IC Bus

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IC Bus
Formerly
IC Corporation (Integrated Coach Corporation)
Division of Navistar International
IndustryManufacturing (Transportation)
Predecessor
FoundedMay 9, 2002; 17 years ago (2002-05-09)[1]
Headquarters
2601 Navistar Dr
Lisle, Illinois 60532
Number of locations
2
Area served
North America
Key people
John McKinney, President
Products
ParentNavistar International
Websitewww.icbus.com/bus/ Edit this on Wikidata

IC Bus (originally IC Corporation) is an American bus manufacturer that produces yellow school buses and commercial-use buses (shuttle buses) primarily for the United States and Canada, with limited exports outside North America. Headquartered in Lisle, Illinois, IC is a division of Navistar International. The company was established by Navistar in May 9, 2002 through a reorganization of its subsidiary bus manufacturer American Transportation Corporation (AmTran).[1] Through AmTran, IC traces its roots back to the 1933 founding of Ward Body Works in Conway, Arkansas.

The IC company name stands for Integrated Coach, alluding to how the vehicles are nearly completely assembled under a single corporate structure. For all IC vehicles, Navistar produces both the bus body and chassis, while engines are supplied by Cummins (diesel/CNG) and PSI (gasoline/propane). Currently, all IC Bus vehicles are produced at its manufacturing facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma; since 2010, the former AmTran/Ward manufacturing facility in Conway, Arkansas has remained in use for fabrication and the production of parts.

History[edit]

2004-present IC CE

2000s[edit]

2002 IC RE (Fairfax County Public Schools)

In 2000, the IC name came into use for the first time, as AmTran introduced an updated version of its conventional-style bus body. While still based upon the International 3800 and sharing much of the body with its AmTran Volunteer/CS predecessor, the new bus introduced a redesigned drivers compartment and enlarged windshield. Named the International IC (IC standing for Integrated Coach/Chassis), the new bus emphasized how the entire vehicle was produced under the corporate entity of Navistar (who had purchased AmTran outright in 1995). To distinguish the International IC from other buses sharing the 3800 chassis, the hood of the IC was given its own grille and badging (marking the first visual update to International medium-duty trucks since 1989).

To bring the company in line with the truck manufacturing division of Navistar (at the time, International Truck and Engine), AmTran changed its name to International Truck and Bus after 2000; its model lines adopted the International brand name and badging for the body in addition to the chassis. In May 9, 2002, International renamed its bus division a second time, to IC Corporation.[1] After a minor revision, the International IC adopted the IC CE-Series name (to match the FE/RE-Series transit-style buses).

During the mid-2000s, IC began an overhaul of its product line. In 2004, the International 3300 was introduced as a cowled-chassis variant of the International 4000-series (DuraStar), becoming the first completely new cowled chassis from International since 1979. In 2004, IC produced its first small school bus, the 30-passenger BE200. In place of a cutaway van chassis, the BE adopted a lower-profile version of the 3300 chassis. Externally similar to the CE, the smaller BE was designed with a flat-floor interior.

To comply with 2007 EPA emissions standards, IC buses adopted MaxxForce diesel engines for 2007, including the MaxxForce 7 6.4L V8 and the MaxxForce DT 7.6L I6. For 2008, to improve engine ventilation, the FE was given a wider grille, with the BE and CE adopting the redesigned front bumper of the International DuraStar.

In April 2009, IC Corporation changed its name to IC Bus.

Commercial bus production[edit]

During its existence, the commercial product offerings of AmTran had been strictly derived from its school bus bodies, consisting as a small portion of its sales. In 2006, IC launched an expansion of its product range. Alongside the existing commercial derivatives of the BE, CE, and RE, the company introduced buses based on a cutaway-cab version of the International DuraStar. The HC was a range of shuttle buses; the LC was a paratransit bus with a low-floor configuration.[2]

2010s[edit]

For 2010, IC underwent an overhaul of its product line. The FE-series (which entered production in 1990 as the Ward Senator, later becoming the AmTran Genesis) was discontinued, leaving the RE as its sole transit-style bus offering. At the other end of the size spectrum, IC introduced two cutaway-cab buses derived from the International TerraStar truck. Slotted below the HC, the AC was a commercial shuttle bus, while the AE marked the first cutaway-cab school bus produced by the company.[3][4] While using a smaller truck line for a donor chassis, the AE was offered in a higher seating capacity than the BE, up to 36 passengers.

