WINNIPEG, May 7, 2012 /CNW/ - (TSX: NFI) (TSX: NFI.UN) New Flyer Industries Inc. ("New Flyer" or the "Company"), the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in Canada and the United States announced today a long-term joint venture with Alexander Dennis Limited ("Alexander Dennis") as part of its strategy to pursue growth and diversification. Alexander Dennis is the United Kingdom's largest manufacturer of medium, heavy-duty and double-deck transit buses and coaches.
The two companies will collaborate to introduce a North American medium-duty low-floor bus (or "midi bus") specifically developed and tested to a 10-year operational life. This strategic partnership will build upon New Flyer's North American market leading position, manufacturing expertise and extensive aftermarket support network, with Alexander Dennis bringing demonstrated design expertise of quality midi buses, having delivered over 16,000 of this class of bus to customers throughout the UK, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.
"Transit operators are faced with unprecedented pressure to operate and adapt their fleets in today's tough economic conditions", said Paul Soubry, New Flyer's President and Chief Executive Officer. "With the escalating costs of fuel and maintenance, there are many of our transit customers' routes that do not require a full sized heavy-duty bus with a 12-year design life. Customers on both sides of the border have asked us to provide a bus that meets their needs for this application, but with the full support of New Flyer's broad aftermarket network of field service, warranty, training, publications and spare parts support."
"We also believe that private shuttle operators in North America are looking for a high quality product", Mr. Soubry explained. "In developing our strategy to support both segments, we evaluated our own midi design and compared it to buses in this class around the world. In the end the decision was quite simple - Alexander Dennis has a world-class midi bus that is modern, quiet, fuel efficient and provides the best value for our customers."
New Flyer estimates the market for this type of product could be approximately 1,000 buses on an annual basis.
"The decision to develop a strategic relationship with New Flyer was a simple one", said Colin Robertson, Chief Executive of Alexander Dennis. "We extensively researched the North American market and came to the same conclusion. New Flyer is recognized for its excellent reputation for customer care and product support and it is a great compliment to our specific product expertise. We look forward to working with New Flyer to merge all the benefits of our midi bus with New Flyer's commitment to lifetime customer care in North America."
Under the arrangements of the new joint venture, New Flyer is responsible for sales, marketing, manufacturing and aftermarket support with Alexander Dennis performing engineering, test and prototype development activities. Prototypes of the New Flyer/Alexander Dennis midi bus for North America will be built this summer, with a planned market launch in early 2013. The midi bus will be offered to both public transit and private operators and will have propulsion system options ranging from clean diesel, electric hybrid and compressed natural gas.
About New Flyer
New Flyer is the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in Canada and the United States. The Company's three manufacturing facilities - in Winnipeg, MB; St. Cloud, MN; and Crookston, MN - are all ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified. The Company currently operates a parts fabrication facility in Elkhart, IN and four PDCs in Winnipeg, MB; Erlanger, KY; Fresno, CA and Brampton, ON.
With a skilled workforce of over 2,000 employees, New Flyer is a technology leader, offering the broadest product line in the industry, including drive systems powered by clean diesel, LNG, CNG and electric trolley as well as energy-efficient diesel-electric hybrid vehicles. All products are supported with an industry-leading, comprehensive parts and service network.
New Flyer has delivered over 31,000 heavy-duty buses in Canada and the United States.
Further information is available on New Flyer's web site at www.newflyer.com.
The common shares and income deposit securities of New Flyer are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols NFI and NFI.UN, respectively.
About Alexander Dennis Limited
Alexander Dennis is Britain's biggest bus and coach manufacturer with build partnerships in Hong Kong, China and New Zealand. It has emerged in the past five years as one of the fastest growing bus and coach builders in the western world, doubling its turnover in the period to circa £360m (US$576m). It anticipates further growth of around 20% in 2012.
ADL is an acknowledged world leader in the development and manufacture of lightweight, fuel efficient, environment-friendly buses. ADL midi buses are world leaders, as are its two-tier buses, which form the backbone of double deck fleets in London, Hong Kong, Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Seattle.
ADL employs 1,900 people and has three principal manufacturing sites in the UK - its HQ facility in Falkirk, Scotland; at Scarborough in North Yorkshire; and at Guildford, in Surrey. The hub of its global parts and service operation is in Lancashire, England, backed by a series of support centres located strategically around the world.
Further information is available on ADL's website at www.alexander-dennis.com
This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to expected future events and financial and operating results of New Flyer and New Flyer Industries Canada ULC ("NFI ULC") that involve risks and uncertainties. The words "believes", "anticipates", "plans", "expects", "intends", "projects", "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, investors cannot be assured that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements, and the differences may be material. Actual results may differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including market and general economic conditions, the existence and size of the medium-duty transit bus market, the volume of buses in the medium-duty transit bus market purchased by customers from New Flyer and other manufacturers , the product is not in existence and has to be developed, tested, marketed and sold to customers, the bus developed for this market may not be in demand by customers, the economic conditions of and funding availability for customers to purchase buses and to purchase parts or services and the other risks and uncertainties discussed in the materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Due to the potential impact of these factors, New Flyer and NFI ULC disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.
For further information:
New Flyer Industries Inc.
Chief Financial Officer