Neoplan

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For the defunct North American Neoplan licensee of 1981 to 2006, see Neoplan USA.
NEOPLAN Bus GmbH
Type Private company with limited liabilityGmbH, subsidiary of MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG[1]
Industry Automotive
Founded 1 July 1935[2][3]
Founder(s) Gottlob Auwärter[2]
Headquarters Stuttgart, Germany[2]
Number of locations Plauen, Saxony, Germany[2]
Key people Joachim Reinmuth, Chairman of the Board of Management
former designers: Albrecht Auwärter, Bob Lee, Konrad Auwärter
Products Buses[4]
Coaches[4]
Trolleybuses[4]
Employees 1,300
Parent MAN SE
Website neoplan-bus.com

NEOPLAN Bus GmbH is a German automotive company that manufactures buses, trolleybuses and coaches. NEOPLAN is now a subsidiary of MAN SE.

History[edit]

Foundations[edit]

1983 model year Neoplan Skyliner operated by Trathens Travel Services of Plymouth
A modern unliveried Neoplan Skyliner
NEOPLAN Bus used at Dubai Airport
A current NEOPLAN Skyliner model
NEOPLAN Megaliner (Japan version)

The company was founded by Gottlob Auwärter in Stuttgart in 1935,[2][3] and manufactured bodywork for bus and truck chassis.[3] From the very beginning, the designs of the buses produced were considered stylish. After World War II, an all-steel body design was developed, a rarity at that time.[3] By 1953, the company had moved away from manufacturing buses on truck chassis,[3] to a partial monocoque design with a steel tube skeleton, providing the structural support,[3][5] enhanced by welded side panels.[3] The engine was moved to the rear,[3] and the running gear and body functioned as one. In 1957, air suspension[5] was made available, improving the ride of the bus for passengers.

1960s[edit]

In 1961, a new bus design, the Hamburg,[6] was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. At a time when most coaches were rounded, bulbous or streamlined, the new design had clear-cut lines with edges and large windows.[6] Developed by the founder's eldest son, Albrecht Auwärter, and another student, Swiss national Bob Lee, as part of their dissertation at Hamburg University. The design also allowed every passenger to regulate their fresh air supply through a nozzle from two air ducts, commonly seen today.[6]

Both Albrecht and Lee joined NEOPLAN after graduating from the university. Albrecht took over management of the company in 1965, and Bob Lee later became head of Engineering and Design.[citation needed]

In 1964, the founder's second son, Konrad Auwärter, developed a double-deck bus design for a service bus as part of his dissertation.[6] The 'Do-Bus' design had low weight, and could carry over 100 passengers.[6] It also featured a low-frame front axle with forward-mounted steering gear that permitted a low flat floor.[5][6] The double-deck principle was applied to the coach design, creating a high-capacity comfortable touring vehicle. This vehicle was known as the Skyliner.[7]

1970s[edit]

In 1971, the Cityliner was introduced to the public.[7] This design had a passenger platform above the driver's cab, and included an onboard toilet.[7] The vehicle also made use, of glass-fibre reinforced plastic for certain areas of the body, this was the first instance when this technique was used.[7] In 1973, the Jetliner was introduced,[8] featuring a large one-piece windshield, with the driver and door windows sloping from the passenger window line down to the bottom of the windshield level.[8]

A second manufacturing facility opened in Pilsting in 1973,[2][8] and a third opened in Kumasi, Ghana in December 1974[2] to support increasing orders.[8]

In 1975, the Jumbocruiser was launched,[8] a double-deck articulated coach 18 metres (59 ft 1 in) long[5][8] and 4 metres (13 ft 1 in) high.[8] The Spaceliner,[9] introduced in 1979 took the Cityliner concept of passenger floor level above the driver, and extended the actual floor above the cab. This kept the height of the vehicle lower than a double-decker, at 3.65 metres (12 ft), but still allowed installation of toilets, kitchens or sleep cabins below the passenger compartment.[9]

1980s[edit]

A new fourth plant was added in 1981 in Berlin,[9] and Bob Lee led the establishment of a fifth plant in Lamar, Colorado. In 1984, a further plant was added in Honey Brook, Pennsylvania. The United States plants were later spun off into a separate, and now defunct, independent company (Neoplan USA) that used the NEOPLAN name under licence.

In 1980, the United Kingdom deregulated services over 35 miles (56 km) in length. This led to intense competition on a variety of long-distance services, with operators looking to differentiate their service. NEOPLAN vehicles, with their futuristic design and high quality construction,[citation needed] began to be imported in greater numbers.

