Volvo B10M

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Volvo B10M
National Express old livery.jpg
Manufacturer Volvo
Production 1978-2001
Assembly Sweden
Body and chassis
Class Coach and intercity bus chassis
Doors 1-3
Floor type Step entrance
Engine 9.6-litre horizontally mid-mounted I-6
Volvo THD100, THD101, THD102, THD103, THD104, DH10A
Transmission Voith DIWA 381.4
Voith DIWA 863.3
ZF 4HP 500
Predecessor Volvo B58
Successor Volvo B12M

The Volvo B10M was a mid-engined bus and coach chassis manufactured by Volvo between 1978 and 2001. It was built as the successor of the B58 and was equipped with a 9.6-litre horizontally mounted Volvo diesel engine mounted under the floor in the middle of the chassis. An articulated version under the model name Volvo B10MA was also offered, as was a semi-integral version known as the C10M.


Stagecoach South Alexander PS bodied B10M in Horsham in September 2008
Preserved Grey-Green Alexander RV bodied Citybus in June 2003
SBS Transit Duple Metsec bodied B10M in Singapore
Veolia Transport Custom Coaches bodied B10M MkIII in Sydney in July 2013
Fuji Heavy Industries bodied B10MA at Expo '85, Tsukuba in 1985

Designed as a successor to the Volvo B58, a large portion of B10M chassis were built in Sweden, but some were built in other countries.[1][2]

The B10M was one of the best-selling chassis in the United Kingdom throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Having originally been produced only as a coach chassis, the B10M was made available as a bus, in which form it was also very popular.


A double-deck version of the B10M was developed for Strathclyde PTE in 1981. It was launched in early 1982, with a downrated engine from the coach, and was named Citybus (also known unofficially as B10MD or D10M). Most early examples were bodied by Alexander Coachbuilders, who provided a modified version - common to all Volvo double-deck chassis bodied by the company after 1980 - of their popular and attractive R type bodywork. Eastern Scottish and Fife Scottish bought many of these early versions in 1985-1987. Two were exported in 1984, one of them to Singapore Bus Service and the other to Kowloon Motor Bus, but was destroyed by fire in 1988. The Citybus lasted until the end of B10M production but fell out of favour after Volvo re-engineered the Leyland Olympian as the Volvo Olympian.


The B9M was launched in 1982 as a light-weight, stripped-down, budget version of the standard B10M. Although technically not a successor to the B57, it found more or less the same place in the markets where it was available. The B9M had the same 9.6-litre engine as the B10M, but at lower outputs. It sold well in the Nordic countries, with the exception of Denmark, where only a few were sold. The model was available at least past 1996.

In the United Kingdom, the B9M was sold as a shorter 9.5 to 9.7 metre version of the B10M from 1985.[3]

C10M family[edit]

In 1984, Swiss bodybuilder Ramseier & Jenzer collaborated with Volvo to unveil a semi-integral version of the B10M-70 coach, known as the C10M-70. Between 1984 and 1986 less than a hundred were built, including ten built for the United Kingdom.[4]

The C10M family was expected to also include a semi-integral version of the B10M-55 bus, known as the C10M-55. However, poor sales of the C10M-70 lead to the end of the C10M family in December 1986 before any C10M-55s had been built.

United Kingdom[edit]

Coach operators National Express, Park's of Hamilton, Shearings and Wallace Arnold all purchased large quanties of B10Ms.[5]

In the 1990s, Stagecoach standardised on the bus version of B10M as their full-size single decker. Most received Alexander PS bodies but some received Northern Counties Paladin bodywork. Stagecoach also took numerous examples of the coach version with Plaxton's Interurban bodywork and Jonckheere's Modulo bodywork. South Yorkshire Transport and Kelvin Central Buses also purchased large numbers of the type with Alexander PS bodies.

The B10MA articulated variant was of limited popularity among bus operators in the UK. British Caledonian Airways took four in 1988, the next examples sold in Britain were supplied eight years later, with the delivery of four to Ulsterbus. Stagecoach was the biggest customer for the model in the UK, purchasing 18 in the mid- to late-1990s, with the last delivered in 1999.


Singapore Bus Service purchased 977 units between 1986 and 2000, making up a large part of its bus fleet. First delivered in 1988, they were bodied by Duple Metsec and Walter Alexander.

A 19m B10MA articulated bus bodied by Duple Metsec was also purchased in 1996 however it was sold to Bayes Coachlines in New Zealand.


For Expo '85 in Tsukuba, Fuji Heavy Industries bodied 100 B10MLs. Seventy-nine were exported to Australia in 1986 with Brisbane Transport, Busways, Grenda's Bus Service, Hornibrook Bus Lines, Invicta Bus Service, Kangaroo Bus Lines, Metro-link Bus Lines, Metropolitan Transit Authority, Premier Roadliners, Sunbury Bus Service and Surfside Buslines purchasing examples.[6]

United States[edit]

From 1983 to 1986, a number of B10M was built and used in the United States. The American B10M was manufactured mostly in its articulated form (which was purchased by SEPTA, SamTrans, and New Jersey Transit) though a standard length B10M model was made for the RIPTA with one example going to SEPTA as compensation for delays. Canadian production of the B10M articulated under licence to Ontario Bus Industries nearly took place, however it fell through when that company negotiated a more favorable deal with Ikarus Bus.


The B10M was purchased by government operators Brisbane Transport[7] and Metro Tasmania[8] in Australia as well as private operators, with large fleets built up in Sydney by Westbus[9] and in Melbourne by Grenda Corporation.[10]

New Zealand[edit]

In New Zealand, two Volvo B10M 2-axle buses with VoV B45D bodies built by Coachwork International were ordered by Auckland Regional Council in 1985. These are the only Volvo buses to receive the VoV body.

The articulated version of the B10M (constructed by Saracakis in 1993, 1995 and 1997) is also used in Thessaloniki.


The B10M as a single-deck bus was complemented (and was largely replaced) by the low-floor rear-engined B10L and B10BLE chassis in some markets in the late 1990s. In 2001 the B10M was replaced by the B12M, sporting a larger 12.1-litre engine.


  1. ^ Volvo B10M at Workington Commercial Motor 13 July 1989
  2. ^ British B10M makes debut Commercial Motor 28 June 1990
  3. ^ Midi Volvo on sale Commercial Motor 24 August 1985
  4. ^ Volvo C10M Bus Lists on the Web
  5. ^ Shearings builds up Commercial Motor 13 December 1990
  6. ^ "Tsukuba Expo Volvos in Australia" Australian Bus Panorama issue 6/1 July 1990 pages 3-8
  7. ^ Bus Fleet Lists Brisbane Transport Buses
  8. ^ Metro Tasmania Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  9. ^ CDC Group NSW Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  10. ^ Ventura Group Australian Bus Fleet Lists

External links[edit]

Media related to Volvo B10M at Wikimedia Commons