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Orion Corporation Out of Business

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This is a very sad day!! Orion has closed the production caused by the chronic under funding of Transit right across Canada said the CAW President Ken Lewenza, putting hundreds of employees out of position.

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This is a very sad day!! Orion has closed the production caused by the chronic under funding of Transit right across Canada said the CAW President Ken Lewenza, putting hundreds of employees out of position.

The closure will take place over the next 12 months, and will become official once all of the existing orders at the Mississauga, Ontario plant are completed. The Oriskany, New York plant will remain in operation as a parts/service facility for existing Daimler/Orion buses.

And speaking of Daimler, this is part of Daimler's exit from the North American transit market. Instead, certain Setra buses (from Daimler's European transit/coach division) will be imported into the U.S. and Canada through MCI Coach. The Setra coaches will be mostly assembled in Germany, then shipped to MCI's existing plants in the U.S. and Canada for final finishing and interior layout.

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I had posted it elsewhere, earlier today, as indicated in the reference to MVTArider's post, but since the thread moved:

Just a bit OT but:

Well, I guess this would be the reason behind Orion not updating their website:

Daimler Closing Mississauga Bus Plant

...

The essential thing is not just that they are closing their Mississauga plant (the Buy America work is done in Oriskany, NY), but:

The company's Orion bus division will stop taking new bus orders because expectations for the transit bus business are low and expected to remain depressed over the next year several years, the company said.

More details are in the Press Release, including that "the facility in Oriskany, New York will continue operations related to parts and field service only." Also, SETRA sales are to be integrated with MCI.

As far as "growth opportunities are not available from selling the product overseas," I did find it sort of strange that they were developing an Orion bus here, but sell MB buses everywhere else.

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Don't forget Millennium (If the market gets strong)

Get real. Besides Daimler shutting down Orion for market reasons (I guess that the bus assemblers have gone through all their stimulus orders), Millennium has shown difficulty in getting its own act together.

In fact, I'm surprised that NABI is still in business, in that the order stream from Los Angeles seems to have dried up (if their sales presentation to Pace is any indication).

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Another bus builder bites the dust!. With this current administration in D.C., it wont be long before we start importing mediocre built buses from China! What a shame for Orion! Im sure this is opening the eyes at New Flyer, Gillig and Nabi as well as the other bus builders! They know the bus building industry is vulnerable no matter how good it is doing in sales or production. It was stated this closure is in due to the economy. This is just another classic example that the economy is not improving as much as they are leading us to believe!

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... With this current administration in D.C., it wont be long before we start importing mediocre built buses from China! ...

There is still the Buy America Act. As far as mediocre buses, we import the shells from Hungary and assemble them in Alabama.

And, as far as the economy, I mentioned above that the stimulus must have run out. There is the quarreling over the transportation bill, which has only had short term extensions for the past 4 years.

So, as usual, there is plenty of blame to pass around.

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You know who's gonna get the biggest benefit from all this: Gillig. As I stated before in another thread, almost the entire state of Indiana's bus system is from Gillig and there are so many other buses agencies that are turning to them now. I know they focus more on smaller to medium size markets (I'm thinking an agency with 200 buses or less), but this is a gold mine for them. Some agencies looked at the NABI fiasco from a few years ago with CTA and they had to notice that and as a result they had to have lost a ton of business because of it. New Flyer will probably benefit too and I could see El Dorado cashing in too in certain markets, but I really think Gillig in a few years, could be the transit agency to beat. Just my opinion of course.

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You know who's gonna get the biggest benefit from all this: Gillig. As I stated before in another thread, almost the entire state of Indiana's bus system is from Gillig and there are so many other buses agencies that are turning to them now. I know they focus more on smaller to medium size markets (I'm thinking an agency with 200 buses or less), but this is a gold mine for them. Some agencies looked at the NABI fiasco from a few years ago with CTA and they had to notice that and as a result they had to have lost a ton of business because of it. New Flyer will probably benefit too and I could see El Dorado cashing in too in certain markets, but I really think Gillig in a few years, could be the transit agency to beat. Just my opinion of course.

Speaking of Gillig, they've recently delivered five new buses to Racine's Belle Urban System during the past year. The new Racine Gilligs are equipped with amber LED destination signs from TwinVision instead of the Luminator Horizon signs that their older buses have been equipped with. The new Gilligs also have a different paint scheme than the older buses in that system, as well.

And despite the new equipment, that system has cut service at the beginning of this year: Saturday service now no longer operates past 7 pm while Sunday service had the last hour (6 to 7 pm) eliminated. And weeknight service also got cut back from midnight to 10:30 pm.

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You know who's gonna get the biggest benefit from all this: Gillig. ... I know they focus more on smaller to medium size markets ...

