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New owner for maker of GO's double-deckers


Image, ADL

NFI Group Inc. (NFI), “North America’s largest and most diversified bus and coach manufacturer,” has acquired Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), the world’s biggest manufacturer of double-deck buses and the leading British bus and coach builder.

According to a CBC News report, NFI paid 320 million pounds or roughly $546 million in the deal.

Winnipeg-based NFI called the move “a transformational acquisition.” The company says the deal “complements its product offerings, diversifies its business and creates a platform for international growth.”

Locally, Metrolinx has ordered 253 ADL Enviro 500 LHD buses for GO Transit routes throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Starting in 2016, the Metrolinx order resulted in as many as 30 new full-time jobs at an ADL facility in Vaughan. Local workers are building the chassis, installing the engines, axles and steering components and inspecting the final product.


GO ADL Enviro500 “SuperLo” double-deck bus #8333 enters Bramalea station in route 48 service to the University of Guelph on the morning of March 29, 2017. Photo by James Bow.

An ADL news release explains, “The transaction creates an independent global bus and coach manufacturer with market-leading positions in the United Kingdom, North America and Hong Kong plus a growing footprint elsewhere in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Europe. ADL’s proven products and track record of entering and growing new markets will complement NFI’s product offering, diversify its business model and create a platform for international growth, accelerated technology development and innovation.”

ADL will retain its own brand in the company. It says it’s one of the world’s leading bus and coach manufacturers, offering Alexander Dennis single- and double-deck buses and Plaxton coaches “with a history and heritage of design, engineering and manufacturing excellence that spans more than a century.” The company employs more than 2,500 team members with more than 31,000 vehicles in service in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and the United States.

With “market-leading transportation solutions” and more than 6,300 team members, NFI operates from facilities across Canada and the United States. The company provides “accessible mass transportation” under several brands: New Flyer (heavy-duty transit buses); ARBOC (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses); MCI (motor coaches); and NFI Parts (parts, support and service).

Read Transit Toronto’s history of GO’s double-decker buses, by James Bow, here.