I’m just back from Madrid where the FIAA show, completely dedicated to bus and coach, is always a worthwhile one. I had thought that with the problems the Spanish economy is facing, the big impact this has had on new registrations as well as losses from the ranks of the manufacturers, notably Tata Hispano, it might be a downbeat affair but not at all. Irizar celebrated 125 years, Sunsundegui has two new models, Indcar has a new model and a tie up with Castrousua, Noge – which I thought had closed – has a new owner and a new model, Beulas had the new front engined Gianino and there were many other innovations besides.
On the bus front, it was the first show for Irizar’s new i2e electric integral, there was a new model from Castrosua and Carbus showed the diminutive Wolta low floor mini – surely one of the odder bus names of late.
Ferqui and Unvi are both saving their new Vario replacement offerings, the C5 and the Voyager, for next week’s event in Birmingham, though Indcar, now working with the associated Moseley companies, did have the Next on display.
I had thought that the UK was pretty much the only market in Europe where Euro5 engined product was still readily available but it was clear that the same is true in Spain where five of Beulas’s nine exhibits were Euro5 powered. Perhaps it is just as well because there was widespread concern that sales could have been higher this year if Euro6 chassis had been available more readily, especially at the smaller end of the market.
I’m spending the day writing it all up in order that you can read all about it in next week’s edition and then next week we’re off to Birmingham for Euro Bus Expo to do it all again. This time I’ll be taking a coat and leaving the sun cream at home. Bus & Coach Buyer will be there all three days, so hopefully I’ll see you there.