Custom Coaches

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Custom Coaches
Industry Bus manufacturing
Founded 1935
Founder(s) Stanley Hillsdon
Headquarters Villawood
Number of locations Royal Park
Revenue $80 million (2012)
Parent Alexander Dennis
Website www.customcoaches.com.au

Custom Coaches is an Australian bus bodybuilder with plants in Villawood, New South Wales and Royal Park, South Australia. It is a subsidiary of Alexander Dennis. In May 2014 it was placed in administration.

Cycle Components Manufacturing Company[edit]

Busabout Wagga Wagga Isuzu LT1-11P in June 2009

In 1935 Stanley Hillsdon founded Cycle Components Manufacturing Company (CCMC) in Guildford, having been involved in manufacture of bicycles since 1911. In 1946 the company won the contract to manufacture reversible seats for Sydney's tram system.[1]

In 1955 CCMC successfully tendered to body 125 single deck Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmaster buses for the NSW Department of Government Transport.[1][2] In May 1956 Jack Violet, Hillsdon's nephew by marriage, was employed as Bus Divisional Manager to oversee operations. In April 1958 CCMC bodied their first bus for a private operator, a Leyland Comet for Rowes Bus Service.[3]

Apart from six MAN SL200 and SG192s bodied for ACTION in 1982/82 as part of a contracted included when Smithfield Bus & Coach Works was purchased[4] and 19 Scania K112TR coaches bodied for the State Rail Authority in 1985/86,[5][6] CCMC built bodies exclusively for private operators after the completion of the Leyland Worldmaster contract for the next 37 years.[7]

Custom Coaches Manufacturing Company[edit]

In 1962 control of CCMC passed from Hillsdon to Violet.[1] At some point the business was renamed Custom Coaches Manufacturing Company. In May 1981 the Smithfield Bus & Coach Works business was purchased from the Bosnjak family.[8] Custom Coaches concentrated on bodying buses for the private sector. In 1967 CCMC entered into an agreement with Melbourne bodybuiler WA Newnham & Sons for CCMC to provide frames and other components.[9] CCMC also supplied components to Brisbane bodybuilder Watt Brothers in the 1960s[10] and Perth's Howard Porter in the 1970s.[11][12]

In 1988 CCMC purchased WA Newnham & Sons with the business renamed Newnham Custom.[9] In 1995 a plant was opened at Arundel on the Gold Coast.[1][13] Newnham Custom closed in 2001 with production transferred to Adelaide.[14][15]

In 2000 Australian Bus Manufacturing in Adelaide was purchased.[16][17] It had been formed in 1999 when a consortium of CCMC, Jim Bosnjak and John Hewson purchased the PMC Australia business following the collapse of Clifford Corporation.[18][19] Australian Bus Manufacturing was rebranded as Custom Coaches in 2004.[1]

In late 2001 Custom Care was established as a bus refurbishment operation.[1]

Present[edit]

In 1998 Custom Coaches began bodying buses for the State Transit Authority after a break of over 37 years.[7] By April 2013 over 1,280 had been bodied for the government operator.[20]

In 2002, Mark Burgess, a great-nephew of Hillsdon by marriage, became CEO of the company.[21] He, his brother Paul and a long-term business partner, Chris Absalom, completed the purchase of the business from Jack Violet in 2005.[1]

In 2008 production exceeded 400 buses per year, and by 2009 the total number of buses bodied had exceeded 15,000.[1] In May 2010 the Sydney plant moved to new premises in Villawood[22] and in June 2012 the company was purchased by British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis.[23][24]

Custom Coaches was placed in administration in May 2014.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h A Family Business Of Nephews Custom Coaches 13 October 2011
  2. ^ Travers, Greg (1982). From City to Suburb a fifty year journey. Sydney: Historic Commercial Vehicle Association. p. 113. ISBN 0 959601 62 7. 
  3. ^ Fleetline August 1988 issue 157 page 195
  4. ^ ACTION Fleet - Disposals Summary ACT Bus Wiki
  5. ^ "State Rail Orders More Coaches" Railway Digest August 1985 page 234
  6. ^ "State Rail Coach Services - The Vehicles" Australian Bus Panorama issue 9/3 October 1993 page 13
  7. ^ a b "Bus Fleet" Australian Bus Panorama April 1999 issue 14/5 page 44
  8. ^ "The Complete And Utter History of Smithfield" Australian Bus Panorama Vol 16 Special page 10
  9. ^ a b "Industry News" Australian Bus Panorama March 1989 issue 4/5 page 9
  10. ^ Travers, Greg (1979). The Australian Private Bus. Sydney: Historic Commercial Vehicle Association. p. 67. ISBN 0 959601 61 9. 
  11. ^ m/o 8093 Bus Australia Photo Gallery
  12. ^ "What is this thing called gen?" Australian Bus Panorama 6/2 1990 page 7
  13. ^ "New Custom Coaches Plant" Australian Bus Panorama June 1996 issue 11/9 page 28
  14. ^ "Newnham to Close" Australian Bus Panorama July 2001 issue 17/1
  15. ^ Customs launches supersite Australasian Bus & Coach
  16. ^ "Australian Bus Manufacturing" Australian Bus Panorama August 2000 issue 16/1 page 18
  17. ^ Custom acquires ABM, UBC set up in Asia Australasian Bus & Coach
  18. ^ "Austral Pacific Group" Fleetline May 1999 page 75
  19. ^ "New Owner for Bus Plant" Australian Bus Panorama June 1999 issue 14/6 page 32
  20. ^ State Transit Authority - Sydney Buses & Newcastle Buses Australian Bus Fleetlists
  21. ^ Customs looks to 2003 with interest Australasian Bus & Coach
  22. ^ Villawood Opening Custom Coaches 26 May 2010
  23. ^ ADL's Acquisition of Custom Coaches Custom Coaches 7 June 2012
  24. ^ Bus firm Alexander Dennis in major Australian deal BBC News 7 June 2012
  25. ^ Custom Coaches at Royal Park has been placed in administration with 100 jobs at risk Adelaide Advertiser 30 May 2014

External links[edit]