What bus CEOs from Europe had to say about the ‘ugly bus’ debate

While I was in Long Beach, California, attending the UMA Motorcoach EXPO,  I met so many bus nuts from Europe, including the CEOs of Mercedes Benz Coaches, Temsa and Irizar USA. So I couldn’t pass up the chance to ask them whether or not they found buses in North America uglier than those from their homeland.  

This video with their – and other folks’ – answers is a follow-up to one of my more popular videos, about why so many Europeans find the buses we use in North America really outdated and ugly compared to those in Europe. 

Not only did the first video get more than 43,000 views, but there were more than 800 comments from folks around the globe. You seem to really enjoy that one, and I really enjoyed reading the passionate comments that I got from some of you. I mean really, really passionate comments.

What they said

Edi Pires shared that as a European, “I too did find U.S. buses ‘ugly’ and I didn’t know exactly why until this video. For me, the main reason is the lack of frameless windows that gives the buses elegance and modernity. Even the European buses from 20 years ago still look great because of it.”

Daniel Scarpino, the new president of Irizar USA, had great insight into the differences, especially when it comes to bumpers of U.S. buses that stick out like a chin and the double windows vs the single window on European buses.

(And by the way, Scarpino made my week at EXPO when he told me that he’s a fan of Motorcoach World and he watched the videos to help him research the U.S. market after he was promoted to his new role.)

“It’s always challenging to industrialize one product to so many regulations. So primarily, we industrialize our products in Europe because we are in Europe. That’s the market we were born in and that’s what we sell most. When we start a market like America, which is pretty challenging, we need to follow the standards that the regulations require. There are a lot of cultural things that take place when you need to do the adaptation.”

You can see more of what he and others had to say in this fun debate about motorcoach aesthetics.

Here’s what a few of you had to say after watching the video:

Gino’s Garage: “Great video, James, and I could not help but feel excited for you. Great interviews, and it’s great to see how enthusiastic these bus company owners and CEOs are about their products!”

Robert Finley: “Excellent video, James. I am sure it was a challenge just to pronounce everyone’s name correctly. I enjoyed all of the interviews and learned a lot, especially with the gentlemen from Irizar and learning about the company’s history. There is an old saying, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ I think Eagles were the most beautiful coach ever built. I prefer the round front over the flat front, but I was also an Eagle driver.”

AJMjazz: “Great video. Interesting to hear the European perspective on American buses and the design considerations of different markets. Well done!”

I also want to give a shoutout to Magne Håheim and Tom Terjesen, who covered the many happenings of the UMA Motorcoach EXPO for the audience of their Norwegian bus-focused publication Bussmagasinet. They have a very popular website and YouTube channel … And they came all the way here to see what buses are like here in the U.S.

Bus & Motorcoach News contributor James Wang is co-owner of Peoria Charters and a bus geek who shares his passion for the motorcoach industry on his two YouTube channels, J Wang and Motorcoach World

Read more of James Wang’s columns here.

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