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Built to endure

Volgren has unveiled its new school-charter bus the Endura, the ‘brother’ of Optimus

July 24, 2013

Australia’s biggest bus body-builder has unveiled its new school-charter bus, following hot on the heels of the launch of the company’s landmark new citybus, Optimus.

Volgren’s updated school-charter bus has been named Endura, and features similar design features to Optimus, including stylish front LED lights.

General Manager of Sales and Marketing Tony Kerr says the exteriors of both buses gave the Endura and Optimus a similar ‘feel’, in the same way car-makers design their vehicles to have a similar family look.

Volgren unveiled both Optimus and Endura at this year’s BusVic Maintenance Conference and Bus Expo.

The bus builder’s flagship citybus was redesigned following a three-year research and development project costing more than $3 million.

The redesign of the Endura began later, following the 75 percent acquisition of Volgren in December 2011 by the Brazilian bus manufacturer Marcopolo.

“The Endura was the first collaboration between Marcopolo and Volgren to create something new, and involved engineers from Brazil working with our design team to produce this outstanding new vehicle,” Kerr says.

He says the new design was about aligning the looks of the two main Volgren products, and incorporating some key design elements of the Optimus bus.

“We made changes to the front, the rear and a new modular rack system, which has produced very positive customer feedback.

“For the Endura it was not a revolutionary change but an evolutionary change.’

Kerr says Volgren’s employees were involved in choosing the name Endura.

“The name suggests it will be long-lasting, and this typifies Volgren’s products which are designed to last for 25 years and longer.

“The name Endura will also resonate with the market because of its whole-of-life cost benefits and the value the product delivers.”

Kerr says Volgren’s school-charter buses had performed for decades in some of Australia’s toughest mining conditions, with some models still running perfectly after more than 25 years.

“Certainly the all-aluminium body and our patented Co-Bolt system combine to make a tough, corrosion-free body that is perfect for harsh environments,” he says.

“In the mining sector, some buses are used for only five years or so before they go on to the second-hand market.

“Endura will prove its worth here, too, because of the high residual value Volgren buses command compared with other models.”

Endura will begin rolling out of Volgren’s factories in September.

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