Ritchies Transport to add 120 new buses to fleet

By: Jason Whittaker


New Zealand company Ritchies Transport Holdings is to buy 120 new buses from DesignLine over the next four years to

New Zealand company Ritchies Transport Holdings is to buy 120 new buses from DesignLine over the next four years to bolster its nationwide school bus fleet.

The NZ$21 million investment will be the single biggest by a New Zealand company in the school bus market and will replace Ritchies’ existing school bus fleet.

Andrew Ritchie, a director of Ritchies, says the company is investing in New Zealand-made buses because of their quality and safety features.

"We wanted to invest in a New Zealand company, after all, it is New Zealanders who we are carrying around the country," Ritchie says.

"We could have looked at second hand Japanese buses, but their emission levels are too high, and we could have gone for a cheaper Chinese version, but they are just not the quality of DesignLine’s buses."

The buses will be a mix of 40 and 48-seaters and will have the latest in emission controls. The first is expected to roll out of DesignLine’s new Rolleston factory in March.

"Another reason we signed with DesignLine is because they have the capacity to handle such a big order, and if we need to accelerate the programme at any stage, then they are able to do this," he says.

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