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Chris.A

Orion bus International: The story of what could have been...

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This is just a curious topic. What caused Orion to go under? Lack of orders? A shotty product? Lack of variety? And what would have the Orion 8 and Orion 9 have been classwise?

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1 hour ago, Chris.A said:

This is just a curious topic. What caused Orion to go under? Lack of orders? A shotty product? Lack of variety? And what would have the Orion 8 and Orion 9 have been classwise?

The Orion IX (9) was apparently going to be an articulated bus based off the Mercedes O530G Citaro

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38 minutes ago, TechnicaProductions said:

The Orion IX (9) was apparently going to be an articulated bus based off the Mercedes O530G Citaro

So the Orion 8 would have been another 40 footer?

Why did Daimler close Orion?

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14 hours ago, Chris.A said:

So the Orion 8 would have been another 40 footer?

Why did Daimler close Orion?

Orion made the risky choice of just looking for large city orders. Yet there was a big market for small town orders. They were not making enough money.

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7 hours ago, TTC 9701 said:

Orion made the risky choice of just looking for large city orders. Yet there was a big market for small town orders. They were not making enough money.

There were areas that Orion had success in, notably the Southeastern U.S.  Amazing how many small cities in the Carolinas and Georgia were buying Orions right up to the end.  Same with Northern California to a lesser extent. 

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23 hours ago, Chris.A said:

So the Orion 8 would have been another 40 footer?

Why did Daimler close Orion?

Orion X was on the drawing board for a few years, when they wanted to get back into the articulated bus market once again. There were no official plans for an Orion VIII. The “X” would have been based on a similar platform of the Mercedes Citaro.

8 hours ago, TTC 9701 said:

Orion made the risky choice of just looking for large city orders. Yet there was a big market for small town orders. They were not making enough money.

There was no such thing that happened. They were involved in large orders for most of the final years and their bids department worked tirelessly in an effort to win every tender out there possible, no matter the quantity.

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He referenced the Carolinas and Georgia, which are southeastern states, so evidently not.

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Regional polarization may have been a factor: Orion's base was mostly in Ontario, Nova's in Quebec and the Maritimes, and NFI in the West. That's no longer the case; with Orion gone, there are novas in Vancouver and NFIs in Halifax.

The link in #2 post redirects only to the General Vehicle Discussion forum, not to any specific post there.

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I remember posting in another thread about the design similarities of the Orion VII NG and the Ambassador by VDL Berkhof of the Netherlands - most notably in the destination sign housing. Since the Ambassador design predates the VII NG by six years, I can't really say whether Daimler was inspired by or simply copied Berkhof's design when restyling the VII NG.

VJ_95780_(DK).JPGKing_County_Metro_Orion_VII_7012.jpg

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Orion and Mercedes were both owned by Daimler, so I'd bet good money that the NG design was derived from the Citaro (which predates the Ambassador by 4 years).

 

Something something Occam's razor...

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8 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Orion and Mercedes were both owned by Daimler, so I'd bet good money that the NG design was derived from the Citaro (which predates the Ambassador by 4 years).

 

Something something Occam's razor...

The 7 design really didn’t change much under the fibreglass ends. Side by side, you’d be hard pressed to tell the two skeletons apart, and the front and rear ends are the only places where any noteworthy changes were made at all.

I don’t think Daimler’s engineers cared to get involved in the NG directly.

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2 hours ago, Bus_Medic said:

The 7 design really didn’t change much under the fibreglass ends. Side by side, you’d be hard pressed to tell the two skeletons apart, and the front and rear ends are the only places where any noteworthy changes were made at all.

I don’t think Daimler’s engineers cared to get involved in the NG directly.

Understood, I should've clarified that I was specifically referring to the similarities in the destination sign housing that Transit geek speculated was stolen from VDL Berkhof more than anything else. Given the NG and the Citaro's ancestry, it would surprise me if that particular element came from anywhere else.

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19 hours ago, Transit geek said:

I remember posting in another thread about the design similarities of the Orion VII NG and the Ambassador by VDL Berkhof of the Netherlands - most notably in the destination sign housing. Since the Ambassador design predates the VII NG by six years, I can't really say whether Daimler was inspired by or simply copied Berkhof's design when restyling the VII NG.

VJ_95780_(DK).JPGKing_County_Metro_Orion_VII_7012.jpg

If anything, I kinda figured the Orion VII NG was a ripoff of the New Flyer D40LFR, much like how the Orion VII OG and Orion VI buses were ripoffs the D40LF.

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1 hour ago, Chris.A said:

If anything, I kinda figured the Orion VII NG was a ripoff of the New Flyer D40LFR, much like how the Orion VII OG and Orion VI buses were ripoffs the D40LF.

I think the term “ripoff” is reaching, to put it mildly. Flyer certainly doesn’t own the exclusive patent on the 2/3 low/high floor design concept.

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10 hours ago, Bus_Medic said:

I think the term “ripoff” is reaching, to put it mildly. Flyer certainly doesn’t own the exclusive patent on the 2/3 low/high floor design concept.

I'm not taking about the class of buses, just the looks of it. Very similar if you as me. And to be honest, the New Flyer D40LF looks like a low floor Orion V (despite the Orion VII OG basically be an actual low-floor Orion V). 

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3 hours ago, Chris.A said:

I'm not taking about the class of buses, just the looks of it. Very similar if you as me. And to be honest, the New Flyer D40LF looks like a low floor Orion V (despite the Orion VII OG basically be an actual low-floor Orion V). 

And the BYD buses look like the NFI Xcelsiors... 

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18 hours ago, Chris.A said:

If anything, I kinda figured the Orion VII NG was a ripoff of the New Flyer D40LFR, much like how the Orion VII OG and Orion VI buses were ripoffs the D40LF.

How was the Orion VI a 'ripoff' of the D40LF?  It was designed at the same time and it was a fully low-floor bus.  

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10 hours ago, Chris.A said:

I'm not taking about the class of buses, just the looks of it. Very similar if you as me. And to be honest, the New Flyer D40LF looks like a low floor Orion V (despite the Orion VII OG basically be an actual low-floor Orion V). 

This is veering off into "foamer" territory.

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13 hours ago, Chris.A said:

I'm not taking about the class of buses, just the looks of it. Very similar if you as me. And to be honest, the New Flyer D40LF looks like a low floor Orion V (despite the Orion VII OG basically be an actual low-floor Orion V). 

All of those buses you list are basically boxes on wheels. I think it's tough to say that one manufacture stole the concept of a rectangular box from another... and if you really want to go there... well, it was AMG with the Metropolitan body styling that brought on the basic box on wheels, rectangular passenger windows, flat front windshield etc. 

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To add, up to the mid 2000s manufacturers only had a finite number of sub assemblies to select from for their respective vehicle. 

Neither Orion, nor flyer or gillig make 4656 headlights, or the pots that hold them. One can only be so creative...till they start looking similar. But all this is pretty much moot. No municipality really gives a rats ass what they look like...and nether do I.

Initial purchase price, cost per mile and mean distance between failures sells units. In fact, “distinctive” styling can be a handicap, trapping fleet managers on a treadmill of overpriced, perpetually backordered, proprietary parts. (Ask anyone at VIVA....)

Professionals in the industry know this, although every once in awhile elected officials end up overreaching and interfering, and lessons have to be re learned the hard way.

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