Bus travel has been a major part of Indian culture and after railways, this has been a preferred mode of transportation for the majority of middle-class persons. Bus travel is mostly associated with tiring and exhausting experiences. But things have changed greatly in the last decade or so. Now, many international players have made an entry into the commercial travel sector, and they promise to give an ultimate luxury experience to the passengers, at a nominal extra cost, that most can afford. Buses these days have cutting-edge features such as air suspension, HVAC systems, entertainment systems, and even an onboard toilet. Many brands have even introduced double-decker sleeper versions that can cover long distances in comfort. Here are some of the top Indian luxury bus manufacturers in India, that have changed the game-
This brand surely makes some awesome luxury buses to provide what they called the ‘start traveling experience’. The Mercedes-Benz 2441 Super High Deck is considered the longest bus in India and can seat 59 passengers in comfort. The rear-engined coach has a steerable rear tag axle that helps in reducing the turning circle diameter. All Mercedes coaches have a standard Electronic Braking System (EBS) with disc brakes, ABS, and Anti-slip Regulation (ASR) and also have a 3-way adjustable air suspension, which makes it feel like traveling in clouds. The Mercedes coaches are the lightest in the segment, thanks to a unique aluminum body. The quality of their buses is top-notch and also has a decent safety record too.
With a history dating back to 1928, Volvo has a huge experience in bus making, and they surely know a thing or two about it. The Volvo bus will always ensure safety, comfort, and always on time. The brand which was launched in 2001 in India, now holds about 76% of the market share in the luxury bus sector in India. In fact, it kick-started the whole luxury bus scene in India. The Volvo 8400 series and Volvo 9400 series are popular among bus operators. The biggest advantage of their buses is that they have the lowest maintenance cost in the segment and a higher service interval. They also have an electric hybrid bus for city duties, and it promises some crazy fuel efficiency. The buses are 14.5-meter-long with eight wheels and air suspension, providing superior ride comfort. The interior of the buses is also superior and longer journeys of about 500 km can be done with ease.
Another Swedish player in India, this brand aims at bringing in sustainable mobility, without sacrificing comfort. With an experience of over a century, they have perfected the art of making buses. With a number of buses around the world, they are tailored and made according to the local requirements of the country. The popular models in India are Scania Higer A30 and Scania Interlink, which have gained popularity among bus operators. As compared to the competition in the market, the Scania buses are narrow and taller. They have all-wheel air suspension and have automated transmission, which greatly takes away the load from the driver. Being rear-engined, the cabin noise is very less and passengers can easily cover distances of up to 500 km with ease.
The local bus manufacturers like Tata and Ashok Leyland have also come up with some good luxury bus models in the commercial sector. With the growing market share of the foreign players, the local brand saw a great opportunity and has now launched some great luxury buses. Though they are not at par with the international players, they are still sufficient to fill the gap. The Star bus and Magna range from Tata have gained popularity in the intercity run routes. From Ashok Leyland, the Oyster and Viking are gaining popularity as well. The local brands are mostly limited to city runs. On longer routes, foreign brands are preferred by the passengers.
So to conclude, the major foreign brands such as Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, etc. have a dominating market share in India when it comes to the Indian luxury bus sector. With great technologies such as air suspension, automated gearbox, and larger engines, the local brands have still a lot to catch up. Whatever the case may be, the common commuter has loads of choices right now when it comes to luxury bus traveling, and most of the bus operators have added them to their fleet.