VILLAGE TOURS & TRAVEL ON GROWTH ROUTE; ADDS SEVEN NEW MCI® COACHES
DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS, SEPTEMBER 12, 2016: (TSX:NFI) (TSX:NFI.DB.U) Motor Coach Industries ("MCI"), a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc. (the "Company"), the largest bus and motor coach manufacturer in North America, says that Village Tours & Travel has put the lessons of the innovation book "Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast," to work. Through internal growth and acquisitions, the Wichita-based company has grown its size substantiality over the last several years.
MCI is proud to serve Village's growth since the beginning. Most recently, MCI has delivered five new MCI J4500 and two MCI D4505 coaches.
|Village Tours & Travel took delivery of two MCI J4500 coaches during MCI’s Reliability Rally held at the MCI Sales and Service, Des Plaines, Illinois, June 16. Marking the event are: MCI’s Aram Nikitas, VP Central Region; Patricia Ziska, VP New Coach Sales; Patrick Scully, EVP Sales and Marketing; Village Tours’ Ivan Moore, Jeff Johnson and Jeff Arensdorf, along with Paul Soubry, MCI CEO; Bryan Couch, VP and GM Operations; and Brian Dewsnup, VP Aftermarket.|
"We're replacing older models and growing our fleet at the same time," said Jeff Arensdorf, who has owned the 36-year-old company with his father Norm since 2000. "We've become much more than a retail tour company."
Village Tours continues to redefine ground transportation in the central Midwest and beyond. The company offers highly creative tour packages, charter and shuttle services and personalized service with access to travel agents, a friendly staff, and live chat website sessions.
It's also gotten good at expanding its regional footprint. This year, the company opened a new facility in Tulsa in addition to acquiring a coach operator with locations in Ft. Smith and Springdale, Arkansas.
"We're growing through acquisitions and organically," said Arensdorf. "Our Wichita business model, where we track our numbers and fleet utilization carefully, has worked very well for us. And we're replicating it in Oklahoma and elsewhere with success. We're aggressive about opportunities and look for businesses with a footprint similar to our own." Since 2011 Village has acquired eight bus companies within a 400-to-500 mile radius from its Wichita base.
Village Tours has a variety of unique trips and travel packages for popular destinations along with VIP access and transportation to concerts and sports events. Its package to last year's World Series — thanks to the victorious Kansas City Royals — sold out within days.
"We're known for having the best coaches and drivers in the markets we serve," said Arensdorf. "Our drivers get all the support they need 24/7 from dispatch to maintenance. We also give them excellent equipment and facilities. If they are happy, then our customers are happy."
And that's why Village Tours has stuck with MCI. With MCI's workhorse coaches, Arensdorf said he has peace of mind knowing Village Tours has vehicles that stand the test of time and travel. That peace of mind begins with the J4500's Cummins/Allison powertrain that delivers exceptional fuel economy and near zero emissions. "The J4500's fuel economy has been the best we've experienced." Arensdorf said. "It's one of the reasons we like them."
Passengers throughout Village Tours' markets will enjoy the ride in the new J4500s. The models boast a beautiful woodgrain-look interior, custom fabric and leather seating for 56 passengers. They also have patented spiral entryways that make boarding easy.
Furthermore, passengers enjoy state-of-the-art entertainment systems, access to power outlets, USB plugs and Wi-Fi.
Village Tours' drivers appreciate the J4500's handling features. Standard passive rear tag makes maneuvering easy in tight city streets and parking lots. Adaptive cruise braking delivers car-like control and new high-mounted loading lights make nighttime boarding easier.
The two MCI D4505 coaches will be used for Village's daily scheduled Bee-Line Express. Four D4505 coaches already support this service, traveling a total of 529,000 miles a year on four routes with multiple stops: Wichita-Pueblo, Colorado; Pueblo-Wichita; Wichita-Salina; and Salina-Wichita. As North America’s best-selling coach, the MCI D4505 offers reliable service with a high level of passenger comfort. “Simply put, the D4505 performs very well for this part of our business,” said Arensdorf.
But Village Tours' loyalty to MCI goes beyond the product.
"One of the main reasons we keep coming back to MCI for coaches is their commitment to be a part of our business. MCI's sales, service and support teams bend over backwards to keep us moving." That service includes MCI's online training — known as the Learning Management System — where Village Tours mechanics can complete courses and earn credits for new tools. "MCI has taken mechanic training to a whole new level. It allows us to attract and retain the best mechanics in the industry."
Founded in 1980, Village Tours began as a family-owned business with a single motor coach. Under the father-and-son team, Village Tours now stands as one of the largest, full-service charter and tour companies in the Midwest, with offices in Wichita; Oklahoma City; Tulsa; Salina and Fort Smith and Springdale, Arkansas. Today, Village's fleet includes 91 motorcoaches, and one mini-bus. The company plans more than 220 tours annually, offers traditional travel agency services, and operates daily scheduled service with Greyhound through Bee-Line.
With 240 employees, "I am delighted and surprised by how we've grown," said Arensdorf. "We could not have grown as fast and maintained our service-level without such a great foundation of folks that have been with us for a long time."
A third generation of family ownership is likely. Jeff and wife Nicole welcomed Adam Henry Arensdorf on July 14. He joins his brothers Andrew, 6; Alex, 4; and Aaron, 2 — who love going with dad to the office to "drive" buses.
Learn more at www.villagetours.net.
The Company is the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America with fabrication, manufacturing, distribution and service centers in Canada and the United States and employs approximately 5,000 team members.
Through its Canadian and U.S. subsidiaries, Motor Coach Industries Limited and Motor Coach Industries, Inc., the Company is the leader in motor coaches in Canada and the U.S., offering the MCI J4500, which is the industry's best-selling intercity coach for 11 consecutive years, and the MCI D-Series, the industry's best-selling coach line in North American motor coach history. MCI is also the exclusive distributor of Setra S 417 and S 407 in the United States and Canada. MCI actively supports over 28,000 motor coaches currently in service and offers 24-hour roadside assistance 365 days a year.
Through its Canadian and U.S. subsidiaries, New Flyer Industries Canada ULC and New Flyer of America Inc., the Company is North America's heavy-duty transit bus leader and offers the broadest transit bus product line (Xcelsior® and MiDi® models), incorporating the broadest range of drive systems available, including: clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, electric-trolley and now battery-electric. New Flyer actively supports over 42,000 heavy-duty transit buses (New Flyer, NABI and Orion) currently in service.
The Company also operates North America's most comprehensive aftermarket parts organization providing support for all types of transit buses and motor coaches. All buses and coaches are supported by an industry-leading comprehensive warranty, service and support network.
For further information, please contact:
Patricia Plodzeen Public Relations,
Jon Koffman, Investor Relations
Motor Coach Industries - A New Flyer company: Corporate Address 200 East Oakton Street, Des Plaines, Illinois 60018 | Phone: 866-MCICOACH
Copyright 2004-2017 Motor Coach Industries Int'l, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.