Friday, January 11, 2008



Bob Ashley
RV Business
Friday, January 11, 2008

Coachworks Holdings Inc., the new owner of the Blue Bird Wanderlodge nameplate, plans to debut the 45-foot 2009 Wanderlodge Premier XL bus during the Florida RV SuperShow Jan. 16-20 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Industry Day is Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m.

“We hope to have the first deliveries by the first of March,” said Macy Neshati, vice president of sales and marketing for the company that purchased the luxury Wanderlodge motorcoach line last July from school bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corp.

Coachworks' parent company is Complete Coach Works Inc., Riverside, Calif., the nation's largest supplier of remanufactured transportation vehicles, emissions upgrades and wheelchair lift retrofits. Blue Bird Corp. sold its Blue Bird Wanderlodge division to focus on building school buses, its primary product. Also acquired in the sale by Coachworks Holdings was Blue Bird's Express Commuter Coach line of seated buses, which is built on the same chassis.

The all-stainless steel, triple-slide Premier XL, featuring new European-influenced front and rear caps, is built on Coachworks own 53,000-pound GVWR chassis and is equipped with a 600-hp Cummins ISX diesel engine. A 625-hp Caterpillar C15 is available as an option.

Neshati said the Premier XL, with an MSRP of $990,000, can be built with different slideout configurations and that many features that previously had been options are now standard in the new coach, including a washer and dryer, two 40-inch LCD TVs, mosaic tile showers and hand-blown glass bowl bathroom sinks.

“There also is extensive use of marble and granite throughout the coach,” Neshati said. “One of the things that we want to stress is that this is a custom-built coach. Whatever the customer wants us to do, we'll do it.”

Despite conjecture that Coachworks would sell Blue Bird Wanderlodges factory direct, Neshati said that the new coach will be sold though a dealership network that will include Holland Motors outlets in Holland, Mich., and San Diego, Calif., Parliament Coach, Clearwater, Fla., and John Bleakley Motor Homes, Douglasville Ga. “We would love to have more dealers,” Neshati said.

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