Volgren has increased its investment in New South Wales by strengthening its Services Business and bolstering its customer relations as part of the bus maker’s ongoing commitment to the state.

This includes a wider offering in the services area, particularly using the Tomago spray paint facility, and the appointment of a new key account manager based at the Volgren services business in Prestons, Sydney.

The moves follow the company winding back its bus manufacturing operation at Tomago due to a slump in government orders, and placing the facility on ‘standby’, ready to resume production when orders pick up.

‘We remain committed to providing our customers in NSW with the best after-sales service in the country, which backs up the best buses available in Australia,’ said Tony Kerr, Volgren’s General Manager of Sales and Marketing.

‘A core strength at Tomago is our state-of-the-art paint facility, where we have two paint booths and ovens, plus the nine-bay workshop where we can carry out accident repairs and refurbishments.’

The paint booths allow paint specialists to spray a whole bus – even an articulated vehicle – rather than paint one panel at a time.

‘We also have the best equipment at Tomago, including hydraulic straightening equipment that allows us to straighten any pillars or structures that are bent in an accident,’ said Mr Kerr.

‘Most importantly, we have the equipment that allows us to build and repair panels for any model of bus, including traditional steel-made buses. We can even make new panels for old models, where the manufacturer is no longer in business.’

Volgren’s services offering includes minor accident repairs, vinyl repairs, glass repairs and replacement, electrical repairs, spare parts, free quotes, vandalism repairs, onsite warranty coverage, full and partial refurbishments, 24-hour workshop capability, mobile service van call-out facility and express turnaround.

Mr Kerr said Volgren would expand its Services Business to include maintenance and repairs to trucks, trailers, and mining and engineering equipment. ‘This will add an extra layer of capability to our Tomago facility and potentially create new jobs in NSW.’

At the same time the Tomago facility would be supported in metropolitan Sydney by Volgren’s Service Centre in Prestons.

‘We will also appoint a dedicated NSW key account manager, based at Prestons, whose role will be to assist our National Contracts and Business Development Manager and supplement our existing sales and account management activities.

‘This new role will handle day-to-day business activities at a local level, and demonstrates Volgren’s long-term commitment to NSW.’

‘We already have a strong position in the NSW market, and have very good relationships with our key customers. These new investments by Volgren will add to and extend the value we can provide to our customer base.’

Volgren is Australia’s biggest bus body-builder and also has manufacturing plants in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. Volgren buses are built using a unique aluminium system, which makes them lighter, stronger and safer than a traditional steel bus.

‘They also are corrosion resistant and easier to repair, making their cost over their lifetime significantly cheaper, ensuring excellent value for money for those who want to invest into the future,’ Mr Dale said.

In December 2011, Brazilian bus-maker Marcopolo acquired a majority stake in Volgren, and now jointly owns the company with Melbourne’s Grenda family. On a recent visit to Australia Marcopolo’s senior executive reaffirmed Volgren’s future strategy to invest in product development, improve the high standards of after-sales service and become part of Marcopolo’s global growth strategy.

Reference: September 2012 BusNSW Bulletin – Page 8