By: Fabian Cotter

BREAKING: Volgren has signed the biggest bus supply deal in its four-decade history, extending its contract with Volvo and the Public Transport Authority (PTA) of Western Australia, the state’s government-run transport operator.

A pretty big deal: Volgren and Volvo set to supply 900 buses over the next decade to the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (PTA).

The contract extension is Volgren’s third with the PTA. All buses will be built on Volvo chassis and assembled locally in Volgren’s Perth manufacturing facility located in Malaga.

Peter Dale, CEO of Volgren says he was thrilled and honoured to extend the company’s involvement with the PTA beyond 20 years.

"Volgren has partnered with the PTA since 1999, delivering more than 1800 route buses on-time and on budget.

"Our association with Western Australia and the PTA is one of the longest and most successful in the history of the Australian bus industry, and it’s a partnership that we’ve never taken for granted."


Dale says the fact some of the first vehicles supplied to the PTA are still in operation – or are only now being retired while still in excellent order – spoke volumes about the quality of Volgren’s engineering and overall product.

"The value we provide to the PTA comes from an unrivalled whole-of-life bus cost. We are proud to offer a bus that, with its advanced engineering and unique Co-Bolt design, ultimately delivers savings to the people of Western Australia," Dale said.



The new deal secures the jobs of 81 people employed at Volgren’s 15,000-square metre, purpose-built manufacturing and service facility in the state’s capital. 

The Malaga facility is quickly becoming an economic hub, connected to more than 140 businesses, many of them small, Western Australian-run ventures.

Volgren estimates there are approximately 150 Western Australians employed outside the company in the local supply chain as a direct result of the work Volgren creates.

"The new contract provides job security and continuity to around 140 local businesses that rely on the collaboration to employ significant numbers of people and, in some cases, to remain feasible."

"We’re committed to investing in the state’s skilled workforce and, under the new contract, we plan on increasing local fabrications and securing a local sub component manufacturer."

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Dale concludes that a company-wide focus on continuous improvement and lean manufacturing techniques has given Volgren the increased capacity to comfortably meet high delivery demands from operators.

"Volgren’s ability to deliver large volumes of buses on a national scale, on-time and on budget is already well established." 

"Our Perth operation is perfectly positioned to meet the PTA’s new bus schedule and anticipated fleet growth of roughly 30 per cent."

The first Volgren-bodied, Volvo BR8LE prototype is expected to be delivered in August, 2019. Full production will commence in October and 66 buses will be delivered to the PTA in the first 12 months.

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Volvo Bus Australia has been announced as the winning chassis contractor for the supply of up to 900 buses over the next decade to the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (PTA).

Similarly to Volgren, this is Volvo’s largest order to date in Australia. Volvo will supply the units together with Volgren Australia, which will manufacture the bus bodies at its purpose-built facility in Malaga, 11km north of Perth.

Volvo will remain prime contractor under the new deal, which is the second long-term contract from the PTA for the global bus and chassis manufacturer. An average of 90 buses will be delivered per year for up to 10 years, with an initial five-year deal, and an option for a further five years.

"With the latest order the PTA continues to put strong confidence in the Volvo team. We have a wonderful opportunity to continue our strategic long-term partnership, supporting the PTA and their operators for the next 10 years and beyond," said Lauren Downs, general manager of Volvo Bus Australia.

"Together with our strong dealer partner, Truck Centre WA, we are extremely proud and humbled by the announcement that not only recognises our latest offer to the PTA for future deliveries and support, but also the high quality products, service and support delivered by the Volvo Bus team over the last nine years throughout the previous contract," Downs said.

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The contract will initially see the supply of Volvo’s latest Euro 6 B8RLE buses.

"The Euro 6 Volvo B8RLE is well proven both in the Australian market and globally, and continues to set the industry standard for fuel efficiency, drivability and lifecycle costs," Downs said.

Truck Centre WA (TCWA) has partnered with Volvo as its servicing dealer for more than 50 years and employs more than 240 staff across its WA network. The new deal directly secures the jobs of 17 personnel at TCWA, and three Volvo employees in Perth – including an additional field service engineer.

The new contract is Volgren’s third with the PTA.

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Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said:"METRONET is about more than just building train lines and major infrastructure, it's also about ensuring public transport is an efficient and comfortable way to get around.

"This contract is an excellent example of local business working together with big players, combining WA suppliers and international expertise to create the best possible product for our local bus market, securing local jobs and opportunities.

"By delivering a modern, accessible fleet of buses, we're ensuring the best network will be available to service this need as our city grows."

WA State Transport Minister Rita Saffioti added: "The 900 buses to be built by Volvo Australia and Volgren as part of this contract will be on our network for decades, which is why a trusted supplier is vital to the success of the fleet.

"The capacity to upgrade to new, greener technologies in the future - if such tech becomes competitive - is yet another way we're futureproofing our transport network in WA.

"I hope to return to Volgren's facility in Malaga to see the first locally manufactured bus roll off the assembly line later this year."

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