The real issue is that the main markets for the Orion VII were NYC, Toronto, and Atlanta. According to DBNA's corporate site, also some other New York communities (apparently CENTRO is getting the last batch, which is as close to its factory as possible; another NY order was received in Jan. 2010). WMATA got some, but we know that they have mostly New Flyer. The latest NYC contracts have gone to Nova, which apparently opened the Plattsburgh plant with some idea that they were going to get NYC business (articulated order; test fleet of 40 foot buses). In summary, we really aren't talking about Gillig's usual customers.

The other thing you have to figure is that this gnashing started in the Canadian press. Orion was originally Ontario Bus Industries, started by the Ontario Government and the municipalities apparently had to buy from them. That's no longer the case. So, in addition to New Flyer and NovaBus taking over that territory, NovaBus has a province of Quebec contract, so one can guess what company is in a better position in eastern Canada.

Besides that, the only companies in the articulated bus business are NovaBus, New Flyer, and NABI, so you won't be seeing any Gilligs in Chicago. You also won't see any diesel Gilligs in Pace territory for the next 5 years, and from what the Minnesota people say, not any Gillig hybrids or CNG buses either, due to the price difference.

To get back to 5750's point, the shakeout now isn't much different than in the late 80s. Foreign companies were let in then, and while we know about Flyer and MAN, others got Volvo buses and Orions, and Ikarus and Japanese buses were also tested (the Japanese buses I saw had signs saying that "this bus does not meet American seating standards"). Next you hear that MAN and GMC can't afford to manufacture buses--MAN got out, and GMC sold to TMC who sold to Nova who sold to Millennium, who isn't viable; Neoplan USA folded. It appears that the U.S. market is now similarly saturated.

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The real issue is that the main markets for the Orion VII were NYC, Toronto, and Atlanta. According to DBNA's corporate site, also some other New York communities (apparently CENTRO is getting the last batch, which is as close to its factory as possible; another NY order was received in Jan. 2010). WMATA got some, but we know that they have mostly New Flyer. The latest NYC contracts have gone to Nova, which apparently opened the Plattsburgh plant with some idea that they were going to get NYC business (articulated order; test fleet of 40 foot buses). In summary, we really aren't talking about Gillig's usual customers.

The other thing you have to figure is that this gnashing started in the Canadian press. Orion was originally Ontario Bus Industries, started by the Ontario Government and the municipalities apparently had to buy from them. That's no longer the case. So, in addition to New Flyer and NovaBus taking over that territory, NovaBus has a province of Quebec contract, so one can guess what company is in a better position in eastern Canada.

Besides that, the only companies in the articulated bus business are NovaBus, New Flyer, and NABI, so you won't be seeing any Gilligs in Chicago. You also won't see any diesel Gilligs in Pace territory for the next 5 years, and from what the Minnesota people say, not any Gillig hybrids or CNG buses either, due to the price difference.

To get back to 5750's point, the shakeout now isn't much different than in the late 80s. Foreign companies were let in then, and while we know about Flyer and MAN, others got Volvo buses and Orions, and Ikarus and Japanese buses were also tested (the Japanese buses I saw had signs saying that "this bus does not meet American seating standards"). Next you hear that MAN and GMC can't afford to manufacture buses--MAN got out, and GMC sold to TMC who sold to Nova who sold to Millennium, who isn't viable; Neoplan USA folded. It appears that the U.S. market is now similarly saturated.

The Gillig situation with Pace is understandable, given that Pace has an exclusive 40-foot diesel manufacturing/supply contract with ElDorado. And Volvo Buses now owns Nova Bus. Ikarus, after a joint venture with Crown Coach and a partnership with Orion both failed during the 1980s, partnered with the Union City Body Company of Union City, Indiana to form Ikarus USA - the earliest direct ancestor to today's NABI (which Ikarus later sold off around 1996 when the company was called American Ikarus). Ikarus USA made 71 buses for Pace (remember buses #2200-2271?) - all of which spent their entire service lives based at Pace West Division.

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... And Volvo Buses now owns Nova Bus. Ikarus, after a joint venture with Crown Coach and a partnership with Orion both failed during the 1980s, partnered with the Union City Body Company of Union City, Indiana to form Ikarus USA - the earliest direct ancestor to today's NABI (which Ikarus later sold off around 1996 when the company was called American Ikarus)....

By Volvos, I mean real Volvos with the angular bar and Volvo logo on the front. They were prevalent in Connecticut. I don't mean some Canadians got the rights to the GMC/MCI Classic, formed NovaBus, and were bought out by Prevost before or after it was bought out by Volvo Truck and Bus.

Which, by the way, isn't much different than the Orion corporate history, in that I noted that an Orion VII isn't a Mercedes Benz. For that matter, a Dodge Avenger isn't a Mercedes either, although the Charger-Chrysler 300 is apparently based on a three generations back MB.

