MCI, a major North American manufacturer of motorcoaches, has sold off most of its pre-owned bus inventory and consolidated the sales team into one that handles new and used buses.
Brent Maitland, MCI’s Vice President for Private Sector Sales and Marketing, confirmed a rumor about the sale that had been circulating around the motorcoach industry.
“We did sell essentially all of our pre-owned units,” Maitland said. “In general, we had an opportunity from a company that was interested and that has a longer time horizon before they sell or lease them later, when the market improves.”
He said that as part of the deal, MCI agreed not to reveal the name of the buyer. However, industry sources confirm the buyer is private equity firm Atlys Capital. Atlys operates Global Coach Sales, a pre-owned motorcoach dealer based in Nashville that is currently building a new website. Efforts to reach the company for comment have been unsuccessful.
Sold or scrapped
Maitland said the coaches sold under the deal are “various ages, mostly older equipment.” He declined to say how many coaches were sold or the sales price but industry insiders speculated more than 300 were sold. Other companies were reportedly offered similar deals but declined them.
Maitland said MCI also has recently scrapped many of its older pre-owned coaches that were in bad shape. The company shifted the pre-owned sales responsibilities to its new coach sales team.
MCI’s new coach sales team now handles the entire sales process. They sell the new buses and resell vehicles traded in by the buyers. Maitland said this would be more efficient and a more effective use of company resources and places focus on new coach buyers wanting to trade in equipment.
As to selling off its pre-owned coach inventory, he explained, “We were nearing capacity between new and used units, and this will allow us to free up space and focus on our primary business, which is selling new coaches. And we will no longer have to deal with those used coaches on our lots in a market that has been difficult.”
Pre-owned bus Inventory: Thousands for sale
The coronavirus pandemic all but shut down the motorcoach industry in March. Ever since, sales of both new and used buses have cratered. Currently, an estimated 3,000 used coaches are for sale. The MCI deal will add more to that number.
A bright spot industry-wide has been manufacturers fulfilling contracts for commuter coaches to public agencies that were approved and funded before the pandemic hit.
Maitland said MCI has no plans of leaving the pre-owned coach or the private motorcoach markets. “We plan to continue taking trade-ins for new coaches and, eventually, our inventory of pre-owned coaches will start growing again,” he said.
Over the summer, the near shutdown of the industry because of the coronavirus pandemic was the catalyst for combining New Flyer, which manufactures transit buses for the public sector, and MCI, which makes motorcoaches for the private and public markets.
The move is expected to save $75 million over the next two years, a top official of parent company NFI Group Inc. told Bus & Motorcoach News.
Maitland added that he didn’t know what the buyers of the MCI pre-owned inventory were planning to do with the coaches. “We have not had discussions on their business plan.”