Press Releases

MCI celebrates Hawkeye Stages’ 70th anniversary with delivery of new coaches

Des Plaines, Illinois, USA – May 31, 2024: (TSX: NFI, OTC: NFYEF, TSX: NFI.DB) Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (NFI) and North America’s motor coach leader backed by reliable in-field technical expertise, 24/7 roadside assistance, and parts support, today announced the delivery of two coaches to Hawkeye Stages. This delivery, which included an MCI J4500 and an MCI J3500, completed an eight-coach order and coincided with Hawkeye’s 70th anniversary.

Over the past two years, the Iowa operator purchased six 45-foot J4500 and two 35-foot J3500 coaches with custom interiors and luxurious passenger amenities. The MCI clean-diesel vehicles featured plush seating from Amaya, an enhanced REI® sound system, a rear window for more natural light, and Bendix® Wingman® Fusion – a leading Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) safety suite.

Designed for curb appeal and with best-in-class legroom, the MCI J-Series coaches were purchased to help fulfill Hawkeye’s strategy to keep a young, pristine fleet that is equipped with the latest safety options.

“The new models have brought the age of our 19-coach fleet to the youngest we’ve ever had, allowing us to maintain a quality brand standard,” said Steve Tjossem, the third-generation co-owner of Hawkeye Stages along with his wife Kari. “We are still a bit amazed to walk through the garage, seeing the stunning new MCI coaches and the competitive advantage – fire power –they provide us.”

Founded in 1954 by Tjossem’s father, grandfather, and uncle, Hawkeye Stages started with line-run service, moved into charters, added tours, and grew through strategic diversification and proactive customer service. In 2006, Hawkeye Stages started a new business called Legacy Tour & Travel, and later formed Legacy Student Travel. Now combined into Legacy Travel Group, the company has successfully provided a total travel experience under one umbrella for the past 10 years.

“All three customer segments have been critical to our success,” said Tjossem. “Each division makes the other stronger and allows us to operate more in line with who we want to be.” Today, Legacy Travel Group members are Hawkeye’s largest clients. The company has also maintained long-standing relationships with Luther College in Hawkeye Stage’s hometown of Decorah, Iowa and Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa that go back to the company’s earliest days.

With garages located in Decorah, Newton, and Waterloo, Iowa, the company has served customers from all over the state as well as parts of Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin. They’ve offered these customers travel options throughout the U.S. and elsewhere.

Hawkeye purchased its first MCI coach in 1982 and continued until 2000. After a pause, Hawkeye returned to MCI with its most recent order. “It feels right to resume and strengthen our partnership with MCI,” said Tjossem. “MCI’s post sales support has been excellent and provides reassurance we made the right decision. Good relationships hold more value than ever.”

Brent Maitland, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, MCI, echoed Tjossem’s sentiment. “We are happy that Hawkeye chose MCI for their new coach purchase,” he said. “We will continue to earn their confidence by providing a consistently high-level of service and support to keep their fleet on the road.”

Tjossem has worked to make way for the fourth generation of leadership by including his children Kirsten and Tanner Tjossem in the business. He has also built resolute employee teams by implementing a 36-hour work week and acknowledging the need for a healthy work-life balance.

“Our staff has a lot of autonomy, so it’s critical to have the right skill sets in place,” said Tjossem, who grew up working beside his father Lawrence Tjossem from early morning to late in the evening preparing buses for trips. “It has been a rewarding experience to be a part of this business. Our hope is that the next generation takes full advantage of the opportunity to learn and benefit from the vast experience in our company and then offer their fresh perspective to make us an even better business. We feel good about our future.”

About MCI

MCI is North America’s public and private market motor coach leader. Products include the luxury J Series (an industry best-seller for over a decade), the workhorse D Series, and the brand new zero-emission luxury and commuter coaches: the battery-electric J4500 CHARGE™, D45 CRT CHARGE™, and D45 CRT LE CHARGE™. MCI also provides maintenance, repair, 24-hour roadside assistance, parts, and technician training through the industry’s only Automotive Service Excellence (“ASE”) accredited and award-winning MCI Academy.

About NFI

Leveraging 450 years of combined experience, NFI is leading the electrification of mass mobility around the world. With zero-emission buses and coaches, infrastructure, and technology, NFI meets today’s urban demands for scalable smart mobility solutions. Together, NFI is enabling more livable cities through connected, clean, and sustainable transportation.

With 8,750 team members in ten countries, NFI is a leading global bus manufacturer of mass mobility solutions under the brands New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), MCI® (motor coaches), Alexander Dennis Limited (single and double-deck buses), Plaxton (motor coaches), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), and NFI Parts™. NFI currently offers the widest range of sustainable drive systems available, including zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell), natural gas, electric hybrid, and clean diesel. In total, NFI supports its installed base of over 100,000 buses and coaches around the world. NFI’s common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI, its convertible unsecured debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI.DB. News and information is available at www.nfigroup.com, www.newflyer.com, www.mcicoach.com, www.nfi.parts, www.alexander-dennis.com, www.arbocsv.com, and www.carfaircomposites.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to expected future events and financial and operating results of NFI Group that involve risks and uncertainties. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, investors cannot be assured that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements, and the differences may be material. Actual results may differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including market and general economic conditions and economic conditions of and funding availability for customers to purchase buses and to purchase parts or services; customers may not exercise options to purchase additional buses; the ability of customers to suspend or terminate contracts for convenience; production may be delayed or production rates may be decreased as a result of the pandemic or ongoing and future supply chain disruptions and shortages of parts and components, shipping and freight delays, and disruption to and shortage of labor supply; and the other risks and uncertainties discussed in the materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on SEDAR at www.sedarplus.ca

Due to the potential impact of these factors, the NFI Group disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.  

For investor or media inquiries, please contact:

Stephen King
P: 204.224.6382
[email protected]