British bus company Optare has appointed a new Australian and New Zealand distibutor, the newly formed Bus Corp Oceania (BCO).

BCO is a specialist vehicle distribution and after sales organisation that is supported technically, financially and logistically by one of Australia’s largest automotive groups and will strengthen Optare’s representation and help expand the brands market reach on both sides of the Tasman.

BCO has appointed Jason Pecotic to head up the new distributorship. Pecotic brings more than a quarter of a century of experience in the automotive industry including many years in the bus and coach distribution sector and will lead a team that will focus heavily on after market support for Optare customers across Australia and NZ.

BCO has been formed to handle the task of selling and servicing the full range of innovative and advanced British designed and built Optare buses.

BCO will be based in Melbourne with a network of service providers around the country.

The first round of staff recruitment has begun with BCO targeting to have a complete aftersales and spare parts division fully operational within eight weeks, operating from BCO’s Moorabbin premises in South East Melbourne to ensure the most efficient and effective back up in the bus industry.

Jason Pecotic says his main focus will be ensuring existing and potential customers have faith in the brand and can purchase with peace of mind that the back up the local organisation can and will provide is second to none.

“Our strategy is to target aftermarket support and to provide exactly the sort of infrastructure and support networks we have to have in place to ensure those buying Optare can be satisfied in their purchase,” he said.

BCO has recruited highly experienced bus sales professional Guy Pex as the national sales manager. Pex has worked with Optare in Australia over the past few years and brings a wealth of knowledge about the brand and the bus industry.

The company will also work closely with Optare’s Australian representative, Shannon Taylor who will provide direct factory support from the Optare Group within the region.

“It’s an exciting time to be joining the Optare family with its proven low deployment costs, packaged with running cost saving high technology as well as a passenger comfort focused bus range,” said Jason Pecotic.

“The timing of this announcement is perfect as Australia and New Zealand enter new rounds of operator contract tenders and government procurement negotiations,” he said.

Pecotic says BCO has a fleet of demonstrator vehicles available for operators for trial purposes and as the supply of units increases will build that fleet to a level where no operator should have to wait long for their personal experience.

“We believe with Optare proven low fuel consumption and low deployment we will save millions of dollars for operators’ contract costs, which has benefits for every public transport budget in the region”, added Pecotic.

Optare is confident that its strategy to invest into Australia and New Zealand and introduce new products to provide a complete range of urban buses will provide the foundations to grow Optare into one of the key bus suppliers for this region.

“Optare buses are highly advanced and offer some significant advantages for operators thanks to the high technology weight saving monocoque construction, advanced electronics and low emission power options, so it is vital that our sales and service staff are well trained and understand the products,” he added.

Optare’s monocoque design means its buses can be as much as 1.5 tonnes lighter than ladder chassis equipped competition.

Optare’s line up of buses ranges from the entry level 27 seater 7.9 metre Solo midi model through the 9.9 metre Solo, the larger Tempo and flagship Metro city bus along with a new double decker, the Metrodecker.

The latest technology Cummins turbo-diesels will power most Optare buses in Australia mated with Allison automatic transmissions while Mercedes Benz power is also available in some models. Pure electric (EV) powered versions are also available across the range.

Optare has close to one hundred years of history and expertise in bus manufacturing growing out of the famous Leyland brand.

The company is highly skilled in design, build, and sales and service of buses aided by the latest technology to deliver buses designed and manufactured for a global market.

Parent company, Ashok Leyland, is part of the Hinduja Group which boasts annual revenues of $AUD2.5 billion and is ranked amongst the top four bus manufacturers in the world.

Optare has been successful in securing a number of key public transport sales across Australia and New Zealand in the past few years and the appointment of BCO as the new distributor will ensure the solid foundation will built on with a significantly increasing fleet of Optare buses on Australian and New Zealand roads.