ST. CLOUD, MN, Oct. 10, 2017 /CNW/ - (TSX: NFI) New Flyer of America Inc. ("New Flyer"), the U.S. subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc. ("NFI Group"), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, today announced that its Anniston, AL Vehicle Innovation Center ("VIC"), will open on October 12, 2017 .
The 36-acre, five-building campus is now home to the new VIC, North America's first innovation lab dedicated to the advancement of bus and coach technology that connects people to places with a focus on the environment. The VIC will officially open on Thursday, October 12 with a grand opening ceremony that immediately follows the conclusion of the American Public Transportation Association's tri-annual EXPO being held in Atlanta, Georgia.
The VIC mandate includes research, development, and evolution of electric, autonomous and telematics technologies. The VIC was created by New Flyer in partnership with North America's leading motor coach OEM - Motor Coach Industries Inc. ("MCI"), also a subsidiary of the NFI Group, and delivers on the Company's commitment to investing in U.S. innovation, jobs, infrastructure, and manufacturing.
"Developing safe and sustainable bus technology that Americans can rely on is a key driver behind our investment to create the Vehicle Innovation Center," said Wayne Joseph, President of New Flyer of America. "By leveraging 50 years of experience in zero-emission bus manufacturing, we look forward to advancing our industry with transit solutions that help preserve the environment while contributing to the development of smart, connected cities."
NFI Group has already invested US $4.1 million to create the VIC, and expects to invest an additional USD $5 million in developing its electric-bus manufacturing program. The investment, which is in addition to an ongoing US $25 million expansion of the Anniston facility, was supported by the City of Anniston, State of Alabama, and Alabama Power ("Southern Company").
Establishment of the VIC also includes development of an advisory group comprised of industry leaders that will be announced shortly. Through ongoing delivery of interactive experiences and collaboration with industry leaders, the VIC will feature a world-class manufacturing lab, exhibit space, and training areas to:
- Explore and advance bus and coach technology through sustainable research and development, fresh innovation, progressive manufacturing, and bold thinking;
- Foster dialogue through discussion, education, and training on the latest zero-emission and autonomous driving vehicle technologies;
- Engage learning through current and interactive exhibits, simulation and hands-on experiences, and observations;
- Generate energy and commitment to clean air quality, safety, and economic benefits for people, communities, and business; and
- Harness the positive influence of collaboration, environmental stewardship, and social change to advance mobility solutions.
New Flyer, MCI and numerous industry partners have contributed interactive learning experiences that highlight electric and autonomous vehicle technologies. Partners of the VIC confirmed to date include: Siemens, ABB, XALT Energy, A123 Systems, Parker/Vansco, Valeo (Spheros), Vapor Bus International (WABTEC), Powerex Inc., Ballard Power Systems, Hydrogenics, ChargePoint, Thermo King, EMP, Center for Transportation and the Environment, CALSTART, and Alabama Power.
The Anniston, Alabama campus, acquired by New Flyer of America in 2013, manufactures transit buses from high-strength steel frames and currently employs approximately 630 people. In 2015, New Flyer invested USD $20 million to transform the campus into a world-class manufacturing facility capable of producing New Flyer's Xcelsior® heavy-duty buses. The 2017-2018 expansion will add approximately 76,000 square feet, increasing Anniston campus space to nearly 380,000 square feet.
NFI Group has over 50 years of experience in manufacturing zero-emission buses (ZEBs) and employs more American workers than any other transit bus manufacturer in North America.
About NFI Group
NFI Group is the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, with 31 fabrication, manufacturing, distribution, and service centers across Canada and the U.S. employing over 5,800 team members.
It is North America's heavy-duty transit bus leader and offers the largest transit bus product line under the brand Xcelsior®, incorporating the broadest range of drive systems available, including: clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, trolley-electric, and battery-electric. NFI Group actively supports over 44,000 heavy-duty transit buses (New Flyer, NABI, and Orion) currently in service, of which 6,400 are powered by electric and battery propulsion.
NFI Group is also North America's motor coach market leader offering the Motor Coach Industries Inc. (MCI) J-Series, the industry's best-selling intercity coach for 11 consecutive years, and the MCI D-Series, the industry's best-selling motor coach line in North American history. MCI is also the exclusive distributor of Daimler's Setra S 417 and S 407 motor coaches in the United States and Canada. MCI actively supports over 28,000 coaches currently in service.
NFI Group also operates North America's most comprehensive parts organization, NFI Parts™, providing parts, technical publications, training, and support for its OEM product lines (transit buses and motor coaches). All buses and coaches are also supported by an industry-leading comprehensive warranty, service, and support network.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to expected future events and financial and operating results of NFI Group that involve risks and uncertainties. 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 and economic conditions of and funding availability for customers to purchase buses and to purchase parts or services, customers may not exercise options to purchase additional buses, the ability of customers to suspend or terminate contracts for convenience 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, the NFI Group disclaims 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.
SOURCE New Flyer of America Inc.
For further information: Jon Koffman, Investor Relations, Ph: 320-316-4964