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£1.3m Investment As Horseman Strengthens Fleet With Five More Panthers

As part of a consistent, on-going investment programme Horseman Coaches, based in Berkshire, has just completed the £1.3m purchase of five new Plaxton Panther B8R Euro6 vehicles.

31st May 2017

They have now joined the 60-strong Horseman fleet that operates out of the company’s six-acre site in Reading, which is home to a stylish 11,000 sq. ft. HQ and administration centre, plus a 56,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art warehouse and depot facility.   

The latest vehicles are all 12.8m 53-seat, luxury executive coaches, complete with parallel lift lockers, kitchenette / servery, fridge, toilets, sophisticated entertainment and eight-camera CCTV systems. They are powered by Volvo DK8 engines, coupled with I-Shift transmissions and benefit from real-time tracking and telematics.

Company director James Horseman commented: “We have a long relationship with Plaxton having bought well over 30 vehicles from them in the last five years alone, including Cheetah, Leopard, Elite and Panther coaches.

“These latest Panthers are ideal for our type of business. They fit the bill across the wide range of services we offer, from school contracts to corporate work, private hires, airport transfers for Heathrow, Luton, Stanstead and Gatwick, to special events, day trips and the wide range of tours we operate in Continental Europe.”  

As one of the leading private coach hire companies in Berkshire and the south east Horseman Coaches is a company with a truly remarkable history, having been founded in 1977 on the basis of a £100 deposit on a second-hand mini coach that Keith Horseman drove on the weekends. Months later, his decision to concentrate on the coach industry proved to be a wise one.

Within three years the company had 10 vehicles and steadily grew into a substantial family-run business, only to be struck a body blow in May 2008 when the local authority served a compulsory purchase order on their premises, in order to make way for road improvements to junction 11 on the M4.

This left them 42 days in which to relocate, while simultaneously maintaining customer services and securing the employment of their workforce. In a remarkable turnaround of events they acquired an empty Panasonic manufacturing and distribution facility on the periphery of Reading and, progressively, turned it into a facility that is today a showcase for the coach industry.

James commented: “It all seems like a life-time ago but it was a traumatic time for the whole family and our long-serving, loyal employees. Looking back, I suppose we were simply resolute in our determination not to go under and, in retrospect, we are in many ways the living proof that adversity is opportunity.”