Brisbane coach builders enjoying more deliveries

By: Chris Thompson

With delivery rates on the rise, two Brisbane businesses have their schedules full

Brisbane coach builders enjoying more deliveries
“In the frame shop they’ve just commenced number 915." -Chryss Jamieson, Coach Design

Not far from Archerfield Airport in Brisbane’s south, two workshops are constantly bringing in bus chassis and sending out luxury coaches.

July was the first month this year during which Australian bus deliveries cracked three digits, but Coach Design and Coach Concepts are both keeping up just fine.

The two builders’ sheds are just across the airport from each other, but a bit of friendly competition never hurt anybody.

Design, which has been around since the 80s, is booked out for the next year and a half says managing director Chryss Jamieson.

"We can’t rush anything through… all the sheds are full, which is great."

He says despite the huge workload, buses are moving along quickly.

"We’re getting there faster than we thought, we’ve got Coachworks doing some work for us, and we’ve had to up our own production a bit as well.

"In the frame shop they’ve just commenced number 915.

"By early 2018 we should have built our 1000th vehicle, which will be a bit of a milestone for us.

Across the airfield, there’s some room for expansion in the Concepts sheds.

Glen Plumb, alongside other co-owners Mark and Scott Gamer, say they’ve got plenty of space left in the shed before they’ll need to move out.

"We’ve got a really good base of loyal customers, so every year we get large orders while still being able to take on smaller orders from new customers," Glen says.

"It’d be about 24 coaches and a dozen buses – so 36 a year.

"It’s a bit future-proof here, so even when we’re busy there’s plenty of room to expand."

He says he, Mark and Scott try to slowly build up to remain viable after seeing the drop in production a couple of decades ago.

"That was probably due to air fares becoming cheap, and a lot of coach building companies were massive… maybe 300 or so staff.

"When you only get 20 jobs a year that’s not going to work, but a modern coach builder can do 30 or 40 jobs a year and that’s sustainable."

Coach Design and Coach Concepts with be featured in the September ‘Bus & Coach Bodies’ issue of ABC Magazine.

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