On the other hand, while I was referring to a Crown Ikarus articulated bus, apparently all of those products were junk, including and especially the Orion III.

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By Volvos, I mean real Volvos with the angular bar and Volvo logo on the front. They were prevalent in Connecticut. I don't mean some Canadians got the rights to the GMC/MCI Classic, formed NovaBus, and were bought out by Prevost before or after it was bought out by Volvo Truck and Bus.

Which, by the way, isn't much different than the Orion corporate history, in that I noted that an Orion VII isn't a Mercedes Benz. For that matter, a Dodge Avenger isn't a Mercedes either, although the Charger-Chrysler 300 is apparently based on a three generations back MB.

On the other hand, while I was referring to a Crown Ikarus articulated bus, apparently all of those products were junk, including and especially the Orion III.

I was wondering was New Jersey Transit the only one in USA that had Volvo Buses (1985 Volvo Articulated)?

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I was wondering was New Jersey Transit the only one in USA that had Volvo Buses (1985 Volvo Articulated)?

I mentioned CT before (no source other than my head), and Bus Explorer has one for SEPTA.They also have a picture of a NJ Transit one.

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Another bus builder bites the dust!. With this current administration in D.C., it wont be long before we start importing mediocre built buses from China! What a shame for Orion! Im sure this is opening the eyes at New Flyer, Gillig and Nabi as well as the other bus builders! They know the bus building industry is vulnerable no matter how good it is doing in sales or production. It was stated this closure is in due to the economy. This is just another classic example that the economy is not improving as much as they are leading us to believe!

You just love blaming this administration for everything that has nothing to do with this administration, don't you?

How on earth is it Obama's fault that a CANADIAN bus manufacturer couldn't sell buses to the US, OR CANADA? Please explain that one to me. Seriously.

How is it Obama's fault that Orion has built basically junk for the last several years? How is it the administration's fault that Orion has failed to secure any large customers other than New York (who went elsewhere for their recent orders) and Toronto (who really only bought Orion for political reasons of buying the home-built product, but otherwise hate the Orion VII because the buses have been plagued with reliability problems since they were delivered)?

Orion had an uncompetitive product compared to New Flyer, Nova, Gillig, and (yes, even) NABI. Daimler was unable to sell their buses, and thus made a business decision to discontinue that line rather than invest in a new product. That's capitalism, but I suppose capitalism working as it naturally does is Obama's fault, too, huh?

Remember, Orion has essentially been replaced by Nova. There was a stretch of a few years when Nova had completely pulled out of the US market (obviously because Barack Obama built his sinister socialist communist fascist time machine and went back in time to starve Nova of US orders several years before he was elected president), and even then, Orion was struggling. However, despite being out of the US market, Nova still managed to survive in Canada for a few years before reentering the US market.

For that matter, who buys transit buses? Public agencies. What determines whether these public agencies have the money to buy new buses and expand service? Generally local politicians (Obama's fault, obviously), but also state/federal politicians based on how much tax money they want to put into what amounts to essentially a socialist enterprise (publicly operated transportation). That's all Obama's fault, right? Because Obama is totally against putting money into public transportation, while Republicans have been staunch supporters of public transit investment, right?

Get real.

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You just love blaming this administration for everything that has nothing to do with this administration, don't you?

How on earth is it Obama's fault that a CANADIAN bus manufacturer couldn't sell buses to the US, OR CANADA? Please explain that one to me. Seriously.

How is it Obama's fault that Orion has built basically junk for the last several years? How is it the administration's fault that Orion has failed to secure any large customers other than New York (who went elsewhere for their recent orders) and Toronto (who really only bought Orion for political reasons of buying the home-built product, but otherwise hate the Orion VII because the buses have been plagued with reliability problems since they were delivered)?

Orion had an uncompetitive product compared to New Flyer, Nova, Gillig, and (yes, even) NABI. Daimler was unable to sell their buses, and thus made a business decision to discontinue that line rather than invest in a new product. That's capitalism, but I suppose capitalism working as it naturally does is Obama's fault, too, huh?

Remember, Orion has essentially been replaced by Nova. There was a stretch of a few years when Nova had completely pulled out of the US market (obviously because Barack Obama built his sinister socialist communist fascist time machine and went back in time to starve Nova of US orders several years before he was elected president), and even then, Orion was struggling. However, despite being out of the US market, Nova still managed to survive in Canada for a few years before reentering the US market.

For that matter, who buys transit buses? Public agencies. What determines whether these public agencies have the money to buy new buses and expand service? Generally local politicians (Obama's fault, obviously), but also state/federal politicians based on how much tax money they want to put into what amounts to essentially a socialist enterprise (publicly operated transportation). That's all Obama's fault, right? Because Obama is totally against putting money into public transportation, while Republicans have been staunch supporters of public transit investment, right?

