Eicher bus carries A/C as standard for UAE labour transport

New FAMCO-distributed bus to be sold pre-fitted with air-conditioning, unlike many counterparts in the segment

PHOTO: As part of an offer running through Ramadan, the Eicher bus is currently being sold for $51,457. Credit: MEConstructionNews.com

Al-Futtaim Auto and Machinery Company (FAMCO), the UAE distributor for Eicher, has revealed a new 66-seater bus from the Indian brand’s Skyline range which will feature air conditioning as standard, a rarity in the labour-transport segment.

The new bus is being sold by Pacific Machinery, a branch of FAMCO and dealer for Eicher and the construction-equipment brand SDLG.

According to Frank O’Connor, managing director for the UAE at FAMCO, a major differentiator of the new buses is that they will all be equipped with air-conditioning.

“The Skyline is very different to the old bus, and a lot of that was driven from our sales [team] talking to Eicher about the demands of the market,” O’Connor said.

A key demand that FAMCO put forward is air-conditioning, he stressed, in order to ensure rider comfort in the sweltering heat of the region.

“We bring the bus in ready to accept air-conditioning,” he said. The A/C units are fitted locally, but the ducting and piping required is in placed when the buses are imported from India.

The need for A/C in the buses is particularly acute given the hot climate of the UAE, and the fact that workers, particularly in the construction industry, are often transported in non-air conditioned buses, O’Connor noted.

“One hundred percent of the buses that we’re importing come ready and equipped to be sold with AC. We can bring it in without to compete on price but we don’t choose to do that. We’d much prefer to sell a bus with A/C. Ethically, it’s correct.”

The 66-seater bus is also sold with high-back seats for a more comfortable ride, another improvement on current offerings by Asian brands in the value segment, he added.

“We’re not just bringing in a labour bus. We want to differentiate ourselves from the competition, and we want to bring in something that is right for carrying people around.”

Feedback has been positive so far, and because of the added comfort the bus provides, they are now being sold in the staff transport segment as well, O’Connor said.

As part of an offer running through Ramadan, the Eicher bus is currently being sold at AED189,000 ($51,457).

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