Product and Production Facility Evaluation

Transportation Alternatives directed several efforts to evaluate the products and/or production facilities of major European bus manufacturers: TAM BUS (Slovenia), Ikarbus (Belgrade) and PAZ (Russia).

For TAM BUS, TA created the Company's Exclusive North American Distributor, TAM-USA, and with the help of an interdisciplinary User Design Committee (See Vehicle Design and Product Development) and engineers from six countries, helped transform a European bus envelope into two 12-meter bus models which were subsequently introduced into the North American market (See Vehicle Distribution and Sales). Based upon a comparison of European bus models and U.S. manufacturing requirements and standards, TA coordinated the integration of a full line of U.S. components into these models.

Prior to forming its joint venture company (TAM-USA) with Maribor-based TAM-BUS and Ljubljana-based AM-BUS (Avtomontaza), TA performed an extensive evaluation of the products and production capabilities of a Serbian bus manufacturer, Ikarbus of Zemun (a suburb or Belgrade). TA undertook extensive discussions with this manufacturer for its production of buses for the North American market. TA concluded that, despite substantial financial backing for the effort, this manufacturer did not possess the "corporate culture" or the engineering and production capabilities for the introduction of an SAE/USDOT-certified product into this export market. TA then shifted its focus to the examination of these capabilities with Slovenia-based TAM-BUS and its body-making affiliate, AM-BUS (Avtomontaza), and subsequently became the U.S. joint venture partner of these two companies in the formation of TAM-USA, which designed, produced, marketed and sold Slovene-manufactured schoolbuses and motorcoaches into the U.S. market.

Finally, as a subcontractor to Bain & Company, TA conducted a USAID-funded examination of the products and production facilities of major Russian bus manufacturer Pavlovo Bus Factory (PAZ), and produced a 40-page summary of recommendations which was translated into the Russian language, and presented to PAZ's Senior Management and Board of Directors.