Optare strengthens UK sales team with new Regional Sales Manager
Colin Blunt, 48, has joined Optare’s UK sales team as their new Regional Sales Manager for the North of England and Scotland.
He joins Optare from Scania and brings with him considerable experience in the bus, coach and commercial vehicle sector both from a technical and a commercial perspective.
His most recent post at Scania was as body liaison manager working with the sales team and customers to develop specifications for the company’s bus and coach products. He has also held positions at MAN in after-sales and early in his career he gained invaluable hands-on engineering experience working as a Bus and Coach Technician at Scania’s Worksop site.
Colin hails from the Rossendale Valley in East Lancashire and studied engineering at Accrington and Rossendale College. Whilst working for a local Scania dealer he undertook a three year Master Technician training course with the company.
Speaking of his appointment, Optare’s Sales Director, John Horn, said: “I am delighted to welcome Colin as a member of the Optare sales team. His breadth of experience covers not only new vehicle sales but also the vitally important aspect of after-sales support.
“His strong understanding of the needs of bus operators and in-depth practical and technical knowledge will undoubtedly prove of value in explaining the many advantages of our low carbon, low weight products to operators across the region.”
Press Release Optare to show five vehicles at Coach & Bus Live Two electric powered and three diesel powered vehicles from Optare will be on show at Coach & Bus Live 2013 (NEC, Birmingham, 02-03 October 2013, Stand number B150)
In the new ‘Showcase Arena’ the company will be showing a Solo EV vehicle which is being used for demonstrations to operators around the UK. The bus is powered by the Magtec P144 zero emissions electric motor producing 150 kW of power and 2380 Nm of torque and which receives electricity from two battery packs each consisting of 26 lithium iron, magnesium phosphate maintenance free batteries.
The Solo EV has a range of around 110 to 150 kilometres (70-95 miles) on a single charge, dependent on the duty cycle. This range can be extended by the use of fast-charging technology which allows for opportunity charging during layovers in the schedule. The batteries also receive additional charging when in service through the use of regenerative braking.
The four vehicles on the company’s stand demonstrate the broad range of products now available from Optare. A 10.4 metre Versa EV using the same technology and powertrain as the Solo EV is one of a number being supplied to Nottingham City Council.
Also on the stand will be another Versa, this one a diesel-powered example of the 11.7 metre model which is fitted with 37 fixed and six tip-up seats. At just 7,820 kgs this low weight bus has proved to be highly fuel efficient during extended trials in the intensive urban operating environment. Power is provided by the six-cylinder Cummins ISBe engine delivering 150 kW (201 bhp) at 2500 rpm and 700 Nm of torque matched to an Allison 2100 Series five-speed automatic transmission with lock-up convertor to aid fuel efficiency, which is also enhanced by a Klam electro-magnetic retarder actuated automatically through the brake pedal.
Optare’s new small bus for the mobility sector, the Bonito, will be exhibited once again. Produced in the Netherlands by Plastisol to Optare’s specification, Bonito is a stylish and fully integral, purpose-built minibus aimed specifically at the mobility sector. Designed to carry up to 16 passengers, the DPTAC compliant vehicle is easy to access by people of all levels of mobility helped by kneeling suspension which results in an entrance height of just 246 mm at the side door, which has no step, and 296 mm at the rear doors, and a robust two-stage wheelchair roll-on wheelchair ramp.
Bonito is based on the proven Fiat Ducato Maxi light commercial vehicle and has a gross weight of just four tonnes. Power is from a four-cylinder engine of three litre capacity, delivering 157bhp at 3600 rpm and which is matched to a six-speed manual gearbox with the option of a six-speed semi-automatic ‘Comfortmatic’ transmission. Finally the Optare Solo SR will make its debut with a Euro 6 driveline. At 9.7 metres in length the show vehicle will be fitted with
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