The first of Mellor’s electric Orion E 16-seat minibuses in left-hand drive are now on their way to Europe as the Rochdale-based company hails 2017 as an important year.
The year saw Mellor announce expansion plans for its Rochdale plant, launched new products including Orion E and begin a foray into European sales, while parent company Woodall Nicholson acquired Treka – the Sprinter specialist which has had a record sales year following consolidation into its core products.
“It’s been a different sort of year for Mellor,” said MD John Randerson. “It’s been good in terms of overall sales, following development work in 2016; without that earlier work, we wouldn’t have grown into these new markets.”
Mellor’s Strata lowfloor found stage carriage buyers to the north and south of the country, as pressure on marginal routes made the Sprinter-based coachbuilt a cost-saving and effective stop-gap, with mainstream durability.
“We’re now starting to see initial orders from Europe, and Orion E demonstrators are on their way to our new European distributors; Netherlands already have theirs, Germany will have one before Christmas and in the New Year, a third is going into Sweden,” said John.
John said that mainland Europe has a ‘clearer path’ to funding electric vehicles than the UK, especially as UK funding streams are targeted at full-sized buses.