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HIGER Munro Proves a hit with Avis

Friday, September 2, 2011

Higer's all new Munro 28 seat mini bus has found instant favour in the self-drive bus rental market with several key Avis outlets around Melbourne purchasing the new bus for rental operations.

The Higer Munro's extra seating capacity compared with its two key opponents, its proven American driveline and automatic transmission, as well as its roominess and overall flexibility convinced Avis Blackburn manager, Tony Baaini to purchase one for his operation.

"The Munro has a lot going for it, it is more like a mini coach than a min bus, it has a more coach like feel in the interior, it is wider and roomier than the other buses in this class while looking and feeling more comfortable by comparison to its opponents," said Tony Baaini.

"The fact that it comes with air assisted brakes and the automatic transmission were very appealing factors in our decision to buy the Higer Munro but the availability of Cummins engines and Allison engines were two of the most compelling reasons to purchase," he said.

"The fact that it has extra seats is a great appeal to our customers because it just gives it an edge when a sporting club or social group is looking to transport their members," he added.

"We rent our buses to schools, social clubs, sporting organizations, RSL and bowling clubs and increasingly to government and corporate groups and having a few extra seats makes things a little more flexible, it means they can often have everyone in one bus rather than having a couple spill over into a car or the need for a second bus," said Tony.

Tony says that his policy is to keep mini buses on fleet for about four years averaging around 26,000 km a year depending on the condition and mileage it has logged up.

"It is fair to say it is early days with Higer and the first two years will be a test period to but indications are good at the moment, renters are already passing back very good feedback," said Tony.

Schools in particular have been very positive about the interior room and comfort with the overhead rack allowing students to stow gear a feature that other buses in this class don't have," he added.

Two other Avis franchises around Melbourne, at Dandenong and Bayswater have also purchased Higers and it is likely more will follow.

With greater passenger capacity the new Higer Munro utilises a full 2+2 seat configuration and a centre aisle which is 12 percent wider than the ADR requirement with a seat pitch which is at least five percent greater than Rosa.

Powered by a 3.8 litre Cummins ISF engine mated to an Allison automatic transmission the new Higer Munro meets full Euro 5 standards.

The Cummins common rail fuel turbo diesel features electronic injectors for excellent startability, low noise, low emissions and fuel-efficient performance.

The engine also features a number of key noise reduction features, such as positioning of its gear train at the rear of the engine, and the use of composite oil pan and valve covers for reduced NVH and better integrity.

The Cummins ISF has been designed for low weight and high power outputs, targeting best-in-class power-to-weight ratios.

Major engine components such as the cylinder block and head boast 20 percent less mass than traditional designs with no reduction in strength, giving a competitive engine weight of just 280kg for the ISF 3.8 used in the Munro.

The Higer Munro's Cummins 3.8litre ISF power plant produces maximum power of 115kW @ 2600rpm and maximum torque of 550Nm @ 1300rpm, which translates to 4.5 percent more power and 17 percent more torque than the current Fuso E4 engine in the Rosa.

Higer's use of Cummins engines across it's range offers a major advantage for Australian bus operators with nationwide service back up through Cummins' network of service operations across the country from major capital cities to remote regional centres.

Cloth seats will be standard throughout the Higer Munro with a hardwearing yet comfortable material enhancing its luxury feel and appointments.

Munro will offer a TV monitor and internal luggage rack as optional equipment with the luggage rack fitted on one side of the interior to maximize passenger space as well as an internal security camera and a reverse camera.

Thoughtful Higer design means the Munro does not require a rear emergency door and boasts a storage boot area at the rear of the vehicle under the last rows of seats offering additional luggage capacity.

It also features low set mirrors similar to Higer's 12.2m bus and has a distinct family resemblance to the larger Higer 8.5m model.

Higer buses are sold through a nationwide dealer network spearheaded by two of the biggest automotive dealer groups in Australia with both Automotive Holdings Group and Adtrans selling through major capital city outlets in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

Higer also has strong representation in Brisbane as well as in key regional markets including Far North Queensland, the Sunshine Coast, The Hunter and Illawarra in NSW and regional Victoria.

Higer buses are manufactured in China utilising world's best technology and components, including Cummins engines, Allison and ZF transmissions, Meritor Axles and European designed chassis.

"The use of the latest global technology and components is key to Higer's success as a major bus producer and gives customers added confidence when committing to a relatively new bus brand," said Jason Pecotic.

Higer is the third largest global manufacturer of buses and coaches producing more than 20,000 buses per annum at its state of the art 500,000 square metre manufacturing plant in Suzhou Industrial Park near Shanghai.

Higer's product line up starts at six metre buses and ranges up to full 18 metre vehicles catering to a variety of applications and specific requirements from high-end tourist coaches to high capacity city commuter route buses.

Higer was awarded the Asia BAAV Bus Expo Bus Coach Builder of the Year for 2007, 2008 and 2009. It also won the Equipment award and the Safest Brand of Choice award in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Through innovative engineering Higer tailor made its bus range to meet Australian standards and conditions and built to withstand the rigours of the harsh Australian environment.


 

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