In a branding change, from 2010 onward, Navistar badged the International 3200 (the cutaway-cab version of the DuraStar) as an IC, regardless of body manufacturer. The IC "wing" logo was revised slightly in 2013 for 2014 production (with Navistar script added to the emblem and to the rear bumper).

In the mid-2010s, IC centralized production around school buses. After 2014, the AE, BE, AC, and LC were discontinued; the HC was withdrawn after 2016. As of 2019 production, the product line consists of the CE and RE school buses/MFSABs and their commercial derivatives.

In response to the failure of its EGR emissions strategy to meet emissions standards[5], Navistar began to phase out MaxxForce diesel engines in favor of Cummins-produced engines. In the CE, the Cummins ISB6.7 was introduced as an option for 2014 production[6][7], becoming the standard engine for 2015. For the RE, the MaxxForce DT was replaced by a Cummins L9 diesel, with a Cummins B6.7 introduced during 2018.

Alternative-fuel strategy[edit]

In the United States, Navistar was the sole diesel engine manufacturer to pursue the use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to control diesel emissions rather than selective catalytic reduction (SCR). The company claimed EGR posed an advantage in overall fluid economy (measuring combined diesel + urea consumption), although separate testing resulted in an advantage with SCR.[8][9]

In 2015, IC debuted its first alternative-fuel vehicle, showing a propane-powered CE-Series with a PSI 8.8L V8 engine.[10] In 2016, the same engine was introduced in a gasoline-fueled configuration.[11]

Products[edit]

School/commercial buses[edit]

Model designations

Prior to 2010, IC used the following nomenclature (on school buses) to designate the engine type; subsequently, only the model prefix has been used.

Diesel Engine Configuration BE-Series CE-Series FE-Series RE-Series
V8

(i.e. T444E, VT365, MF7)

BE200 CE200 RE200
Inline-6

(i.e. DT466, MFDT)

CE300 FE300 RE300
IC Bus Product Line (School Buses)
Model Name Production Date Assembly Location Chassis Configuration

(Chassis Model)

Vehicle type Seating Capacity Notes
AE-Series
AC-Series

An IC AE-Series

2010–2015. AE 2015 only. Tulsa, Oklahoma Cutaway cab/chassis

(International TerraStar)

  • School bus/MFSAB (Type A)
  • Shuttle bus
36 (AE-Series)
31 (AC-Series)
  • Available as the AC-Series shuttle bus and the AE-Series school bus, both are based on the International TerraStar.
    • The AE-Series is the first cutaway-chassis school bus from IC Bus. Built for 1 model year only.
  • The AE/AC-Series have a standard flat-floor interior[12]
  • As of July 2015 the AE product line was dropped from the web site.[13]
BE-Series

An IC BE200

2004–2015 Cowled chassis

(International 3300LP)

  • School bus/MFSAB (Type B)
  • Commercial bus
up to 35
  • The BE-Series is a lower-GVWR version of the CE-Series; it is marketed towards customers who transport special-needs students (competing as an alternative to van-based buses).
  • Apart from its smaller size, the BE differs from the CE on the inside; a flat-floor interior is standard.[14]
  • As of July 2015 the BE product line was dropped from the web site.[13]
CE-Series

IC CE300
IC CE-Series in Illinois

2001–present Cowled chassis

International 3800 (2001-2004)

International 3300

(2004–present)

  • School bus/MFSAB (Type C)
  • Commercial bus
29-78 (school bus/MFSAB) 52 (commercial bus)
  • The CE-Series was introduced in 2001 (based on the International 3800) and is currently in its second generation (based on the International Durastar/3300.
  • The CE was the basis for a diesel-electric hybrid option, with both charge-sustaining and charge-depleting hybrid configurations.
  • Current Engine options are the Cummins ISB 6.7 diesel engine and PSI 8.8 propane or gasoline engine[15]
FE-Series

