Tuesday, July 17, 2007



RV Business
Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blue Bird Corp., Fort Valley, Ga., today (July 17) announced that it will sell its luxury Wanderlodge RV and Coachworks Coach product lines and manufacturing facility to bus retrofitter Complete Coach Works of Riverside, Calif.

Complete Coach Works, founded in 1987, is the nation's largest supplier of remanufactured transportation vehicles, emission upgrades and wheelchair lift retrofits.

“The acquisition represents a perfect fit and will provide an opportunity for the expansion of our operations to the Southeast,” said Complete Coach Works President and CEO Dale Carson. “We look forward to our long-term association with the Fort Valley community and continuing to be a vital part of their economic foundation.”

The transaction is part of Blue Bird’s long-term strategy refocusing the company exclusively on the school bus market, according to a press release.

“The sale of Blue Bird Coachworks to Complete Coach Works marks the end of our initial product line rationalization plan,” said Blue Bird CEO Bob Shaughnessy. “This transaction represents an important step toward returning Blue Bird to its roots as the nation's premier school bus manufacturer.”

Shaughnessy also expressed his satisfaction that as part of the new agreement, Complete Coach Works will remain economically committed to the Fort Valley and Central Georgia communities.

The sale of Blue Bird’s remaining non-school bus lines represents a key element of the company’s corporate strategy.

Earlier, Blue Bird’s Ultra LF and Xcel 102 transit buses became part of affiliated transit bus manufacturer North American Bus Industries Inc. (NABI) and their manufacture was moved to NABI’s Anniston, Ala., facilities.

The Blue Bird Coachworks line currently includes the 40- and 45-foot Express Commuter Coach models, while Blue Bird’s Wanderlodge line, among the nation’s oldest luxury motorcoach brand names, includes the 450LXi and M380 vehicles.

During the transition period, Blue Bird and Complete Coach Works will work closely to ensure ongoing parts and service support.

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