THOMAS BUILT BUSES TO REMODEL COURTESY ROAD PLANT - $10.3 Million Remodel to Begin December 2006
High Point, N.C. - Thomas Built Buses today announced a multi-million dollar renovation to its 1408 Courtesy Road plant in High Point, N.C.
The $10.3 million improvement plan will commence later this month and will be completed in January 2008.
After the conversion, the plant will produce bus bodies for
Saf-T-Liner(r) Type D transit-style (flat front) bus and Thomas'
Minotour(r) Type A bus. The Minotour is the smallest vehicle Thomas manufactures and is popular with preschools, child care centers, churches and youth groups. The Type D model is Thomas' largest design and seats up to 90 passengers.
The plant previously produced FS-65 Type C conventional buses and Type D Saf-T-Liners. However, the last FS-65 conventional bus was delivered today and the design has been retired.
John O'Leary, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses said, "One of the most challenging aspects of the factory facelift is that manufacturing of our Type D bus will continue during the remodel. Our goal is to avoid any interruption of Type D deliveries and to keep our employees fully engaged during the transition.
"This investment will allow Thomas Built to significantly improve logistics and worker ergonomics and to optimize production line layouts for our Type A and D buses. The project also will facilitate implementation of the DaimlerChrysler Production System at this plant, as was done at our new C2 bus plant last year. All of this will result in a higher quality product for our customers, a safer workplace for our employees and a more efficient plant in a highly competitive industry,"
At the same time, the company is able to reaffirm its commitment to the community as Freightliner and its divisions continue to invest heavily in North Carolina. More than 60 percent of the renovation budget will funnel directly into the local economy through purchased materials, contracted labor and taxes.
"Four years ago, four local governments and the state partnered to authorize incentives for Thomas Built Buses for the construction of the
C2 plant on Fairfield Road," said Loren Hill, president of High Point Economic Development Corporation. "It is great news for our region to have Thomas Built Buses continuing to invest in High Point with this exciting $10.3 million renovation at its Courtesy Road facility."
Thomas Built Buses (www.thomasbus.com) manufactures a variety of bus products, from conventional school buses to commercial transit-style buses, small activity buses and specialty vehicles. Each year it produces approximately 15,000 units. The company employs more than 1,600.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, Thomas Built Buses is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, with more than one-third of the market. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line in 1936, the company has focused entirely on delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America.
Thomas Built Buses is a subsidiary of Freightliner LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 3-8 vehicles. Freightliner LLC produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Freightliner is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.