FIRST AUSSIE YUTONG BUS-ASSEMBLY PLANT: BRISBANE, EARLY 2022

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Yutong VDI


BREAKING: A vast array of additional Australian bus-manufacturing jobs will need to be fulfilled given local Yutong distributor Vehicle Dealers International (VDI)’s first bus assembly plant being ‘green-lighted’ – initially for Brisbane – early 2022, it has been announced.

FIRST AUSSIE YUTONG BUS-ASSEMBLY PLANT: BRISBANE, EARLY 2022
According to VDI Yutong, these jobs will be in addition to its current employment level in Australia, which provides extensive sales, service, parts and technical support for its range of Yutong buses and will cover a vast array of job types, both skilled and unskilled.

Yutong - the world’s largest bus manufacturer – is due to bring its advanced bus building techniques here to Australia via VDI, increasing local jobs to create, "…the most environmentally sustainable vehicle in Australia," VDI explains. 

In response to a growing Australian market requirement for local content, VDI Yutong has signed a ‘Drivable Knock Down’ (DKD) agreement with Yutong HQ in China to undertake a local assembly programme, which will initially involve the extremely popular E12 battery electric low-floor city bus, VDI confirms. 

The forecasted sales of the E12 will require a substantial facility and Australian workers to complete the assembly and finishing of each vehicle, Yutong VDI explains. 

With plans "well advanced" to start the DKD programme at a selected Brisbane workshop early 2022, discussions are continuing with a number of state government departments regarding the possible location of additional sites in NSW, ACT and Victoria, it adds. 

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‘ROLLING GLIDER’ 

To avoid giving up the advantages of the globally successful Yutong E12 electric bus’s monocoque construction, the vehicles will arrive from the factory as a ‘rolling glider’, VDI explains. That is, they will then receive the entire internal fit-out, as well as many other major components once it arrives in Australia, utilising as much locally sourced materials and components as possible, it says. 

VDI managing director Peter Woodward, said: "We have so far invested considerable time and effort to develop this project to meet the needs of our customers and we will look to expand it to include other models in our range - including buses that we are yet to release.

"We are looking to have the DKD programme up and running ASAP – and, with the extensive capabilities of the world’s largest bus manufacturer, Yutong is once again showing it can meet the needs of Australian bus operators

"No doubt the large number of jobs that we will be looking to fill, not to mention the increased jobs required by local goods and services suppliers to meet our demands, will be appreciated as the Australian economy continues to rebuild to pre-Covid levels," Woodward added. 

According to VDI Yutong, these jobs will be in addition to its current employment level in Australia, which provides extensive sales, service, parts and technical support for its range of Yutong buses and will cover a vast array of job types, both skilled and unskilled. 

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ABOUT VDI 

Wholly Australian owned and operated, Vehicle Dealers International (VDI) is part of the Woodward family’s CaPTA Group and has held the sole distribution rights for Yutong buses in Australia since 2017, it explains. 

CaPTA currently employs more than 250 people in Australia - including in Yutong Bus Centre branches based in Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Additionally, both WA Hino in Western Australia and Adtrans in Sydney are VDI’s Yutong-authorised dealers with full sales, service and parts support available when its customers need it, it states. 

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ABOUT YUTONG 

At 1.12 million square metres, the Yutong factory is recognised as the largest in the world with a maximum daily production capacity of 445 units and totalling more than 60,000 units annually, it states.  

Ranging from its D7 27-seater, 39-57 seater school and charter buses to its battery-electric (BEV) E12 zero-emission 44-seater city bus, Yutong has a range of vehicles to easily satisfy the needs of the Australian bus operator, it says. 

Committed to investing 3-5 per cent of its total annual turnover into research and development to ensure the highest quality, safety, reliability and comfort of its products, the factory incorporates: a very large R&D facility; the latest robotic production techniques; a fully automated ‘world’s best practice’ corrosion-protection method; and computerised vehicle painting system - to ensure each product is designed and engineered to meet Australian Design Rules and constructed to last 25 years, it explains. 

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