Australian based bus body builder Volgren has scored a big export order in one of the world’s most highly competitive bus markets, Japan winning an order for 29 low floor buses from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Bureau of Transport.

This latest order from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which operates close to 1,450 buses in the Tokyo region is Volgren’s single biggest deal since entering the Japanese market in 2014 with its articulated route bus.

Volgren has established four key customer relationships in Japan since 2014, including its ongoing association with the Nishitetsu Railway Company, Japan’s largest bus operator.

Volgren Chief Executive Peter Dale said the entry of the Volgren Scania N280UB E6 chassis low floor city buses, are the first of their kind in Japan.

“In a short space of time, Volgren has built a reputation in Japan for manufacturing high quality, niche vehicles in areas that local manufacturers currently do not supply into.”

“There’s currently no local Japanese bus body manufacturer producing a complete low floor bus, the only other option being buses from Europe that are non-compliant to Japanese regulations and not equipped with any Japanese specific equipment upon delivery to the customer.”

“The low floor route buses for Tokyo Metropolitan Government, to be built in Dandenong, will be 100 per cent compliant to Japanese vehicle specifications including its complex onboard passenger information systems, ticketing equipment and emergency exit requirements.”

“This ready to roll solution is well received by operators and is one of the key planks to our success in Japan” Dale explains.

Dale said Volgren’s engineering quality and technological innovation means that their buses are now desired around the world.

“Tokyo Metropolitan Government is one of the most progressive bus operators in the world. It’s recently taken delivery of the first Toyota fuel cell bus and by ordering a complete low floor solution through Volgren, its sending a message to local suppliers – update and be more flexible to passenger requirements, or we’ll go elsewhere,” Dale said.

The complete low floor city buses will improve ease of access, increase capacity and better cater to Tokyo’s ageing population.

The first of two homologation units, ordered by Scania Japan, will go into build in two weeks, as part of the pre-registration process.  Production of the remaining buses will commence in May and be completed by August 2018