The Metroliner was introduced in 1988.[10] This vehicle was the first full monocoque bus in the world, requiring no separate chassis or skeleton.[10]

1990s[edit]

A manufacturing facility was opened in Ehrenhain in 1990.[10]

In 1992, the 15 metres (49 ft 3 in) four-axle Megaliner was introduced,[11] prompting a change in European Union regulations to allow non-articulated vehicles greater than 12 metres (39 ft 4 in) in length. The Starliner was introduced in 1996,[11] and would go on to win the Bus of the Year award for two consecutive years – in 1998 and 1999.[12]

2000s[edit]

In 2001, NEOPLAN, or correctly, "Gottlob Auwärter GmbH & Co KG" was acquired by MAN AG subsidy MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG[13] to form NEOMAN Bus GmbH. The Starliner won the Bus of the Year award for two more consecutive years in 2001 and 2002.[13]

A new coach designed for touring was introduced in 2003 under the name Tourliner,[14] and the Starliner was redesigned in 2004 and included the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP).[14] The Trendliner was released in 2004,[14] as a 'dual purpose' intercity and combination bus – which is designed to be used seven days a week.[14]

In 2005, two new shorter 13 metres (42 ft 8 in) versions of the Tourliner and Trendliner were released.[15] From 2006, Euro4 compliant engines from MAN began being fitted in the new generation Cityliner.[15]

In 2007, a new Auwärter Museum was opened in Landau/Isar.[15]

On 1 February 2008, NEOMAN Bus GmbH was fully integrated into the Bus Division of the larger MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group, and ceased to exist in its own right. NEOPLAN and MAN AG Buses now operate as two separate but integrated marques of MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group.[16] As a result of the reorganisation and restructuring of the Bus Division, NEOPLAN will concentrate on production at its Plauen and Pilsting sites, with Plauen being used for luxury coaches, whilst Pilsting will concentrate on customisations.[17]

Products[edit]

Current[edit]

Coaches[edit]

model internal combustion engine
[18][19]
max. power @ rpm
[18][19]
max. torque @ rpm
[18][19]
transmission wheelbase length width height
Tourliner
[20]
MAN D2066 LOH 03 or 04,
10,518 cc (641.8 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel

MAN D2676 LOH EEV,
12,419 cc (757.9 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel
294 or 324 kW (400 or 441 PS; 394 or 434 hp) @ 1,900


324 kW (441 PS; 434 hp) @ 1,900
1,900 or 2,100 N·m (1,401 or 1,549 lbf·ft)
@ 1,000–1,400

2,100 N·m (1,549 lbf·ft)
@ 1,100–1,400
6-speed manual or
12-speed TipMatic
ZF AS Tronic
automated manual
6,060 mm (238.6 in) 12.00 m (39 ft 4 in) 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in) 3.80 m (12 ft 6 in)
Tourliner C
(multi-axle)
[20]
MAN D2676 LOH EEV,
12,419 cc (757.9 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel

MAN D2066 LOH 04,
10,518 cc (641.8 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel
324 or 353 kW (441 or 480 PS; 434 or 473 hp) @ 1,900


324 kW (441 PS; 434 hp) @ 1,900
2,100 or 2,300 N·m (1,549 or 1,696 lbf·ft)
@ 1,100–1,400

2,100 N·m (1,549 lbf·ft)
@ 1,000–1,400
6-speed manual or
12-speed TipMatic
ZF AS Tronic
automated manual
6,060 and 1,470 mm (238.6 and 57.9 in) 13.26 m (43 ft 6 in) 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in) 3.80 m (12 ft 6 in)
Tourliner L
(multi-axle)
[20]
MAN D2676 LOH EEV,
12,419 cc (757.9 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel

MAN D2066 LOH 04,
10,518 cc (641.8 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel
324 or 353 kW (441 or 480 PS; 434 or 473 hp) @ 1,900


324 kW (441 PS; 434 hp) @ 1,900
2,100 or 2,300 N·m (1,549 or 1,696 lbf·ft)
@ 1,100–1,400

2,100 N·m (1,549 lbf·ft)
@ 1,000–1,400
6-speed manual or
12-speed TipMatic
ZF AS Tronic
automated manual
6,600 and 1,470 mm (259.8 and 57.9 in) 13.80 m (45 ft 3 in) 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in) 3.80 m (12 ft 6 in)
Cityliner
[21]
MAN D2066 LOH 03 or 04,
10,518 cc (641.8 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel

MAN D2676 LOH,
12,419 cc (757.9 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel
294 or 324 kW (400 or 441 PS; 394 or 434 hp) @ 1,900


324 kW (441 PS; 434 hp) @ 1,900
1,900 or 2,100 N·m (1,401 or 1,549 lbf·ft)
@ 1,000–1,400

