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VDI prepares new-look Yutong line-up for 2024

VDI Australia and Yutong took massive strides in the Australian market in 2023, with more in store as this amazing partnership completes further new releases and events in the coming year

For the likes of Yutong and its Australian distributor VDI, 2023 has been another year of growth. Globally, Yutong unveiled its latest Yutong Electric Architecture (YEA) system technology for its new wave of zero-emissions buses in Zhengzhou, China while also taking home two major awards at the Busworld show in Brussels, Belgium.

In Australia, VDI continued its local assembly program to fulfil its 90-unit electric bus order for Transport Canberra, trialled the electric E12 model in the snow and unveiled its new C12E electric model in Australia.

In between this, it opened a new VDI branch in Perth, passed its C12 models through the Australian Design Rule (ADR) approval phase and took some of its major operator customers to the global Yutong factory in Zhengzhou.

This whirlwind would usually be enough for a break heading into the next year. For VDI and Yutong, who also made key appointments including new national sales and marketing manager Sara Clark, it’ll be gearing up for an even busier year in 2024.

“2024 will be yet another big year for the brand,” Clark told ABC.

“Whether it be the unveiling of more new models or an exciting array of events, VDI and Yutong are set for another productive 12 months.”

The year will kick off with a couple of much anticipated releases in the opening months, with the D7E and C10 models to be officially launched in Australia. The D7 has been welcomed locally, with the electrified version of this popular model set to gain plenty of interest from operators wanting a sustainable smaller alternative.

The introduction of the D7E will mean that VDI’s extensive fleet of Yutong vehicles in Australia will, for the first time, be available in both Euro 6 diesel and battery electric variants. With a range of seating capacities available from 23 to 40 passengers, the versatile model is another ideal school, tour or charter vehicle.

Yutong’s C10 will be part of VDI’s growing Australian fleet in 2024. Image Supplied: VDI Australia

On top of this, the C10 model is also expected to hit Australian roads in early 2024. The 10m long diesel Euro 6 model can take up to 43 passengers and is the perfect smaller version of the popular Yutong C12 model that has already made waves in the school, charter, tour and mining sectors. Clark says it is the ideal replacement for the older D9 variant.

“Our product team is working towards having the entire Yutong bus model range available in both Euro 6 and battery electric options, which is a massive boost for the VDI team,” Clark says.

Outside of these new releases, there’s a range of emerging electric models that will give VDI plenty to spruik in 2024. The C12E full electric model is also a popular vehicle for the school, charter, tour and mining areas, while Clark says the E12 full electric city bus is efficient and incredibly safe for metro passengers around Australia.

Despite having its electrified version arrive in Australia, the D7 will also continue to be delivered onto Australian roads to keep operators satisfied with the Yutong range of vehicles.

Behind all these innovative models is Yutong’s safety commitment. While its technology has increased remarkably in Australia through the latest influx of electric vehicles, VDI’s focus on safety features has also risen to the fore on these new models.

“We continue to equip our vehicles with enhanced safety features that are class leading and standard across the range,” Clark says.

“This includes our Yutong Electric Safety Standard system, or YESS, that provides the battery safety and fire mitigation required to minimise any risks of utilising a zero-emissions bus.”

To meet this increased demand, VDI has begun its own project to heighten its local content capabilities. In Eagle Farm, Brisbane, VDI has officially opened a new purpose-built facility to complete the local assembly of certain Yutong vehicles.

This includes the E12 low floor city bus, with the facility supporting the expansion of VDI’s Brisbane vehicle manufacturing program while also creating a centre of excellence for VDI’s technical training and local product support.

“As electric buses gain momentum in Australia, VDI can respond to it locally by enhancing safety and providing reliable products,” Clark says.

“VDI is also focused on continuous improvements to our social procurement policies, including our local and First Nations engagement plans.”

All of this leaves Clark and the VDI team with a lot to get excited about in the coming year. While the team continues to build its local presence and fulfil major orders for Yutong buses in Australia, they won’t stop spreading the innovations that VDI and Yutong can bring for local operators.

“The key feature of this model range we have is that everything is high quality and reliable,” Clark says.

“The growth that we’ve seen is incredible and it’s happening rapidly,
so it’ll be another exciting and big year for us.”

What to look forward to in 2024

Outside of the initial releases of the D7E and C10 models, VDI still has plenty on its plate for the year. VDI is already planning another tour with local customers to the Yutong factory in China in 2024 as it enhances its focus on technical training and battery electric bus industry development.

There will also be more new vehicles slated to be released at the National Bus & Coach Show in Brisbane to be held in mid-September, with the excitement to build up over the course of another jam-packed year for VDI and Yutong in Australia.

“From the new models on the way to the tours and events we have planned, there’s plenty that we’ll be doing in 2024,” Clark says.

“When these new vehicles join our existing range, expect to see a fleet that has enhanced safety features and the latest sustainable technology.”

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