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04 February 2008 12:00 GMT / Scania in the United Kingdom
Chambers leads the way with innovation and investment
Chambers, Northern Ireland's largest private coach operator, has invested a total of £5m in 14 state-of-the-art Scania Irizar coaches and an extensive new operating centre located on the outskirts of the central Ulster town of Moneymore.
The 14 coaches, all of which are scheduled for delivery by Scania (Great Britain) Limited this coming May, comprise 11 high-specification PB luxury tourers and three i4s. All are being supplied with three year full repair and maintenance agreements which will be fulfilled by Scania dealer Road Trucks of Larne.
The 11 Scania Irizar PBs in the order are all 12.2m models based on Scania K340EB 4x2 chassis. Equipped with 49 seats and finished to Chambers' executive touring specification, all are fitted with 12-litre, 340 horsepower Scania DC12-10 engines with Scania EGR driving through six-speed fully automatic ZF gearboxes.
Launched towards the end of 2007, the i4s will become the first examples of this flexible new model to enter service in Northern Ireland. To be configured with 59-seats, the vehicles will have Scania K310IB 4x2 chassis and nine-litre 310 horsepower Scania DC9-18 engines, again with Scania EGR and driving through six-speed fully automatic ZF gearboxes.
"As an established Scania operator, the marque's performance and reliability is already well proven within our fleet," comments Chambers Chief Executive Michael Lorimer. "Furthermore, as you would expect with a premium brand such as Scania, driver- and customer-acceptance is high, as is the quality, style and image projected by the vehicles out on the road."
Based on a five-acre site, Chambers new operating centre has been designed to the highest environmental standards. In addition to providing secure parking for the company's 100-plus-strong fleet, the site is equipped with a fully automatic vehicle wash and fuel bunkering facility. Staff are fully catered for in the premises' canteen and drivers have their own rest room.
"Our investment, both in our new site and our new coaches, is an indication of the confidence Chambers has in its brand and in the developing transport sector in Northern Ireland," adds Michael Lorimer.
Founded in 1967, Chambers was the subject of an acquisition by Enterprise Equity, a private equity firm, in February 2007 which saw Michael Lorimer's appointment and the establishment of a new board of directors under the chairmanship of Ted Hesketh MBE. Today, the firm is enacting an ambitious development programme to further grow its extensive European-wide touring, executive hire and general coaching operations.