SEATING: Styleride

By: Randall Johnston

The Australian public transport seating market is following an upward trend

SEATING: Styleride
Styleride’s premises and head office in Acacia Ride, Brisbane

Australian operators are investing more in seating in a trend driven largely by the upswing in the number of tourists coming into the country, according to one major seating supplier.

There has also been increased demand for city-route buses, recently which is helping drive sales of new bus seats.

Styleride’s Brisbane-based director Noel Dabelstein says there has been an ongoing upward trend in seating investment.

"This year’s been quite pleasing so far, and there are a few reasons for that," he says.

"There seems to be an even increasing investment in city buses around Australia, which is great for us and commuters in our ever congested cities.

Australia has become a cheaper country to visit too, due to fluctuations in the strength of Australian currency over the last six months.

"The Aussie dollar has driven tourism much higher, so tourist coaches are being ordered again," Dabelstein says.

 "The most growth we’re seeing is within tourism and orders for tour coaches, without a doubt and it is encouraging, because we haven’t seen this much demand for a while."

He also expects a tender to replace all school bus seats with seatbelt equipped seats in New South Wales to drive seating supply as well.

He is also confident about the potential of two for three seats and is expecting sales of these to be strong over the next few years.

 "If you think about the flexibility it gives operators as well, it’s a smart investment for not a lot more money really."

Styleride itself is getting a lot of work from bus and coach operators offshore too, particularly in New Zealand.

"We’re doing mostly coach seats for New Zealand at the moment. However recently we’ve done many coach seats for Fiji."

With all this market growth and the boom in Australian tourism, the organisation has big plans for the future.

"We have new designs in the making and have already done the testing for some."

The increased demand for city-route buses in tandem with the need for more tour coaches is helping 2016 shape up as a year to remember for Australian-based seating suppliers, who have found ways to prosper.

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