MAN Truck & Bus says that over a million trade show attendees showed interest in their Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) city bus presented at this year’s Seoul Motor Show in Goyang, South Korea. It is the first low-floor CNG bus offered in Korea.
Buses powered by alternative drive systems are hugely popular in South Korea due to their low emissions, hence the interest showed in the CNG city bus. Its low-floor design and three doors to allow passengers to board and disembark more quickly represent a new concept for the country. A private bus operator was so captivated by this design that it immediately signed an agreement to purchase the first 30 MAN city buses. These are expected to be delivered at the end of 2017.
Carmen Fakler, South Korea Market Entry Project Manager, sees great potential in MAN’s natural gas-powered low-floor bus in South Korea. Two local bus manufacturers currently hold a duopoly on the South Korean CNG bus market. “We are pursuing a clear objective in South Korea: breaking out of a niche market, to achieve mass-market penetration. Each bus developed for South Korea is virtually a new creation due to the need to meet local specification and type-approval requirements,” explains Fakler.
A MAN A22 chassis forms the basis for the 12-m long natural-gas powered city bus, which has 29 seats, 6 of which can be folded down. The option is also available to accommodate two wheelchairs. The 310-hp E28 engine provides reliable acceleration. A distinctive feature of the MAN city bus is its low-floor construction, which incorporates three doors. City bus fleets in South Korea have primarily consisted of high-floor and low-entry vehicles up to now, which is why MAN is introducing the first, and only, low-floor bus onto the market.
Project manager Carmen Fakler concludes, “following the motor show in Goyang, which ended with great success, we are now looking forward to more positive results for MAN Truck & Bus Korea and a rosy future in the South Korean market”.
(Source: MAN Truck and Bus AG)