2,300 N·m (1,696 lbf·ft)
@ 1,100–1,400
6-speed manual or
12-speed TipMatic
ZF AS Tronic
automated manual
6,060 mm (238.6 in) 12.24 m (40 ft 2 in) 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in) 3.68 m (12 ft 1 in)
Cityliner C
(multi-axle)
[21]
MAN D2066 LOH 04,
10,518 cc (641.8 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel

MAN D2676 LOH,
12,419 cc (757.9 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel
324 kW (441 PS; 434 hp) @ 1,900


324 or 353 kW (441 or 480 PS; 434 or 473 hp) @ 1,900
2,100 N·m (1,549 lbf·ft)
@ 1,000–1,400


2,100 or 2,300 N·m (1,549 or 1,696 lbf·ft)
@ 1,100–1,400
6-speed manual or
12-speed TipMatic
ZF AS Tronic
automated manual
6,200 and 1,470 mm (244.1 and 57.9 in) 12.99 m (42 ft 7 in) 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in) 3.72 m (12 ft 2 in)
Cityliner L
(multi-axle)
[21]
MAN D2066 LOH 04,
10,518 cc (641.8 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel

MAN D2676 LOH,
12,419 cc (757.9 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel
324 kW (441 PS; 434 hp) @ 1,900


324 or 353 kW (441 or 480 PS; 434 or 473 hp) @ 1,900
2,100 N·m (1,549 lbf·ft)
@ 1,000–1,400


2,100 or 2,300 N·m (1,549 or 1,696 lbf·ft)
@ 1,100–1,400
6-speed manual or
12-speed TipMatic
ZF AS Tronic
automated manual
6,550 and 1,470 mm (257.9 and 57.9 in) 13.99 m (45 ft 11 in) 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in) 3.72 m (12 ft 2 in)
Skyliner C
(double-deck multi-axle)[22]
MAN D2676 LOH 02,
12,412 cc (757.4 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel
353 kW (480 PS; 473 hp) @ 1,900 2,300 N·m (1,696 lbf·ft)
@ 1,100–1,400
12-speed TipMatic
ZF AS Tronic
automated manual
5,550 and 1,300 mm (218.5 and 51.2 in) 12.44 m (40 ft 10 in) 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in) 4.00 m (13 ft 1 in)
Skyliner L
(double-deck multi-axle)[22]
MAN D2676 LOH 02,
12,412 cc (757.4 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel
353 kW (480 PS; 473 hp) @ 1,900 2,300 N·m (1,696 lbf·ft)
@ 1,100–1,400
12-speed TipMatic
ZF AS Tronic
automated manual
6,900 and 1,300 mm (271.7 and 51.2 in) 13.79 m (45 ft 3 in) 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in) 4.00 m (13 ft 1 in)
Starliner C
(multi-axle)
[23]
MAN D2676 LOH,
12,419 cc (757.9 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel
353 or 371 kW (480 or 504 PS; 473 or 498 hp) @ 1,900 2,300 N·m (1,696 lbf·ft)
@ 1,100–1,400
12-speed TipMatic
ZF AS Tronic
automated manual
6,200 and 1,470 mm (244.1 and 57.9 in) 12.99 m (42 ft 7 in) 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in) 3.97 m (13 ft 0 in)
Starliner L
(multi-axle)
[23]
MAN D2676 LOH,
12,419 cc (757.9 cu in) R6 common rail turbodiesel
353 or 371 kW (480 or 504 PS; 473 or 498 hp) @ 1,900 2,300 N·m (1,696 lbf·ft)
@ 1,100–1,400
12-speed TipMatic
ZF AS Tronic
automated manual
6,550 and 1,470 mm (257.9 and 57.9 in) 13.99 m (45 ft 11 in) 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in) 3.97 m (13 ft 0 in)
model internal combustion engine max. power @ rpm max. torque @ rpm transmission wheelbase length width height

Buses[edit]

Past[edit]

  • Neoplan Hamburg
  • Neoplan Megaliner
  • Jumbocruiser
  • Neoplan Jetliner
  • Neoplan Spaceliner
  • Neoplan Metroliner
  • Transliner
  • Neoplan Trendliner
  • Neoplan Euroliner
  • Neoplan Megashuttle

Accidents[edit]

On 17 May 2003 in France, a Neoplan Skyliner overturned on a French highway, killing twenty-eight people.[27]

In January 2007, a Neoplan Skyliner operated by National Express Coaches overturned and crashed on the M25 motorway near Heathrow Airport, killing two passengers;[28] a third passenger died six-months later due to the injuries sustained in the crash.[29] The company temporarily withdrew all twelve Skyliners from service pending investigations[30][31] The crash was deemed to have been caused by travelling at excessive speed and the driver was charged with three counts of causing death by dangerous driving.[32] He was subsequently jailed for five years and banned from driving for an additional three years.[33] No safety issues were found in the bus.[34]

