Goodbye Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Hello, Luxury Bus?
Bus manufacturer Delphi will soon be selling a luxury three-bus version of its top-selling R1e luxury bus, the company announced Wednesday ahead of its annual General Meeting in the Swiss city of Geneva.
The decision to go upmarket is a logical one, says Delphi marketing director Jules Sibler, who said he would welcome the luxury bus market.
“One of the things we think is nice about the R1e is that it can seat 12 people,” he says. “It is the oldest generation of our bus. But we are quite clear that by 2015 we want to be selling a bus with a more luxurious look and feel.”
The three-bus version has been in development for several years now. Sibler says it will take place in 2017 and will be rolled out across the country to all Delphi dealer areas by 2018.
It will cost between £14,000 and £16,000 more than the standard four-seater bus, but Sibler says the increase in price will be made up by the premium added by the more luxurious interior.
“We feel that by offering an extra seat in the front you are going to have a premium product and you’re going to get a premium price for that seat,” he says.
The luxury bus will have a three-year warranty and can be customized with a number of extras. These include front, rear and even two-seat options on the roof, as well as additional seating and a new exterior colour.
A new ‘open’ exterior colour will also be offered with a sunroof for the rear seat passengers.
Delphi was founded in 1947 as a coach manufacturer, and still produces some of the world’s most well-known vehicles, including the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Bentley Mulsanne.
It is the company’s most profitable division, with exports worth £1.9 billion last year. It