IC FE300

1998-2010 Conway, Arkansas Front-engine stripped chassis

(International 3900FC)

School bus (Type D)
54-90
  • The IC FE was introduced in 1990 as the Ward Senator and later as the AmTran Genesis with gradual updates (1992, 1995, 1998, 2005, 2008).
  • In April 2010, IC Bus removed the IC FE product literature from its website as dealers announced its discontinuation.
  • Due to its chassis design, the FE-Series was only sold with inline-six engines (300-series designation)
RE-Series
RC-Series

IC RE

1995–present Conway, Arkansas


Tulsa, Oklahoma

Rear-engine stripped chassis

(International 3000)

  • School bus/MFSAB (Type D)
  • Commercial bus
  • Transit bus
  • 66-90 (school bus/MFSAB)
  • 56 (commercial bus)
  • The IC RE was introduced in 1995 as the AmTran RE with an interior redesign in late 1998; an exterior update was made in 2005.
  • Commercial variants were initially branded as the RC-Series, taking on the RE-Series name around 2009.
IC Bus Product Line (Commercial Buses)
Model Name Production Date Assembly Location Chassis Configuration

(Chassis Model)

Vehicle Type Seating Capacity Notes
LC-Series 2006-2014 Tulsa, Oklahoma Cutaway cab/chassis

(International 3200)

Low-floor shuttle bus
  • The LC-Series was a low-floor ADA-compliant shuttle bus based on the International DuraStar cutaway cab.
  • In early 2014, IC Bus removed the LC-Series product literature from its website; its production status is unknown.
HC-Series

IC HC-Series in a parade in Georgia

2006–2016 Cutaway cab/chassis

(International 3200)

  • Commercial bus
  • Limo bus
  • Tour bus
  • 45 (HC Commercial, Gold, Platinum)
  • 25 (HC Bronze)
  • The HC-Series is a high-floor shuttle bus based on the International DuraStar cutaway cab sold in various configurations.
  • The HC was also available in a parallel-drive hybrid model (MaxxForce DT)[16]
Version Notes
HC Commercial standard trim
HC Bronze shorter-length version
HC Gold deluxe trim
HC Platinum tour bus; full cab with co-pilot seat

Prototype vehicles[edit]

Forward Advantage Prototype[edit]

The IC FE Forward Advantage was a school bus prototype built by IC in 2008 as a testbed of a "flat-floor" design in the stepwell due to the compact design of the Caterpillar C7 engine. It also included some front-end styling modifications influenced by the severe-service line of International trucks. As Caterpillar has withdrawn from producing diesel engines for the school bus market, the Forward Advantage will not see production in its current form since its design was tailored to the Caterpillar engine.

Hybrid diesel-electric buses[edit]

IC offers hybrid diesel-electric powertrains in the CE conventional school bus as an option. The buses provide a claimed approximately 40% to 65%[dubious ] better fuel economy[17][18] but cost about two and a half times more than a standard diesel bus ($210,000 versus $80,000).[19][20]

Enova Systems[21] entered into a long-term supply agreement with IC Bus[22] that guarantees that Enova's proprietary Post Transmission Parallel Hybrid Electric drive system will be used in IC Bus' hybrid electric school buses.[17] The hybrid school bus project features Enova's charge depleting (or "plug-in") or charge-sustaining systems. The drivetrain is powered by Valence Technology lithium ion phosphate battery modules. The braking system utilizes regenerative braking both as a means to reduce wear on the service brakes and to supply the batteries with extra power.[18]

Motorcoach prototypes[edit]

At the 2008 American Public Transportation Association Expo trade show, Navistar announced its intention to enter the intercity motorcoach segment by 2010, unveiling two prototypes produced by IC Bus.[23] Using the MaxxForce 13 powerplant, IC Bus produced a 40-foot long prototype alongside a 45-foot prototype. Using wind-tunnel design, the company predicted similar fuel-efficiency gains that were seen with the streamlined International ProStar semitractor.[23]

Following the two prototypes, IC Bus abandoned its efforts in the motorcoach segment, concentrating its commercial buses on school bus derivatives and the HC-Series (a cutaway variant of the International DuraStar).

