Tony Mongiovi is an institution in the motorcoach industry. After five decades, he’s still helping motorcoach operators build their fleets through sales and services.
Over the past 13 years, Mongiovi played a key role in helping Temsa establish a distribution operation in the North American market. He was the second North American employee hired by the Turkish manufacturer.
He recently talked to Ryan Kelly with the Motorcoach Channel about his 50-year career in the motorcoach industry.
“I’ve worked over the years with a few different manufacturers, and Temsa really loves the American market,” Mongiovi said. “They’re actually proud to be in the U.S. market. If a customer comes to us and says ‘boy, we really don’t like how you do this,’ or we really think you should do that, if (Temsa) thinks it’s a good idea they put it on an assembly line and they start doing it.”
That was the case with one customer who requested the addition of a small door on the bus to access a compartment so he didn’t have to use a bigger door. The door was added.
Mongiovi is the northeast representative for Temsa in North America on sales and service, serving a region that stretches from Maine to Virginia.
He was part of the team that rolled out Temsa’s 35-foot motorcoaches to the North American market. The smaller vehicles turned out to be a game changer and fueled Temsa’s market growth.
“That coach that put us on the map, and we still hold 80% of the 35-foot coach market in the U.S.,” Mongiovi said.
Kelly asked Mongiovi why he thinks the 35-foot coaches are so popular.
“I believe it’s because the charter groups got smaller,” Mongiovi said, noting that tour operators were noticing the inefficiency of having 10 to 15 empty seats.
The vehicles are easier to maneuver and fit into parking spaces than a traditional 45-foot coach. Other positives include a lower price tag and higher fuel efficiency.
“It’s been a home run for sure,” he said.
Able to meet demand
The global bus manufacturer headquartered in Adana, Turkey, sells a wide range of vehicles across 84 countries. Mongiovi said that global footprint benefits the U.S. customer.
“I hate the word supply chain because it’s all we hear lately ever since COVID,” he said. “But when you can buy in bulk like that, it certainly helps the supply chain. We’ve become more efficient by making our own parts because there are so many vehicles being built.”
Post-COVID, Temsa has benefitted from the rising demand for buses.
“We are hoping to sell 80 buses in ‘22. That was going to be a home run for us, and we put 142 over the curb. Mostly because we had them,” Mongiovi said. “For us, it was a perfect storm. Some of our competitors had less inventory. We had it, and it seemed at that point if you had it, you were going to sell it. Our company seemed to benefit from some of the funding that the government was giving. So the money was there and the banks were lending.”
Temsa North America is anticipating an even better 2023.
“I don’t believe we’re building enough buses,” Mongiovi said. “We have taken more deposits pre-delivery than I think we ever have, so it’s going to be a banner year.”
This year, Temsa is taking its new electric demo buses on tour throughout the U.S.
“We’re pretty excited because we make our own batteries. We even mined some of our own minerals. (Temsa) is really involved in the electric end of (production),” he said.
Motorcoach Channel launches podcast to tell stories of the industry