Cline tours keeps growing with the MCI J-series — adds six new J3500s and one new J4500 to its all-MCI coach fleet
DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS, AUGUST 27, 2019: (TSX:NFI) Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., (“NFI”), one of the world’s leading independent global bus manufacturers, is helping Mississippi-based Cline Tours grow with a total of six new J3500s – MCI’s flexible new 35-foot luxury model — and a new bestselling J4500.
One of the standout growth stories in the industry, the Ridgeland, Mississippi-based tour and charter company has been an MCI customer since 1996 when owner John McCommon acquired Cline Tours and its one MCI coach. Today Cline operates a diverse fleet of nearly 190 coaches, mini-buses and sleeper coaches, along with more than 120 MCI J-Series coaches operating from nine locations throughout the Southeast. Cline continues to be one of the top operators with the largest fleet of newer J-Series coaches in North America.
McCommon’s earlier experience with 40-passenger buses led him to this major investment in MCI’s new 35-foot model. “We experimented with 40-seat cutaway buses, but it got to the point where we wanted to step up and get something that would live up to our expectations,” he said. “When we learned MCI would be building a J3500 model, we knew it would meet our passenger comfort and operational requirements.”
Cline’s new J3500 coaches are built to the exact same specifications as its J4500 models. They feature industry-leading legroom in a 40-seat capacity, lavatories, best-in-class interiors, the RGB variable lighting package offering programable interior color options, and the optional next-generation ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System). The system, Bendix’ Wingman Fusion, integrates a radar, camera and braking system, providing always-on Collision Mitigation with Stationary Vehicle Braking (SVB) as well as adaptive cruise control with braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and traffic sign recognition.
“Anything safety-related, I will gladly spend the money on to keep our drivers and passengers as safe as we can,” said McCommon, who highlights his coaches’ safety features to customers in personal presentations and during the MCI J4500 Safety Systems video the company features on YouTube and its own website.
A team of 300 safety-dedicated employees and Cline’s insistence on a young fleet with the newest passenger protection systems are the mainstays of the company’s success, says McCommon. He also applies those standards to potential acquisition targets. When purchasing other operators, as Cline has done recently, McCommon buys those names, puts them in the vault, and rebrands the businesses under the Cline moniker. “Our reputation is very good and when you have as many buses as we do people take notice.”
Learn more about the company at www.ClineTours.com.
With over 8,900 team members operating from more than 50 facilities across ten countries, NFI is a leading independent global bus manufacturer providing a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under brands: New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), Alexander Dennis Limited (single and double-deck buses), Plaxton (motor coaches), MCI® (motor coaches), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), and NFI Parts™. NFI buses and motor coaches incorporate the widest range of drive systems available including: clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, and zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell). In total, NFI now supports over 105,000 buses and coaches currently in service around the world. NFI common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI. News and information are available at www.nfigroup.com, www.newflyer.com, www.mcicoach.com, www.arbocsv.com, www.alexander-dennis.com, and nfi.parts.
Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is North America’s public and private market motor coach leader, building the J4500 J4500 (the industry best-seller for 13 consecutive years), the all-new 35-foot J3500 model, and the workhorse D-Series including the breakthrough ADA-accessible MCI D45 CRT LE Commuter Coach offering lower dwell times. MCI will add battery-electric propulsion in 2020. With nearly 30,000 MCI coaches on the road, MCI also provides maintenance, repair, 24-hour roadside assistance, parts supply through NFI Parts, and technician training through the industry’s only Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) accredited MCI Academy.