Electric bus[edit]

On November 7, 2017, IC Bus announced the chargE, an all-electric CE Series bus delivering up to 260 kilowatts (350 hp) in power using a Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group-supplied common group electric drivetrain. It is the second electric vehicle to be delivered from the Navistar-Volkswagen alliance. The chargE is predicted to be available by 2019.[24]

Assembly[edit]

All IC Corporation/IC Bus vehicles are produced in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, facility opened by AmTran in 1999. Prior to 2008, Type D models were produced in the Ward/AmTran facility in Conway, Arkansas.

IC Corporation announced potential layoffs of up to 500 workers at the Conway plant (which employed approximately 1,000) in June 2007. Demand for school buses were affected by a price hike in the 2007 model year due to more stringent emissions regulations. School districts increased their purchases of the 2006 model year buses, which were $5,000 to $7,000 less than the 2007 model year buses, and the Conway plant was producing approximately 30 buses per day, down from 50 buses per day during the peak demand.[25] Although the company later announced no layoffs would occur in 2007,[26] the layoffs materialized on January 11, 2008, when IC Corporation announced a layoff of about 300 employees at the Conway, Arkansas Bus Plant.[27] This was just under the maximum proportion of employees that could be laid off in Conway without the company violating the WARN Act, which requires employers to give 60 days notice of a mass layoff or plant closing.[28] In addition to the layoffs, the company also announced a 50 percent reduction in bus production at the Conway plant. IC Corp. officials cited a lack of new orders as the reason for the layoffs.[25] However, the company had recently announced increased production at the plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This stoked fears in Conway that the company was planning to shut down the plant in the near future and move all production to the newer, and non-union, Tulsa plant.

170 more workers were laid off at the Conway plant in March 2009. At the time, production had slowed to 16 buses per day, and following the layoffs, "cancellation of a huge order" resulted in production dropping to 8 buses per day.[29] On November 5, 2009, IC Bus announced that its Conway plant would no longer assemble buses after January 18, 2010, projecting elimination of 477 jobs. The Conway facilities would serve as fabrication shops and manufacture parts, but would no longer produce complete buses. The company cited low demand by school districts and contractors during the recessionary economic climate in the United States.[30] "We have to consolidate our bus-assembly operations into one facility," Navistar spokesman Roy Wiley said. "Unfortunately for Conway, Tulsa is a much newer facility."[31] Navistar sold off the Conway property in 2014.[32]

