ABC sells 1,000th Van Hool CX45, unveils future coach
ST. LOUIS – ABC Companies celebrated the sale of the 1,000th Van Hool CX45 during UMA Motorcoach Expo 2017 and also delivered Van Hool coaches to three operators.
ABC also unveiled a next generation “bus of the future,” a prototype created to showcase how new technologies can be integrated into motorcoaches.
Van Hool CEO Filip Van Hool was on hand to celebrate the sale of the company’s 1,000th CX45 to Windstar Lines of Carroll, Iowa.
Van Hool noted that the coach model reached the milestone only a few years after being introduced.
ABC and Van Hool presented the Greteman family, owners of Windstar, with a model bus to commemorate the sale.
Windstar has been purchasing Van Hool coaches from ABC since 1995
“They’re lifers,” ABC Chief Commercial Officer Roman Cornell said of the Gretemans. “They’re locked into us for life.”
ABC also delivered two Van Hool CX45s and two CX35s during Expo.
Vandalia Bus Lines of Caseyville, Ill., across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, received a CX-45 featuring graphics depicting the city’s history and sites.
CIT Signature Transportation of Ames, Iowa, took delivery of two new Van Hool motorcoaches, a CX45 and a CX35.
Premier Coaches Northwest of Federal Way, Wash., received a CX35 during Expo.
ABC also showcased the Van Hool NextGen FX prototype bus. Built on a two-door Van Hool TX45 model, the coach features a multi-zoned floor plan featuring new and emerging technologies.
They include intelligent driver controls and “infotainment” platforms that integrate virtual reality and gaming stations and surround sound.
The coach also includes a commercial-grade refrigerator for food service, a rear conference room and lounge with a smart TV and wireless charging stations, and an automatic luggage bay door that can be operated by remote control.
The virtual-reality center on the coach includes an Oculus headset for full virtual reality immersion for movies and gaming, personal in-seat theater, and touch-panel LED mood lighting synchronized with music.
ABC officials said there is a chance that some of the technologies will never be used on a motorcoach, while others could become common in the coming years.
ABC engineer Josh Waldron said the company developed the NextGen FX “to have fun and push the envelope and to see what the market can handle.”