NFI Group Inc., is a manufacturer of transit buses and motorcoaches, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The company is the largest bus manufacturer in North America, with a 43% market share of all heavy-duty transit buses and a 45% market share of all motorcoaches produced in 2018. The company employs 6,200 across 31 facilities in the United States and Canada.
The company currently sells vehicles under five brands: Alexander Dennis (heavy-duty transit buses, double-deck transit buses and motorcoaches), ARBOC Specialty Vehicles (cutaway buses and medium-duty transit buses), Motor Coach Industries (motorcoaches), New Flyer (heavy-duty transit buses) and Plaxton (motorcoaches for the European market). The company also operates NFI Parts, an aftermarket parts company, and Carfair Composites, a fiberglass components supplier.
Ownership and management
New Flyer was founded by John Coval in 1930 as the Western Auto and Truck Body Works Ltd. Reflecting an increased focus on bus manufacturing where it used the brand name Western Flyer, it changed its name in 1948 to Western Flyer Coach.
In the 1960s, the company further focused on the urban transit bus market. In 1971, the then-financially struggling Western Flyer was sold to the Manitoba Development Corporation, an agency of the Manitoba government, and renamed Flyer Industries Limited. In 1974 the opposition Progressive Convservative party of Manitoba had urged the NDP government in power to sell of Flyer Industries from government ownership.
On July 15, 1986, Jan den Oudsten, a descendant of the family who formed Dutch bus manufacturer Den Oudsten Bussen BV, purchased Flyer Industries from the Manitoba government, changing its name to New Flyer Industries Limited.
In March 2002, New Flyer was acquired by KPS Capital Partners, an investment company that specializes in turning around struggling businesses. Later that year Jan den Oudsten retired as CEO. He was later inducted into the American Public Transportation Association's Hall of Fame for his work at the company.
On December 15, 2003, New Flyer was purchased by private equity firms Harvest Partners and Lightyear Capital. The company's CEO, John Marinucci, called the purchase an indicator that the company's operational and financial turnaround had been accomplished. On August 19, 2005, New Flyer became a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
In October 2008, New Flyer was named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers, which was announced in The Globe and Mail newspaper, and the company was featured in Maclean's newsmagazine. Later that month, New Flyer was also named one of Manitoba's Top Employers, which was announced by the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper.
The company converted to a corporate structure from a trust-like structure in October 2011.
As competing manufacturer Daimler exited the North American market in 2013, New Flyer purchased the aftermarket parts business for its Orion brand of heavy-duty transit buses for $29 million. Under the agreement, New Flyer acquired the Orion parts inventory, the company's accounts, license to use proprietary part designs and agreed to provide parts for customer warranty support.
On June 21, 2013, New Flyer agreed to acquire competing heavy-duty transit bus manufacturer, North American Bus Industries (NABI). Upon completion of NABI's outstanding orders, New Flyer converted the former NABI factory in Anniston, AL into a fourth facility to produce the Xcelsior heavy-duty transit bus.
On September 22, 2016, Marcopolo S.A. reduced its stake in New Flyer to 10.8%, although it remains the largest individual shareholder.
On December 1, 2017, New Flyer acquired small and mid-sized bus manufacturer ARBOC Specialty Vehicles for US$95 million.
New Flyer designed and tested North America's first low-floor bus in 1988 and delivered the first production model, called the D40LF, to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1991. In 1994, New Flyer delivered the first compressed natural gas bus in North America and the world's first hydrogen fuel cell powered bus. In 1995, the company delivered the first low-floor articulated bus in North America to Strathcona County Transit.
2005 saw a restyling of New Flyer's popular low-floor coaches with new front and rear endcaps, to modernize and streamline the exterior appearance of the bus.
In May 2012, New Flyer and Alexander Dennis announced a joint venture to design and manufacture medium-duty low-floor bus (or midi bus) for the North American market. The bus, called the New Flyer MiDi was based on the design of the Alexander Dennis Enviro200. Alexander Dennis engineered and tested the bus, and it was built and marketed by New Flyer under contract. During the partnership around 200 buses were delivered to 22 operators in Canada and US. In May 2017, New Flyer and Alexander Dennis announced their joint venture would end and production of the bus would transition to Alexander Dennis' new North American factory in Indiana where it is produced alongside the double-deck Enviro500 series bus.
Current New Flyer model numbers are composed of a model code, a power source code and the length of the bus. Note that not all possible combinations have been offered.
Current production model
|Xcelsior||35 feet (11 m)
40 feet (12 m)
60 feet (18 m)
|8.6 feet (2.6 m)||2008||
New Flyer operates five facilities where new transit buses are manufactured.
Of these facilities, the Winnipeg, St Cloud, and Anniston facilities have full production capability. The Crookston, MN and Pembina, ND facilities performs final assembly on buses from shells that are shipped from Winnipeg.
Specialty bus manufacturing
Parts Distribution Centers
New Flyer operates five facilities that distribute parts to customers. Some of these parts are built by New Flyer and some are OEM parts, built by other companies. The centers are geographically spread out to offer ground delivery service within two-days to all of the US and Canada. These facilities also provide parts for both Orion and NABI buses, after New Flyer purchased NABI and acquired the Orion parts business from Daimler in 2013.
Bus Component Fabrication
New Flyer operates facilities that fabricate the components used to build buses. TCB Industries is a wholly owned subsidiary that makes components for both New Flyer and other manufacturers.
New Flyer service centers are typically located in regions with the company's biggest customers. For these customers, New Flyer performs final assembly, pre-delivery inspection, acceptance, and training services for new buses. The Arnprior center also offers maintenance services for any make and model, including mid-life overhauls and collision repair.
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- "Xcelsior® - New Flyer - North America's Bus Leader". Retrieved 15 October 2018.
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- "TCB Enterprises". www.tcbind.com. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
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