Get real.

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No matter what the President does it's his fault, a lot of stupid people in the world companies were going out of business long before Obama how do explain all the companies that left the US fo rother countries. I guess folks have forgot about that.

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The Orion Is and Orion Vs, both which Pace are still operating, are solidly built, if unattractive, buses. The Orion IIs were complete garbage. I don't know about the Orion VIIs personally, but the reviews were not good. The question is what will become of Pace 2830 and 2831? If Pace decides it likes the product, will they be considered a current customer and get an order filled for the hybrids or are these just test buses and Pace is out of luck in securing an order?

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The Orion Is and Orion Vs, both which Pace are still operating, are solidly built, if unattractive, buses. The Orion IIs were complete garbage. I don't know about the Orion VIIs personally, but the reviews were not good. The question is what will become of Pace 2830 and 2831? If Pace decides it likes the product, will they be considered a current customer and get an order filled for the hybrids or are these just test buses and Pace is out of luck in securing an order?

Actually, Pace never had Orion Vs. Orion Vs were all high-floor. What Pace has are Orion VIs, not Orion Vs.

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...The question is what will become of Pace 2830 and 2831? If Pace decides it likes the product, will they be considered a current customer and get an order filled for the hybrids or are these just test buses and Pace is out of luck in securing an order?

As far as getting more, it isn't a pending order, so no. The Press Release says "Starting today, Orion plans to take no additional new orders. Following the fulfillment of current production commitments over the next twelve months" the Canadian facility will close and the New York one limited to service and retrofits.

Daimler says it will keep its warranty obligations, so they are not immediate orphans.

I still have the feeling that if Kirk had not pressured Pace, Pace would not have requisitioned them. As previously demonstrated, Pace was hemming and hawing all the time by saying that there were not any 30 foot hybrids (maybe their excuse on this one was that it was a 33 foot hybrid) and there was no other supplier, even though the Minnesota people say that Gillig had one.

Anyway, the next acquisitions will be 40 footers, there are other suppliers of 40 foot hybrid buses, and Director Montana is still hung up over the NABI CNG presentation, which would mean that if Pace ever went off diesel, the direction would be CNG, but staff said that it would probably take converting an entire division.

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Correcting one of my prior posts, CPTDB indicates that while MARTA was one of the original purchasers of Orion VIIs, they have been all New Flyer after that.

While WMATA has some Orion VIIs on order, it is mostly NF, as I indicated.

San Francisco Muni has some.

CPTDB 's Orion VII page indicates that otherwise, Orion's customers have been small transit agencies, which may indicate why Orion is no longer profitable, and may reinforce rotjohn's observations with regard to Gillig.

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Undoubtedly related to this topic is a NovaBus announcement that they got a large order for articulated buses from Toronto.

Related, in that Orion was a creation of the Ontario government, but now gone.

Also, reinforces that there are two qualified suppliers of articulated buses for the CTA requisition.

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Undoubtedly related to this topic is a NovaBus announcement that they got a large order for articulated buses from Toronto.

Related, in that Orion was a creation of the Ontario government, but now gone.

Also, reinforces that there are two qualified suppliers of articulated buses for the CTA requisition.

Well it comes down to New Flyer and NOVA Bus for the articulated buses, but is NOVA a trusted manufacturer for artics? They've only been making them since 2009, where New Flyer has been doing it since the 1990's when the LF model was introduced. Not knocking NOVA, the 6400-Series buses are outstanding, but they are 40' buses, not 60' ones. Some might say NABI made great LF 40' buses, but we all know how well their 60' buses are/were...

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Well it comes down to New Flyer and NOVA Bus for the articulated buses, but is NOVA a trusted manufacturer for artics? They've only been making them since 2009, where New Flyer has been doing it since the 1990's when the LF model was introduced. ...

CTA would have to make that determination, but at least Nova can give references, and NY MTA can say whether the delivered buses met specs or not.

My reference was more to NABI being a first time order, as opposed to Nova now not necessarily being, and claims about the other manufacturers touted elsewhere, who don't even claim to have an articulated bus

Update: Maybe I used "qualified" in an overbroad sense. I meant in the sense of the company meeting the qualifications prescribed in the requisition, not necessarily the structural merit of the vehicle (although you note that the Novas CTA now have have lasted through their required service life).

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CTA would have to make that determination, but at least Nova can give references, and NY MTA can say whether the delivered buses met specs or not.

From a passenger standpoint, I rode one while in NYC last year on their M15 SBS (or, the BRT if you will). It was a smooth ride going down 2nd Avenue, and it is a step up from the 6400's we've been accustomed to (3rd door notwithstanding). Hopefully we'd see a demo here to test.

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