MCI rings in 2020 with a decade’s worth of advances: Battery electric, new telematics and Next-Gen D-Series coaches to roll into a new era
DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS, JANUARY 13, 2020: (TSX:NFI) Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., (“NFI”), one of the world’s largest independent global bus manufacturers, is setting new standards in zero emissions highway transportation, operator efficiency and uncompromising service in 2020. Rolling out its biggest year of product launches in nearly nine decades, MCI introduces its first battery-electric models in the new year.
And that’s just the start.
For motor coach operators, 2020 offers an opportunity to explore new markets and territories with an expanded MCI vehicle lineup that leverages the company’s long-held reputation for leading coach models, customer support, parts, service, training and best-in-industry low Total Cost of Operation (TCO).
“MCI is entering a time of extraordinary innovation that supports new markets in over-the-road transportation, and everything we’re designing and building today is intended to help operators support their customer base and expand into new markets,” explains Ian Smart, MCI President. “As part of NFI Group, MCI is bringing more resources, expertise and shared experience in the North American coach and bus market than any other competitor in design and technology for low operating cost.”
Patrick Scully, MCI Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Customer Service, affirms that 2020 will not only deliver advancements in product but also in aftersales service support. “We have expanded hours of operation and enhanced service offerings at MCI Service Centers together with a focus on delivering technical field solutions quickly and efficiently through our field service team. We’ve been working to deliver the best product and service network in North America with day-to-day support that operators need from the largest most experienced field service base in the industry, and we see 2020 as a continuation of that effort,” says Scully.
Here’s what’s coming in 2020:
MCI goes battery-electric: MCI will debut its battery-electric J4500e and D45 CRTe LE CHARGE coaches; with units on the road in demonstrations and testing in 2020, primarily with operators offering commuter or employee transportation programs. MCI augments its electric coach offerings working closely with sister company New Flyer, which builds the battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE™ buses equipped with XALT USA-made batteries, and its Infrastructure Solutions team to help develop successful deployment of electric charging infrastructures to operators’ specifications.
MCI’s J4500e and D45 CRTe LE battery electric models are designed for operators with intercity and long-distance routes and varying operating conditions. While the J4500e will deliver maximum battery-electric range to the employee and commuter shuttle market, the MCI D45 CRTe LE offers zero-emissions capability in a Buy America compliant coach with unprecedented accessibility for all passengers — including those using mobility aids — thanks to a mid-coach Low-Entry vestibule with seating and retractable ramp access that allows faster boarding for all passengers.
Orders are being taken now for both CHARGE coaches.
Emphasis on reliability, easy maintenance and fuel economy: The 2020 MCI J4500 and new J3500 offer parts compatibility, and new technologies that make the industry’s best-selling coach family even more reliable. The swing-out electric e-Fan cooling package launched last year, is available to help fuel efficiency on both models, while the J4500 now features the lighter, more efficient X12 Cummins engine as standard.
Opening new markets: New J-Series coaches also deliver MCI luxury with something extra: best-in-class legroom, seating and luggage capacity for groups that want to go big — or a little smaller. In 2019, MCI turned its product-tailoring strengths to help customers grow in the luxury coach market, as well as give operators a small-group option with its J3500 coach. Today, MCI’s new Livery Edition line offers new and pre-owned buyer’s models with sleek, all-black exteriors and high-end cabin touches including diamond-stitched leather seating. MCI builds new J-Series stock Livery Edition models throughout the year for inventory, while its pre-owned division converts well-maintained J4500s into Livery Editions per operator specifications.
Data-driven transportation leadership: Available as standard equipment on some 2020 MCI J4500 models and planned for a full 2021 launch, MCI Connect Telematics will help support improved uptime and responsiveness by predicting failures, updating key systems remotely and collecting important operating data for operators. Beta testing is underway, with over 200 units in the field; MCI field support, technical service and ERSA teams will use the Telematics information to improve responsiveness and diagnostics of vehicle field issues.
MCI’s million-mile testing of coaches with the new system have shown that the combination of MCI Connect Telematics, J4500 Cummins X12 and new eFan system delivers an astounding 10% overall fuel economy improvement versus the prior Cummins ISX engine with e-Fan.
Operators are invited to speak to their MCI sales representatives to learn about or test the easy-to-use MCI Connect app and web portal and participate in using and providing input to improve system functionality.
At MCI, it’s safety first, safety always: MCI continues its ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) leadership with next-generation collision mitigation. Operators can select our Bendix Fusion option, which integrates a forward-facing camera with vehicle recognition software to detect and help stop the coach to avoid stationary objects, recognize traffic signs and offer warnings on lane changes to drivers. A state-of-the-art 360-degree camera is also available as an option to provide a bird’s eye view around the coach for better maneuvering at low speeds.
A next-generation D-Series: The popular MCI Commuter Coach offers even greater options in 2020 with a D45 CRT LE that can be equipped with either clean diesel or battery electric and the all-new model variants of the next-generation D-Series to fit operator needs. The D4520 high-floor, tour, charter and line-haul focused coach and the D45 CRT high-floor Commuter Coach for public transit will launch later in 2020.
Wider inventory, easy ordering with NFI Parts: MCI’s alignment with NFI Parts provides complete inventory, fast delivery, industry leading orders systems and savings for customers. NFI Parts is an OE supplier of MCI parts and has multi-brand bus and coach parts always in stock to accommodate operators with diverse fleets for one-stop shopping and value.
24/7 MCI service as close as your driver’s smartphone: The new MCI Operators App from NFI Parts offers instant access to drivers guides, instructional videos and more. That’s in addition to expert technical assistance, emergency roadside assistance and industry-leading rapid response on all service issues from MCI, which offers the largest, most extensive in-field technical support team in North America coupled with expert maintenance and heavy-duty repair at MCI Sales and Service Centers across North America. The new App is downloadable at the App store or Google Play.
Top training for your team at MCI Academy: MCI Academy is home to the motor coach industry’s only ASE accredited training program and the only Motor Coach Technician Apprenticeship Program registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. MCI Academy not only helps operators preserve their hard-working, multi-brand fleets—it also helps operators train, attract and retain top technicians.
With 9,000 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 (the industry best-seller for 14 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.
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