New minibus launched as Mellor announces investment01 October 2021

Mellor, the Rochdale-based bus manufacturer, has launched a new bus: Orion Evolution is a 5.5-tonne, 27-passenger vehicle. The 8m-long vehicle features a 180bhp engine driving through a nine-speed automatic ZF gearbox, sliding door, access ramp and seating for up to 20 passengers, or 17 with a wheelchair. The product launch is occurring at the same time as the busmaker receives significant investment and an ‘exciting’ repositioning of its business activities for 2022.

The company says a focus on technology, people and facilities will be front and centre of the next phase in the development of the Mellor brand as it emerges as a major player in the UK bus market.

Mellor, alongside Promech Technologies based in Scarborough – both part of the Woodall Nicholson vehicle manufacturing group – has said investment is under way and plans are in place to expand considerably its UK market presence, while recognising the market’s shifting emphasis towards zero-emission vehicles.

Key to Mellor’s plans is Promech Technologies and the forthcoming development of a new, purpose-built R&D and production facility in Scarborough, creating local employment opportunities and serving as a technology hub for the development of future Mellor products and expanded Mellor production capability. Significant investment into the new location will create additional manufacturing capacity and will include a dedicated Mellor (Scarborough) production division.

Promech is already instrumental in the development of technologies for all Woodall Nicholson vehicle brands, while the new facilities will create an even greater symbiosis between Mellor as a UK brand and Promech as its technology provider.

Mellor’s product range has already seen notable recent expansion with the introduction of new full-electric Orion E23 and Maxima E23 vehicles to allow customers to take advantage of the of the government’s ZEBRA funding initiative.

Inherent in all the Mellor product range is an increasing input of UK-based technology, courtesy of Promech. With a new facility slated for completion next year, Mellor will be even better equipped to deliver a range of zero-emissions vehicle solutions for customers.

Recent appointments of Mark Clissett as managing director of the Bus Division, John Randerson as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and Gustavo Marqueta as international business development director also point to a dynamic new senior management structure behind ambitious plans for growth.

Transport Engineer

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