BCSA joins Bonluck as BCI reorganises distribution

Bus and Coach Sales Australia has formally separated from Bus and Coach International

BCSA joins Bonluck as BCI reorganises distribution
BCSA joins Bonluck as BCI reorganises distribution

By David Goeldner | January 13, 2012

Following Bus and Coach Sales Australia’s move to act as Australia and New Zealand’s sole distributor of Bonluck Buses, Bus and Coach International (BCI) has reacted quickly with a yet-to-be-named distributor to cover BCSA’s former territory.

Until December, BCSA held the distribution rights for BCI’s buses in Queensland, NSW, ACT and a shared arrangement in Tasmania, but has ended the agreement.

"Things have changed from our previous trading, and there’s no ill feeling at all on the change," Hood says.

He adds there was no acrimony in the decision to leave BCI.

"It’s purely a business decision that we made to take our business to the next level."

Hood says the majority of buses sold through BCSA’s Queensland-based dealership over the past five years have been Bonluck buses badged as BCI, but will now retain the BLK badge,

"We would be the largest seller of imported buses in Australia, and the majority of those buses came out of the BLK factory," Hood says.

Since late 2006, Hood says BCSA have sold about 450 BCI-BLK buses.

Hood says the new agreement with Bonluck has allowed BCSA to streamline its business.

"It’s allowed us to sell product throughout Australia and New Zealand whereas before we were confined to a few states," he says.

Hood says direct access to BLK’s factory in China provides for a significant expansion in BCSA’s business across Australia.

"You will see new BLK product coming through in February and March, with changed appearance and components," he says.

BCI CEO Ivan Furlanetto says that while BCI and BCSA enjoyed a good relationship, a ‘fork in the road’ was reached where directions and objectives became contradictory.

He says this change in direction was evident in BCSA joining Bonluck.

Furlanetto says BCI had earlier parted ways with Bonluck as it struggled with maintaining quality control.

He says these issues included maintaining continuity of production and difficulty in identifying parts used in the build process at Bonluck’s Nanchang factory.

While a number of new entrants have meant greater competitiveness for automakers, Furlanetto says BCI will not be prepared to compromise its core values.

"We will lead in engineering and technical design and push forward in quality, offering operators who acquire a BCI a long-term cost-effective return on investment," he says.

Furlanetto says that with many new entrants to the Australian market, times are changing for bus automakers.

"Profit margins are narrowing for manufacturers and dealerships, and being an innovator is more important than ever," he says.

"We’ve looked at these changes and see restructuring our business model as an important step to move forward, enabling a new price list for BCI buses, making the acquisition of an established Australian brand more appealing,"

Furlanetto says local dealership restructuring commenced with the opening of the BCI Sydney dealership in January 2011 and the departure of dealer representative BCSA in late 2011.

Meanwhile the number of North American BCI dealership representatives has increased three-fold over the past twelve-months, he says.

"These steps have been an important part of BCI's expansion strategy and represent steps in the company’s geographical expansion plans in both local and foreign markets," Furlanetto says.

Together with the Sydney dealership, BCI is negotiating with a dealership group to cover distribution following BCSA’s departure.

"BCI has approved service agents located across Queensland to service operators and we are in the final stages in signing up with a dealership group that has three locations in regional Queensland to give the necessary representation," Furlanetto says.

"A factory presence in the Brisbane area is also in the pipeline."

Furlanetto believes these recent changes reflect BCI’s long-term vision.

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