Nova Bus is going to stop bus production in the US market and will focus only on the Canadian market. Its Plattsburgh manufacturing and delivery facility will end operations by 2025. Production in North America will then be focused to Nova Bus’ Canadian facilities located in Saint-Eustache and Saint-François-du-Lac (Quebec).

In March 2023 Nova Bus secured in Canada the largest-ever order of electric buses in North America.

By the way, on Tuesday 27th June (next week) we’ll be broadcasting a VideoSpotlight focusing on “Electrification of bus fleets in the Americas”: registrations are OPEN.

Change in business models: from Europe to North America

The change in business model and strategic focus by Nova Bus adds to the previously announced decision by its parent company, Volvo Buses, to cease the production of complete buses, both urban and coach, in Europe and instead rely on collaborations with bodybuilders (MCV for e-buses, Sunsundegui for coaches). A similar strategy has been adopted by Scania (“We believe that for us to remain a key player in the market over time, we need to focus. This will also give us resources to be more adaptive and flexible to the needs and the markets, being more attentive to what’s happening”, told Scania Senior Vice President Head of Bus and Coach Johanna Salomonsson Lind in an interview with Sustainable Bus).

The decision comes in a time where investments on public transport and electric buses is gaining momentum in the country. North America is projected to be the fastest-growing market during the forecast period, study says.

Nova Bus exits USA market

The manufacturer, part of Volvo Buses, states: “Nova Bus will work closely with employees, customers, and suppliers as bus operations in the Plattsburgh facility are planned to continue until the first quarter of 2025. Nova Bus will continue to support its US customers’ parts and service needs”.

The extent of the impact this decision will have on the Canadian organizational structure “remains under analysis by Nova Bus and will continue to be defined as the restructuring takes place over the next 24 months”, it is also stated.

“This decision is questionable not least because in the USA the Biden administration’s massive IRA investment programme would make a production plant in the USA indispensable (“Buy America Act”) and therefore many European manufacturers such as Van Hool, Ebusco and others are pushing into the US market”, is the comment of German specialized media Busblickpunkt.

Nova Bus: financial losses over the years

“The strategic decision to end bus production in the US by 2025 was made after evaluating its profitability, which was experiencing continued financial losses over the years,” says Anna Westerberg, Chair of the Nova Bus Board of Directors.

“Although this strategic decision is a difficult one, by changing our business model with a focus on Canada, we will improve profitability and secure our long-term competitiveness,” adds Ralph Acs, President of Nova Bus. He also says: “We will do the utmost to support our employees, many of whom have been employed for numerous years. We will work together with our sister Volvo companies, surrounding businesses, local authorities, and communities to support our people in finding new employment opportunities”.

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