By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Volgren

BREAKING: Australia's largest bus body builder Volgren has celebrated producing its 5000th bus out of its Dandenong, Victoria, headquarters, it was announced recently.

“This is a huge achievement for Volgren and we’re pleased to be a part of it...” Ventura's managing director Andrew Cornwall said..

The milestone vehicle - an Optimus low-floor route bus - was handed over to operator and long-time Volgren partner Ventura Bus Lines (Ventura) during a ceremony attended by staff from both companies. Also part of the event was the first bus ever manufactured by Volgren, the VG001, which is owned by Ventura.

Volgren chief executive Thiago Deiro says this was a great achievement for the company and that seeing the two buses together demonstrated just what an emphasis the company has placed on quality over four decades.


"This is a proud moment in our company’s long history. You don’t produce this many vehicles over this many years without dedicating yourself to manufacturing excellence and to providing operators with buses they can trust," Deiro said.

"This first Volgren bus – with more than 850,000 kilometres on the odometer and still going strong – is symbolic of what we have built our reputation on: reliability, quality, innovation and long-term value for our partners. It was the first aluminium bus ever built in Australia."

Deiro says it was fitting that Ventura, a business based in Dandenong and connected to Volgren for decades, should receive the bus.



"Our bases in Perth and Brisbane are superb manufacturing facilities, but Dandenong is the engine room of Volgren’s manufacturing operations. In fact, the suburb of Dandenong is one of Victoria’s great manufacturing hubs.

"Ventura has become an iconic figure in Victoria’s public transport sector. They carry more than 32 million customers across Melbourne every year and we’re thrilled that they have our first, and now our 5000th, bus."


ABOVE: (L-R) Michael Hourn, Ventura’s general manager for Fleet and Maintenance; Andrew Cornwall, managing director, Ventura; Thiago Deiro, Volgren CEO; Jim Jones, commercial manager Volgren; and Jim Pittas, sales representative Volgren.



Volgren’s relationship with Ventura spans 40 years, although the body builder has only been supplying buses since 2011. In that time, it has built more than 250 vehicles for Ventura and, in 2018, announced a four-year contract extension with the Victorian operator.

Accepting the bus from Volgren was Andrew Cornwall, Ventura’s managing director, saying the company was delighted to be a part of such a momentous moment.

"This is a huge achievement for Volgren and we’re pleased to be a part of it, but not just for symbolic reasons," Cornwall explained.

"The Optimus low-floor bus is widely considered one of the best vehicles of its type in Australia and we’re always enthusiastic to bring another one into our fleet.

"We’ve developed a strong and collaborative relationship with Volgren, and together we produce better buses for the travelling public, for our drivers and for all Victorians," Cornwall said.


Deiro adds that the Ventura-Volgren partnership would continue to strengthen thanks to a shared confidence that one party can always expect value from the other.

"The value we provide to Ventura 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, delivers the lowest cost-of-life savings to Ventura," Deiro said.



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