It was great to be back. Our bus and coach expert finance team strengthened their relationships with some of our loyal customers and made lots of new connections at the Euro Bus Expo, held at Birmingham’s NEC.
After a break of three years, the show was well attended by both exhibitors and visitors. There was a real sense of positivity around – people were glad to meet up with old friends, customers and suppliers after the pandemic-hit last couple of years. It was an opportunity for industry figures to reconnect and operators to cement bonds with suppliers.
Talking to our colleagues in the bus and coach sector, the consensus is that we will continue to face a number of challenges heading into 2023, not least impacts around the rise in interest rates, ongoing delays in the supply chain and driver shortages. This was probably highlighted by the absence of a few major manufacturers, although most were there in force, keen to make their presence felt at an important industry event.
We had our top team at the show and our presence was well received. In attendance were Michael Bycroft, Managing Director, Bus & Coach and Asset Funding; Anthony Jones, Head of Vendor Finance and Key Accounts; Darren Fitzpatrick, Sales Director, Bus & Coach; Scott Burke, National Sales Manager; Grant Law, Marketing Director; Matthew Board, Head of General Asset Finance; and Jordana O’ Reilly, Media & Communications Manager.
At Asset Alliance Group, in the face of ongoing industry challenges, our business is resilient and there’s no question that we will adapt and overcome these. For more than two decades, our team has been serving the bus and coach industry with specialist financial support, including our own lending and broker services, working with national operators as well as local bus, coach and mini-bus businesses.
Euro Bus Expo was also the perfect platform to showcase our General Asset Finance and Vendor Finance propositions and full range of finance packages to our industry colleagues and the many visitors who came to our stand. We gained a number of positive introductions from manufacturers.
It was encouraging to see such good customer footfall across the three days of the event. On display were the latest vehicles, innovations and technology that will improve the everyday key components of running a bus or coach operation/service.
As to be expected, there was a strong emphasis on green technology. The Expo was dominated by manufacturers showcasing their electric buses and coaches. EV-powered alternatives were of course very much in evidence.
Among the highlights were the Scania battery electric chassis, the Go-Ahead London Irizar ie tram single-deck battery-electric bus and the ADL in-house battery-electric bus range with an impressive stand and mini theatre.
There was a significant focus on zero emissions, with the growing presence of electric/hydrogen vehicles on manufacturers’ stands indicating that the push to greener technology is gathering momentum. Discussions with SME customers suggested we are still a few years away from seeing a true shift to electric/hydrogen. Many of these operators are waiting to see others make the first move to observe their successes/challenges, particularly given the considerable investment.
The Route One awards dinner was well-attended and brought lots of our valued industry friends together in a convivial setting that rounded off a great Euro Bus Expo for our team of bus and coach specialists.
Photo: Asset Alliance Group’s top team: Grant Law, Marketing Director; Scott Burke, National Sales Manager; Michael Bycroft, Managing Director, Bus & Coach and Asset Funding; Matthew Board, Head of General Asset Finance; Darren Fitzpatrick, Sales Director, Bus & Coach; Anthony Jones, Head of Vendor Finance and Key Accounts; and Jordana O’ Reilly, Media & Communications Manager.