On June 5, 2012, the Tulsa, Oklahoma IC Bus assembly plant produced its 100,000th vehicle.[33] Workers at the Tulsa plant joined the United Auto Workers in 2013.[34] The Conway property was acquired by DBG Canada Ltd., a manufacturer of parts for the heavy truck industry, in 2017, and DBG announced it would make Conway its United States headquarters.[35]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The International Truck And Engine Corporation Bus Vehicle Center And Its Subsidiary, American Transportation Corporation, Form New Brand Identity". Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "IC Corporation Expands Beyond School Buses to Include New Commercial Bus Line; Five New Commercial Bus Models Launched" (Press release). Navistar. June 7, 2006. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "Navistar's IC Bus Launches All-New Small Shuttle Bus" (Press release). Navistar. September 28, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "Navistar's IC Bus Launches AE Series, School Bus Industry's First Integrated Type A School Bus. The AE was actually only built for one model year" (Press release). Navistar. November 1, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "Order instituting cease-and-desist proceedings purusuant to Section 8A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21C of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, making findings, and imposing a cease-and-desist order" (PDF). Securities and Exchange Commission. March 31, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  6. ^ "Power Partners". IC Bus. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  7. ^ "Navistar's IC Bus Unveils First CE Series School Bus With Cummins ISB" (Press release). Navistar. October 22, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  8. ^ "Navistar's IC Bus Beats Competition in Fluid Economy" (Press release). Navistar. June 16, 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  9. ^ Fuel Economy Comparison: Thomas Built bus with Cummins ISB, IC bus with MaxxForce 7 (PDF) (Report). Thomas Built bus. August 3–7, 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  10. ^ Fisher, Michelle (September 1, 2014). "IC Bus Introducing Propane CE Series School Bus by Fall 2015". Stnonline.com. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  11. ^ McMahon, Thomas (July 25, 2016). "IC Bus Unveils Gasoline-Powered Type C School Bus". School Bus Fleet. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  12. ^ "AE Series School Route Bus". Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  13. ^ a b "ICBus - IC Bus - Leading School Bus Manufacturer". IC Bus. Archived from the original on July 15, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  14. ^ "BE Series School Route Bus". IC Bus. Archived from the original on December 31, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  15. ^ "CE Series" (PDF). IC Bus. February 24, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  16. ^ "IC Bus Helps Emeryville, California Go Green With New Hybrid Commercial Buses" (Press release). Navistar. May 12, 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  17. ^ a b "California's Newest Green Product - A Hybrid School Bus - Saves Fuel, Reduces Emissions" (Press release). Navistar. July 25, 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2018. After one school year and 13,000 miles, [Ralph Knight, transportation director at Napa Valley School District] was pleasantly surprised to learn that the fuel efficiency of the hybrid bus helped him reach close to 13 miles per gallon -- nearly double the fuel efficiency of a typical diesel school bus. [...] Traveling about 65 miles per day, the hybrid bus typically transports roughly 60 children each morning and 60 each afternoon through a mixed route of highway and city driving.
  18. ^ a b "CE Series Hybrid Sell Sheet" (PDF). IC Bus. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 31, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  19. ^ "Plug-in Hybrid Electric School Bus, Project Phases - Phase IV". Advanced Energy. September 29, 2007. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "Third and Fourth Graders Win Hybrid Bus for Their School as Nation Selects 'America's Greenest School" (Press release). Business Wire. April 27, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  21. ^ "Enova | Electric, Hybrid Electric and Fuel Cell Drive Systems". Enovasystems.com. December 31, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  22. ^ "Enova Systems and IC Bus Execute Long Term Agreement For Hybrid School Buses". Green Car Congress. May 20, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  23. ^ a b "IC Bus Announces Plans to Enter Motorcoach Market in 2010 (NYSE:NAV)". Navistar (Press release). October 6, 2008. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  24. ^ "IC Bus unveils IC electric bus chargE(TM), its all-new electric school bus" (Press release). Navistar. November 7, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  25. ^ a b Lamb, Joe (July 21, 2007). "Layoffs still a possibility for IC Corp". Log Cabin Democrat. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  26. ^ Dickerson, Rachel Parker (September 21, 2007). "Layoffs not expected at IC Corp". Log Cabin Democrat. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  27. ^ "Conway school-bus maker to lay off 300". Arkansasonline.com. January 11, 2008. Archived from the original on April 22, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  28. ^ Dickerson, Rachel Parker (January 12, 2008). "IC Corporation's parent company announces layoffs". Log Cabin Democrat. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  29. ^ Dickerson, Rachel Parker (March 26, 2009). "IC Corp layoffs total 170". Log Cabin Democrats. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  30. ^ [1][dead link]
  31. ^ "Plant to stop bus making; up to 477 jobs affected". Arkansas Online. The Associated Press. November 5, 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  32. ^ Corbet, Michelle (May 19, 2014). "IC Bus property sells for $1.8M". Log Cabin Democrats. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  33. ^ "Navistar Celebrates 100,000th Bus Milestone (NYSE:NAV)". Ir.navistar.com. June 5, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  34. ^ Arnold, Kyle (February 19, 2013). "IC Bus workers to unionize with United Auto Workers". Tulsa World. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  35. ^ Wilson, Kristen (August 2, 2017). "DBG acquires former Conway operation for U.S. headquarters". KATV Little Rock. Retrieved January 3, 2018.

External links[edit]