Interiors are going luxe

Limo look, more legroom among trends in motorcoach seating

Seating on motorcoaches is getting more comfortable and stylish. Manufacturers are introducing seating with more legroom and materials that take a page from limousines and other high-end cars.

Sardo Bus & Coach Upholstery says it is seeing growing requests for simple, more elegant seating.

“I think some of that’s coming from the limo companies that have been buying more coaches,” said Sandy Follis, president of sales, adding that Sardo has done 70 coaches so far this year in a “limo look.”

Also in demand are faux wood floors in cherry and gray finishes, she said. “For every other bus I do, I’m doing a floor, and it didn’t used to be like that,” Follis said.

This year, the 102-year-old company doubled the size of its factory in Gardena, California, to 20,000 square feet, and the Sardo crews travel the country installing seating and renovating interiors.

Amaya Astron Seating is seeing demand at a livelier end of the design spectrum. The company has been ramping up the use of brilliant hues and patterns so seats look more original or identify with a client’s brand or logo. The demand is being supported by upholstery suppliers in their fabric, vinyl, and leather choices in order to meet the motorcoach operators expectations, said Donovan Albarrion, the company’s vice president of export sales.

Over the past two years, the seating manufacturer has introduced two new seat models—A220 and GT—that take the opposite approach to today’s shrinking airline seat room. The seats have a thinner seatback design to provide more legroom and comfort as well. The company is in the final stages of development of its newest seat model, the SIGMA, which was first introduced as a concept at the UMA EXPO last year in San Antonio. “The SIGMA is also a thin seatback seat and includes the integration of ergonomic and stylish design featuring to allow for more visibility from the passengers’ perspective,” Albarrion said.


Taking cures from high-end cars

Automotive interiors have inspired some of the new seating coverings. Flatwoven constructions such as classic wool plush and luxurious looking chenille are rapidly gaining in popularity, along with leatherette and vinyl, especially as accent pieces, says Brett Lowell, Product Manager of Market Development at Camira Fabrics Limited.

He added that wool and polyester velour are still the most popular choice due to their durability and comfort, though they are often now used in combination with flatweaves and vinyl to create a more modern aesthetic. Design detail in flatweave and plush velour is going toward more geometric and subtle repeating designs.


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