service quality and management level.”

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From 2007, the cooperation between two parties has run smoothly, the Big Bus Company has purchased 46 units from Ankai successively, if adding the coming 8 units which will appear on Shanghai Expo, the total number is up to 54, and the products are far advanced rather than the beginning.

Jeffrey Guan states: “Our operation mode relies on vehicles supply very much, therefore, on matter we source locally or overseas, the vehicles supply is the priority. The reason why we cooperate with Ankai is ensure us can better meet up the market desires.”

In 2009, the Big Bus Company has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Hong Kong and put 5 three-axles double deck open-top buses on the run which emission exhaust reaches Euro V standard, again, those produced by Ankai. As Jeffrey Guan said, the next far-east step for Big Bus Company is Shanghai and “We are seeking the opportunities actively.”

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Moreover, there still exists another big project. By the Journalist’s concern, parties are considering other developments, for example, US prototypes & UK prototypes, and other prototypes for Europe. The UK prototypes will be forged soon, and Ankai will undertake the homologation works to ensure vehicles approved by UK market by the end of this year, then supply as per order.

Generally speaking, the UK buses homologation requirements bring into correspondence with the Euro homologation requirements, even higher than UK. Hopefully, through the cooperation with the Big Bus Company, it is much possible for Ankai to conquer the UK market then spread to other European counties.

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“We hope the cooperation with Ankai can go much further.”Jeffrey Guan said:“This is to say, wherever we go, we can always use Ankai buses. Nevertheless, it needs both parties’efforts and close cooperation.”


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