MEDIA CENTER

 

Celebrating the first MCI J3500 delivery to Tuscaloosa Charter Service are from left: Robert Lessor, MCI; CJ Dorsey and Alicia Adams, Tuscaloosa Charter; Pat Ziska, MCI; and Cliff Dorsey, Tuscaloosa Charter.

TUSCALOOSA CHARTER SERVICE WELCOMES THE VERY FIRST 35-FOOT MCI J3500 COACH

SMALLER COACH, BIG FUNCTIONALITY

DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS, DECEMBER 13, 2018: (TSX:NFI) Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., ("NFI"), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, is all about giving the customer what they want, and for some time, many have wanted the MCI J4500's versatility, luxury and reliability in a well-designed 35-foot coach.

That era begins today as Tuscaloosa Charter Service owner Cliff Dorsey received the keys to the first MCI J3500 in a delivery celebration with MCI.

MCI unveiled the J3500 for test drives with customers, and during its Reliability Rallies at its Service Centers this past summer, and at September's Bus Con. When Dorsey drove the newest member of the J-Series, he couldn't wait to add one to his fleet. "The idea of adding a 35-foot coach had been on my mind for quite sometime," said Dorsey. "I wanted a small bus with a large bus ride."

And MCI obliged in a traditional first-coach fashion with proud team members on hand for the delivery. Full MCI J3500 production begins in January of 2019 with coaches becoming ready for delivery in February.

"It's an honor when a loyal MCI customer is eager for a new model, and our first 35-foot coach in our J-Series represents our outlook on how this category will develop in the future," said Pat Ziska, MCI Vice President of New Coach Sales. "The newest "J" delivers all aspects of our best-selling J4500 experience — parts interchangeability for savings — in a smaller coach that makes sense for groups of up to 44 passengers. That's become an attractive market in recent years and we're eager to help Cliff capture this niche in his growing business."

Indeed, this smaller MCI J-Series coach offers big advantages. It begins with industry-leading interior space, seating for 40 or 44 passengers and the best-in-class payload capacity. A semi-monocoque construction equal to the J4500 also means longer vehicle life and the MCI suspension makes for a quieter, smoother ride over the life of the coach. The J3500 also comes equipped with an e-Fan system and a smaller, yet powerful 2017 EPA Cummins L9 at 350 hp, 1150 lb-ft torque w/engine brake and a Gen V Allison B500, 6-speed automatic transmission with prognostics capability.

Tuscaloosa's new J3500 calls for roomy 40-passenger seating by Amaya with partial leather upholstery, three-point passenger seatbelts and other high-end interior touches including the J-Series rear window and variable programmable lighting option.

Dorsey's fondness for the J4500 made his interest in the J3500 a natural. "In my opinion, for reliability, the J4500 is the best bus on the road and that nice stairwell gives it great appeal," said Dorsey.

Dorsey began his career in the car business and launched Tuscaloosa Charters in 2000 with a pre-owned MC-9 and an Eagle model to serve area casinos. "The phone started ringing with people wanting to charter everywhere and that kept me adding coaches," explained Dorsey, who made his first new coach an MCI D 4505 model in 2010, followed by MCI J4500 coaches and other models.

"This business works on bids and you have to strategically price your service, but offering new models has consistently helped us stand out and grow," says Dorsey. Personal service also matters, and Dorsey almost always answers Tuscaloosa's phone and provides a quote right on the spot.

"A lot of people can't stand to wait," he said. "We understand that."

Today, Tuscaloosa Charter Service employs 17, and specializes in group trips across Alabama and throughout the U.S. with a fleet of 12 coaches including the D-Series, J4500 models coaches — and now the very first MCI J3500. Learn more Tuscaloosacharter.net.

Meanwhile, there are other chances coming up to see the MCI J3500. MCI will showcase the J-Series coaches at UMA Expo January 6-10, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale and at ABA Marketplace January 25-29 in Louisville, Kentucky.

About NFI Group

With nearly 6,000 team members, operating from 31 facilities across Canada and the United States, NFI is North America's largest bus manufacturer providing a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under several brands: New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), MCI® (motor coaches), and NFI Parts™ (parts, support, and service). NFI buses 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). For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, NFI posted revenues of US $2.4 billion. NFI common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI. News and information are available at www.nfigroup.com.

About Motor Coach Industries

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is North America's motor coach leader in public and private markets, offering the J4500 (the industry best-seller for 13 consecutive years) and the all-new J3500 model, and the workhorse D Series, including the breakthrough ADA-accessible MCI D45 CRT LE). MCI also supports nearly 30,000 MCI coaches on the road with maintenance, repair, 24-hour roadside assistance, and the industry's only Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) accredited MCI Academy technician training center.

For further information, please contact:

Patricia Plodzeen, MCI Public Relations
Tel: 847-283-0883
E-mail: pat.plodzeen@mcicoach.com
   

Motor Coach Industries - An NFI Group Inc Company: Corporate Address 200 East Oakton Street, Des Plaines, Illinois 60018 | Phone: 866-MCICOACH

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