IC Bus

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IC Bus
Subsidiary of Navistar International
Industry Manufacturing (Transportation)
Predecessor
Founded 2002 (as IC Corporation)
Headquarters 2601 Navistar Dr
Lisle, Illinois 60532
Number of locations

2

Area served
North America
Key people
John McKinney, President
Products
Parent Navistar International
Divisions [Carpenter Body Works](now folded into IC)
Website ICBus.com

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 of North America. Headquartered in Lisle, Illinois, IC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Navistar International. The company was established by Navistar in 2002 through a reorganization of its subsidiary bus manufacturer American Transportation Corporation (AmTran). 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 the bus body, chassis, and engine. 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]

2005-present IC CE

2000s: AmTran to IC[edit]

2002 IC RE (Fairfax County Public Schools)

The transition of the bus manufacturing subsidiary of Navistar began in 2000 as AmTran introduced a new-generation cowled-chassis conventional. While still based upon the International 3800 and sharing much of the body with its AmTran Volunteer/CS predecessor, the new bus featured a redesigned drivers compartment and larger windshield. The new bus was given the International IC name (IC standing for Integrated Coach/Chassis), the model emphasized how the entire vehicle (body, chassis, engine) was produced under a single corporate entity. To distinguish the IC from other Type C buses sharing the International 3800 chassis, the IC was given its own grille and hood badging.

After 2000, AmTran Corporation changed its name to International Truck and Bus, bringing it in line with the truck manufacturing division of Navistar (then International Truck and Engine); the AmTran FE and AmTran RE model lines adopted the International brand name and badging. For 2003, International re-branded its bus subsidiary to IC Corporation. After a minor update, the International IC was rebranded the IC CE-Series, in line with the FE and RE-Series buses.

In the mid-2000s, IC saw a number of changes. As Navistar introduced its first all-new cowled chassis since 1979 with the International 3300 (a cowled-chassis variant of the International 4300/Durastar), IC introduced a new-generation CE-Series in 2005. In 2006, the BE-Series was a second IC-bodied bus based on the 3300; although similar in configuration to the CE, the flat-floor low-profile BE was designed for users of smaller buses; its highest capacity was 30 passengers.

While the commercial products of Ward/AmTran had been strictly derived from variants of their school bus bodies, in 2006, IC launched two all-new product ranges for commercial, paratransit, and shuttle bus customers. In addition to commercial variants of the BE, CE, and RE, IC launched two cutaway-cab product lines based on the International Durastar. The HC-Series was a range of shuttle buses while the LC-Series was a low-floor bus aimed at paratransit customers.

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

2010s: Product adaptation[edit]

2010 marked a major transition of the IC product line. In a single year, the company ended production of one of its highest-capacity vehicles while making an introduction of its first small school bus. The FE-Series was removed from the IC product line, as dealers announced its discontinuation in April and the company removed its product literature from the IC Bus website. Subsequently, the only Type D bus in the IC product line is the rear-engine RE-Series. The International TerraStar Class 4/5 truck formed the basis of two new model lines introduced by the company. The AC-Series was introduced as a commercial shuttle bus (competing against van-based buses), while the AE-Series became the first cutaway-cab school bus produced by the company since the discontinuation of the AmTran Vanguard in 1996.

In the mid-2010s, IC Bus underwent changes to stabilize its model line. To re-emphasize the ties to its parent company, IC Bus modified its branding in 2013, adding the Navistar script to its IC Bus "wing" logo. To better focus on its core model lines, the AE/AC-Series, BE-Series, and LC-Series were discontinued in 2014. Currently (as of the 2017 model year, the CE and RE-Series school buses/MFSABs and commercial derivatives are produced alongside the HC-Series commercial shuttle bus (based on the Durastar truck).[1]

In response to the controversial EGR emissions strategy of Navistar, the MaxxForce engines were phased out in the CE-Series, with the Cummins ISB6.7 essentially taking the place of both previous diesel engines after being introduced as an option.[2] In 2015, IC debuted its first alternative-fuel vehicle, showing a propane-powered CE-Series with a PSI 8.8L V8 engine.[3] In 2016, the same engine was introduced in a gasoline-fueled configuration.[4] the Cummins L9 8.9L Diesel option was introduced For the RE Series, replaced the defunct Maxxforce Diesel options.

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 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.
  • The AE/AC-Series have a standard flat-floor interior[5]
  • As of July 2015 the AE product line was dropped from the web site.[6]
BE-Series

An IC BE200

2006–2015 Cowled chassis

(International 3300LP)

  • School bus/MFSAB (Type B)
  • Commercial bus
14-30
  • 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.
  • As of July 2015 the BE product line was dropped from the web site.[6]
CE-Series

IC CE300
IC CE-Series in Illinois

2001–present Cowled chassis

International 3800 (2001-2004)

International 3300

(2005-present)

  • School bus/MFSAB (Type C)
  • Commercial bus
29-77 (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 engine
FE-Series

IC FE300

1990-2010 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

1996–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 1996 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–present 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)
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

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 approximately 40%[dubious ] better fuel economy but cost about two and a half times more than a standard diesel bus ($210,000 versus $80,000).[7] Enova Systems[8] has entered into a long-term supply agreement with IC Bus[9] that guarantees that Enova’s proprietary Post Transmission Parallel Hybrid Electric drive system will be used in IC Bus’ hybrid electric school buses. 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[11]

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).

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. On January 11, 2008, IC Corporation announced a layoff of about 300 employees at the Conway, Arkansas Bus Plant.[12] This was just under the maximum number 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. 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. 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.

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 will serve as fabrication shops and will manufacture parts, but will no longer produce complete buses. The company cited low demand by school districts and contractors during the recessionary economic climate in the United States.[13] "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."[14]

On June 5, 2012, the Tulsa, Oklahoma IC Bus assembly plant produced its 100,000th vehicle.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ICBus - IC Bus - Leading School Bus Manufacturer". IC Bus. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "IC Bus Introducing Propane CE Series School Bus by Fall 2015". Stnonline.com. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  4. ^ "IC Bus Unveils Gasoline-Powered Type C School Bus". School Bus Fleet. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110713001841/http://www.icbus.com/ICBus/Buses/School%20Route/Feature/ci.School%20Route%20AE%20Series.feature/. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ a b "ICBus - IC Bus - Leading School Bus Manufacturer". IC Bus. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  7. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20070929102710/http://www.advancedenergy.org/corporate/initiatives/heb/phase4.php. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2007.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Enova | Electric, Hybrid Electric and Fuel Cell Drive Systems". Enovasystems.com. 2011-12-31. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  9. ^ "Enova Systems and IC Bus Execute Long Term Agreement For Hybrid School Buses". Green Car Congress. 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  10. ^ (PDF) https://web.archive.org/web/20101231211526/http://www.icbus.com/ICCorp/BusDownloads/School%20Route/CE%20Series%20Hybrid%20Sell%20Sheet.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 31, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ a b "IC Bus Announces Plans to Enter Motorcoach Market in 2010 (NYSE:NAV)". ir.navistar.com. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  12. ^ "Conway school-bus maker to lay off 300". Arkansasonline.com. 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ [3][dead link]
  15. ^ "Navistar Celebrates 100,000th Bus Milestone (NYSE:NAV)". Ir.navistar.com. 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 

External links[edit]