Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) has confirmed that just seven months after its launch the new Plaxton-built Cheetah XL has secured orders for more than 70 vehicles – and has good prospects that will help underpin production at the company’s Scarborough factory during the first quarter of 2016.
“We have re-doubled our efforts in the retail sector,” explained ADL’s Richard Matthews, “and as a result we will sell around 500 retail units this year, all of which demonstrates the enormous strides we have made in working with family businesses, medium-sized and large independent groups.
“Our clients are aware that we design, engineer and build vehicles on the basis of their involvement in the product development process. As a result, coaches like the Cheetah XL are based on the wants and needs of our customers – and, even after new vehicles are introduced, we are prepared to make modifications based on early feedback. For instance, we have extended the power range of the Cheetah XL to include a 231 bhp model, as well as the hugely fuel-efficient, original 177bhp option. In addition, we are now offering a sunken gangway too, reducing the number of steps to the saloon to just four.”
He added: “I can assure operators that ADL and Plaxton remain committed to listening, learning and developing business partnerships that ensure we produce vehicles fit for purpose – and which are backed by unrivalled aftermarket support. The Cheetah XL – based on the Mercedes-Benz Atego chassis – is the living proof of that approach. It is a big coach in a midi shell and reaction to this design concept has been excellent.
“I am 100% confident that the ‘whole life cost’ associated with the Cheetah XL will match or surpass that of any comparable vehicle.”
Richard also confirmed that there has been a significant merging of responsibilities in the ADL sales structure recently. He commented: “We have a well-established team with experts in both bus and coach products but the reality is that more and more operators are now running mixed fleets, so all of our sales team are now fully trained and qualified to cover both bus and coach products, which gives customers one point of contact for all of their needs – and, of course, they continue to benefit from the support of the 300 ADL personnel in our UK parts, service and aftermarket operation.”