China bound


BCI launched its Sydney distribution centre this week with a smaller than expected attendance at its official opening, but with big plans for the future

China bound
China bound

By David Goeldner | March 18, 2011

A select group of NSW bus operators attended BCI’s Sydney distributor launch on Wednesday night, with one guest winning a free trip to China.

About 30 guests were given a close look at a selection of BCI’s fleet range, including a new Classmaster 57, the third in line out of their Xiamen factory in China.

BCI CEO Ivan Furlanetto says Sydney coming into being is to support and grow the local metropolitan market.

"NSW is developing as a good market for us, and we need to be here so that we have national representation," he says.

But Furlanetto believes BCI has no intention of being the biggest supplier of bus product in Australia.

"We don’t want to be the biggest and I don’t believe there is any need to be the biggest," he says.

"What you need to be is a company that can support, sustain and have customers who repeat purchase from you."

BCI as a company will celebrate its twentieth year of operation later in 2011.

"As a company assembling product from the Chinese market it’s been about six years, and we are growing at rate that is sustainable and developing other markets, not only in Australia," says Furlanetto.

He says BCI is working in other markets, primarily New Zealand, the USA, the Philippines, Vietnam and India to sustain growth.

"The past two years have been good for all of us with the investment allowance and spike in sales, and that was clearly evidenced for BCI in January last year."

Furlanetto referred to Murrays’ continuing support of BCI, acquiring 40 vehicles in 2010 and involved with the Sydney launch through bringing one of its coaches from Canberra for display at the opening.

"Out of a fleet of 150 that’s a large acquisition and obviously everyone wants to have that type of business (sales) and if they weren’t happy with the product they wouldn’t be displaying here tonight."

He says Murrays BCI coaches have so far clocked up 1.3 million kilometres, plying the mostly Sydney to Canberra run.

But where Furlanetto sees immediate potential for BCI in Sydney is through spare parts supply.

"Whilst we are a WA-based company, you have a three hour time zone difference, which is quite good when it comes to spare parts," he says.

"When its 5pm in Sydney its 2pm in WA and air freighting is well within time."

Furlanetto says by locating the dealership at a major transport hub around Milperra, and with three dealers along the east coast – spare parts supply should be covered.

BCI Sydney Dealer Principal Peter Chinnery says quick access to spare parts will be critical to the success of the dealership.

"We’ve begun to put our spare parts department in place, and it’s our intention to build a well-stocked facility," he says.

"If there is something we don’t have we will source it from Brisbane or Perth."

He says the service department will be responsible for preparing new vehicles for sale and carrying out warranty repairs.

Chinnery says his main role is to service customers that had been difficult to access in the Sydney metro area as well as those in regional areas further south.

Also supporting BCI’s new venture in Sydney is Chinnery’s wife Marcelle who takes on the administration and operations management role at the distribution centre.

BCI executives Desmond Armstrong, Ivan Furlanetto and Michelle Nazzari also attended the launch.

"These three people have been very supportive of the development of this facility," Chinnery says.

The lucky door prize of a trip to China with BCI’s operator’s tour coming up in May was won by Murrays National Compliance Manager Jerry Cole.

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