Mellor Coachcraft

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Private
IndustryBus building
Foundedc. 1967 (initial company)
27 February 1992 (present company)
HeadquartersBolton, Greater Manchester, England
Key people
John Randerson (managing director)
ProductsMinibuses
RevenueIncrease £1.15 million (2015/16)
ParentWoodall Nicholson Group
Websitewww.mellor-coachcraft.co.uk/

Mellor Coachcraft[1] is a British bus manufacturer based in Bolton, Greater Manchester, with a factory in nearby Rochdale. Founded in the 1960s, Mellor have primarily produced bodywork for various different minibus chassis throughout its history.

History[edit]

A Mellor-bodied Mercedes-Benz Vario operated by Chesterfield Community Transport

Mellor Coachcraft was founded in the 1960s by Tom Mellor with a factory in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Initially, Mellor specialised in providing bodywork for commercial vehicles including ambulances, before later moving into minibus manufacturing.[2] Following a period of growth spurred on by the move into the minibus market, Mellor moved into a new purpose-built factory in Miall Street, Rochdale which they still occupy today,[3] although the company headquarters have relocated to nearby Bolton.

Throughout the 'minibus revolution' of the 1980s in the United Kingdom, Mellor provided bodies for a number of different chassis, with a large number of deliveries going to Transit Holdings and their various subsidiaries.[3][4][5]

In 1989, the company was sold by Henlys Group to Plaxton.[6] In February 1992, the company's assets were transferred to a new entity, Deckglade Limited, in preparation for a management buyout by the Woodall Nicholson Group that was completed in May 1992, with the company name reverting to Mellor Coachcraft in July 2003.[1][7] Success was found in the late 1990s and early 2000s with a bodywork for the low-floor Iveco Daily chassis, with a capacity of between 16 and 25 passengers; fitted with an optional rear lift, the body was popular with the early access bus market. Later, bodywork was launched for the Fiat Ducato, Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz T2, Vario and Sprinter chassis, with many minibuses being sold to local authorities in the access bus market.

Mellor purchased rival minibus manufacturer Bluebird Vehicles in July 2014, after the latter company had entered administration, taking over manufacture of their successful Fiat Ducato-based Orion and Volkswagen Transporter-based Tucana minibuses.[8][9] Mellor later launched the updated Tucana II and an updated version of the Orion, sharing features with a number of Mellor's own products.[10]

In 2016, Mellor launched the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-based Strata minibus, with a capacity of up to 22 seated passengers.[11][12] The Strata has sold well in the market of the United Kingdom's 'second minibus revolution' of the mid to late 2010s, winning orders from a number of operators including Arriva North West[13][14] and Bus Vannin.

The Strata was followed by the Maxima on high-floor Iveco Daily chassis, aimed at local authorities for the access bus and community transport markets, with a capacity of up to eight wheelchairs or 30 seated passengers.[15] In August 2017, Mellor signed a distributorship arrangement deal in Germany and Austria with E-Vade as part of plans to expand into the mainland European market.[16]

On 1 November 2017, Mellor's owner Woodall Nicholson Holdings completed the purchase of the Villmount Group, which owns rival UK-based minibus manufacturer Treka Bus. Mellor Coachcraft and Treka Bus will continue to trade separately as Woodall Nicholson subsidiaries.[17]

Products[edit]

A 2016 Mellor Orion operated by Wanderbus, seen attending Showbus 2016

Current[edit]

  • Maxima – high-floor, high-capacity minibus based on the Iveco Daily chassis
  • Orion – low-floor minibus based on the Fiat Ducato chassis
    • Orion E – all-electric version of the Orion
    • Orion Lite – fitted with lighter CT Ultra Lite seating option
    • Orion Stage Carriage – aimed at the service bus market
  • Strata – low-floor minibus based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis and aimed at the service bus market
    • Strata HF 16 – high-floor variant
  • Tucana II – updated version of the Tucana low-floor minibus based on the Volkswagen Transporter T6 chassis

Additionally, Mellor also provide various custom-built access bus and community transport minibus bodies for mid-floor Fiat Ducato and high-floor Iveco Daily 50C17, 65C17 and 70C17 chassis, as well as van conversions for a variety of chassis including the Volkswagen Transporter.[10]

Former[edit]

In the past, Mellor have also produced bodywork for Ford Transit, Iveco Daily, LDV Convoy, Mercedes-Benz T2, Mercedes-Benz Vario and Renault 50 chassis; however, early bodies were not given names.[18][19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Companies House extract company no 02691794 Mellor Coachcraft Limited formerly Woodall Nicholson Limited formerly Deckglade Limited
  2. ^ Mellor's welfare ambulance adapts Commercial Motor 19 March 1976
  3. ^ a b Our history Mellor Coachcraft
  4. ^ In brief Commercial Motor 14 February 1987
  5. ^ Blundred's minis to sail into docklands Commercial Motor 1 December 1988
  6. ^ Plaxton in Henlys Group mega deal Commercial Motor 8 June 1989
  7. ^ Avout CM Specialist Vehicles
  8. ^ Bluebird snapped up by rival Scarborough News 15 July 2014
  9. ^ New name, familiar product Bus & Coach Buyer 29 September 2014
  10. ^ a b Product range Mellor Coachcraft
  11. ^ Mellor confirms low-floor bus rumour Mellor Coachcraft
  12. ^ Mellor Strata officially launched Coach & Bus Week 4 July 2016
  13. ^ New mini buses for Macclesfield & Winsford Arriva
  14. ^ Arriva invests £1million in new minibuses for Macclesfield & Winsford Buses Magazine 7 July 2017
  15. ^ Mellor Maxima Mellor Coachcraft
  16. ^ Mellor announces new distributorship deal with E-Vade Germany Mellor Coachcraft 10 August 2017
  17. ^ http://www.cromwellstudios.co.uk, Cromwell Studios Web Services - Website Design. "Mellor owners buy Treka Bus and
    both to continue as usual"
    . Route One. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  18. ^ Chassis options for mini body Commercial Motor 3 May 1990
  19. ^ Home Mellor Coachcraft 2001