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DesignLine


Mr.Transit
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They're not dead yet. While Chapter 11 is frequently a death knell for a company, it doesn't necessarily have to be. GM, Chrysler, CIT and Delta have all gone through it, and I'm pretty sure that they are still around (in one form or another).

Dan

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They're not dead yet. While Chapter 11 is frequently a death knell for a company, it doesn't necessarily have to be. GM, Chrysler, CIT and Delta have all gone through it, and I'm pretty sure that they are still around (in one form or another).

Dan

It will be interesting to see if DesignLine can emerge from bankruptcy as an ongoing business. It would help if any part of the business was profitable. Maybe they could sell or drop certain parts of their business. Maybe emerge as only a commuter coach company. Or parts could be sold off and DesignLine shut down for good.

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Their largest creditor is New Jersey Transit, who is also their biggest customer by far. If NJT cancels their order, they will likely have difficulty getting any other serious orders in North America.

Not sure how they would build the TTC order if they won it, given the Canadian content restrictions.

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Thanks for chiming in Jim. I am pessimistic about the company surviving because I don't see good prospects for making a profit anywhere. They appear to be weaker than the competition in commuter coaches, in hybrid transit buses and in electric buses. (Not saying their product is necessarily weaker--but their sales prospects are weaker.)

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Wikipedia says:

DesignLine Corporation is no longer affiliated with the DesignLine operations in New Zealand, which was placed in liquidation in 2011 and has since been sold to a Malaysian-controlled joint business venture who operate it under the name DesignLine Bus Pacific.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice find wchu94!

Article says DesignLine "intends to . . . put together either a going-concern sale of the business or a liquidation."

I wonder if anyone will take a chance and buy DesignLine for a song? Even if someone does I doubt the NJ Transit order will be completed.

PS "busdude2" at wchu94's link says that there are 12 buses in service already at NJ Transit and 64 left in the order.

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Thanks for the smile MVTArider!

Its old news for sure but this article from early 2011 says that 13 low-emission diesel-hybrid buses from Design Line (Charm City Circulator) displayed a tendency to break down in hot weather – a failing that seriously disrupted service in the summertime.

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-01-11/news/bs-md-charm-city-circulator-20110111_1_charm-city-circulator-orange-route-purple-route

Might have been the beginning of the end for the company.

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  • 5 weeks later...

In terms of DesignLine's assets, the company will be auctioned off at month's end. New Flyer does not currently have an OTR bus in its lineup. Might this be what New Flyer needs to compete against MCI and Prevost in the transit OTR market?

Just might be. . . I like the way you think! For that matter, Gillig or anyone else with the resources to buy might really benefit in getting rights to build a coach that is already designed and approved. Question is, how profitable is the OTR market?

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Going against the likes of MCI, Prevost, Van Hool, Setra, etc., it may not be. There are a LOT of established players.

Dan

For many years, New Flyer was an OTR builder before it focused only on the transit bus industry. Someone mentioned New Flyer earlier...it was actually the low bidder in an order for 1,375 buses in 2000, but MCI gave kickbacks that got it the award (an NJT exec, Maureen Milan, ended up serving 3 years behind bars). This may be a way back in for New Flyer...especially since that 1,375-bus order will need replacement soon, which could also put New Flyer in line to replace the other 138 buses. to give NJT essentially two fleets all made by New Flyer or a subsidiary (except for the 84 MCI CNG buses coming in).

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