On 28 May 2008, in Japan one of two Neoplan Megaliners operated by West JR Bus Company caught fire while in service, and burnt down completely. No passengers were injured. The company resumed operations with its second Megaliner on July 2008.[35]

On 16 March 2009, in Japan one of two Megaliners operated by JR Kanto Bus Company caught fire on an overnight Seishun Mega-Dream Go service between Osaka and Tokyo. The 77 passengers and driver evacuated safely before the coach was completely destroyed.[36] Following this accident, both operators suspended operations of the remaining two Megaliners in Japan.

On 23 June 2013 a Neoplan Tourliner was involved in the 2013 Podgorica bus crash, 18 people being killed. The Tourliner derailed from a bridge and fell about 40 meters into a ravine. The causes of the accident are uncertain, but survivors claim that the driver was overspeeding while the tight mountain road was wet after a storm.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The strategy of the NEOPLAN VIP Class brand". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Locations – The plants of NEOPLAN Bus GmbH". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Milestones – History from 1935 to 1953". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "NEOPLAN overview" (PDF). MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG. NEOPLAN.de. 1007. Retrieved 29 November 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d "History – The story of NEOPLAN Bus GmbH". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Milestones – History from 1961 to 1964". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Milestones – History from 1965 to 1971". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Retrieved 24 November 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Milestones – History from 1972 to 1975". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c "Milestones – History from 1976 to 1981". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c "Milestones – History from 1982 to 1991". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Archived from the original on 2 June 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "Milestones – History from 1992 to 1996". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Retrieved 24 November 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Milestones – History from 1997 to 1999". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Archived from the original on 2 June 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  13. ^ a b "Milestones – History from 2000 to 2002". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Milestones – History from 2003 to 2004". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  15. ^ a b c "Milestones – History from 2005 to 2007". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. NEOPLAN.de. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  16. ^ "MAN Nutzfahrzeuge integrates the Bus Division". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. MAN-mn.de. 30 January 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2009. [dead link]
  17. ^ "MAN Nutzfahrzeuge plans to concentrate the NEOPLAN coach production in Plauen". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group. MAN-mn.de. 17 March 2008. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  18. ^ a b c "MAN D2066, D2676 Common-Rail Euro4 vehicle diesel engines". MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG. NEOPLAN.info. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  19. ^ a b c "Technical data – Diesel engines for Buses" (jpg image). MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG. NEOPLAN.info. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  20. ^ a b c "NEOPLAN Tourliner" (PDF). MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG. NEOPLAN.de. 0908. Retrieved 27 November 2009.  [dead link]
  21. ^ a b c "NEOPLAN Cityliner" (PDF). MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG. NEOPLAN.de. 0808. Retrieved 27 November 2009.  [dead link]
  22. ^ a b "NEOPLAN Skyliner" (PDF). MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG. NEOPLAN.de. 0908. Retrieved 27 November 2009.  [dead link]
  23. ^ a b "NEOPLAN Starliner" (PDF). MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG. NEOPLAN.de. 0808. Retrieved 27 November 2009.  [dead link]
  24. ^ "NEOPLAN Centroliner" (PDF). MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG. NEOPLAN.de. 0907. Retrieved 30 November 2009.  [dead link]
  25. ^ "NEOPLAN Electroliner" (PDF). MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG. NEOPLAN.de. Archived from the original on 11 December 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2009. 
  26. ^ "NEOPLAN Airliner" (PDF). MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG. NEOPLAN.de. 092007. Retrieved 30 November 2009.  [dead link]
  27. ^ "Profile: NEOPLAN Skyliner". BBC News. 6 January 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  28. ^ "Two dead after M-way coach crash". BBC News. 4 January 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  29. ^ "Coach crash injuries caused death". BBC News. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  30. ^ "National Express removes coaches". BBC News. 4 January 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  31. ^ "Coach crash firm withdraws buses". BBC News. 4 January 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  32. ^ "Coach driver faces death charges". BBC News. 23 July 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  33. ^ "M25 coach deaths driver is jailed". BBC News. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  34. ^ "Coach death driver pleads guilty – No safety problems". BBC News. 15 October 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  35. ^ West JR Bus Co press release (17 July 2008). Retrieved on 17 March 2009. (Japanese)
  36. ^ Asahi Shimbun: Tour bus catches fire on expressway (17 March 2009). Retrieved on 17 March 2009. (Japanese)[dead link]

External links[edit]