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Alexander Dennis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alexander Dennis
HeadquartersLarbert, Scotland, UK
Key people
Colin Robertson (CEO)
ProductsBuses, fire engines
RevenueIncrease £541 million (2013)
Number of employees
2,300 (2013)
ParentNFI Group
Walter Alexander Coachbuilders
Duple Metsec

Alexander Dennis[1] is a Scottish bus building company based in Larbert, Scotland. The largest bus and coach manufacturer in the United Kingdom, Alexander Dennis has manufacturing plants and partnerships in Canada, China, Europe, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and the United States.

In early 2016, Alexander Dennis had a 44% market share in the United Kingdom.[2] Alexander Dennis was acquired by Canadian bus manufacturer and former joint venture partner NFI Group in May 2019.[3]

Hong Kong's major public transport operator Transport International, is the single largest customer in Far East Market.

On 20 Aug 2020, Alexander Dennis controversially announced plans to cut 650 jobs from its UK manufacturing sites including Falkirk, Scarborough and Guildford, citing a demand drop due to the Covid pandemic. [4]


TransBus - the precursor of Alexander Dennis

Mayflower Corporation acquired Scottish bus-makers, Walter Alexander, in August 1995[5] and English bus-makers, Dennis Group, in October 1998.[6] In 2000, aiming to reduce overheads, Mayflower and Henlys Group merged their British bus-making operations into a joint venture. Owned 70 per cent by Mayflower and 30 per cent by Henlys, the joint venture merged Alexander, Dennis and Henlys' Plaxton into one corporate unit with the name TransBus International. The factories concerned employed 3,300 staff in seven places in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.[7]

Plaxton's Scarborough operations was to close in the summer of 2001 with the loss of 700 jobs blamed on the fall in tourism after the foot and mouth epidemic broke out. Minibuses production was moved to Walter Alexander at Falkirk.[8] However the Scarborough factory did not close altogether, 200 staff were to return to work after the summer break.[9]

Mayflower was valued at £700 million in 1999. By March 2004 that stock market valuation had fallen to £22 million.[10] The following month Mayflower was placed in administration amid accusations of four years of falsifying crucial company records as to customers' payments to HSBC, counting the same income twice.[11] One outcome was that certain members of the Dennis pension fund would receive only 40 per cent of their pensions though others would continue to receive their full entitlement.[12] TransBus was also placed in administration.

TransBus Plaxton was sold to its managers, Brian Davidson and Mike Keane with the support of a private equity group and operated under the ownership of Plaxton Holdings.[13][14]

Formation of Alexander Dennis

The Alexander Dennis chassis factory in Guildford
The Alexander Dennis chassis factory in Guildford
Arriva North West Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident 2 in July 2010
Arriva North West Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident 2 in July 2010
Citybus Enviro500 MMC in Hong Kong in January 2014
Citybus Enviro500 MMC in Hong Kong in January 2014

Alexander Dennis was incorporated in May 2004 to buy and hold the business of TransBus Alexander and TransBus Dennis. It was backed by a consortium, including David Murray and —in a private capacity— Brian Souter and Ann Gloag of Stagecoach Group.[15][16]

Plants bought

The former Alexander Belfast plant was not included in the deal with Mayflower and closed but Alexander Dennis ultimately inherited a number of plants from TransBus: the former Alexander factories in Falkirk, Scotland; the Dennis factory in Guildford and later the former Plaxton factories in Anston and Scarborough. The former Northern Counties factory in Wigan completed outstanding orders for its President body and closed in January 2005.

Products bought with plants

Dennis Group had produced a range of both bus and coach chassis and bodies as well as fire engines. Included among its range of chassis were the Dennis Dart, one of the all-time best-selling buses in the UK, and the Dennis Trident. They also produced export variants for service in Hong Kong, New York City and other locations. The Dennis Trident is the most common bus model in service in London.[citation needed] Plaxton made coaches as well as two double-decker bodies (the Plaxton President and the Alexander ALX400), the Alexander ALX300 citybus and the Pointer body built in quantity on the aforementioned Dennis Dart chassis, which replaced the Alexander ALX200 body built previously on a Dart chassis.

Alexander Dennis secured a number of major orders from UK operators. The company also continued to find success in its predecessors' traditional markets of Hong Kong and the Republic of Ireland, with the Enviro500 securing orders in both markets, and the ALX400 double-deck body remaining the Dublin Bus standard vehicle until production ended in 2006.

Alexander Dennis is also building its share of the North American market, securing £25m worth of orders in 2005 for its Enviro500 model from customers in Victoria, British Columbia, New York City (open top models), San Francisco and Las Vegas. Beginning in 2008 ElDorado National began to assembly Enviro500 for US market and beginning in 2015 Alexander Dennis established an assembly plant in Vaughan, Ontario for orders to Metrolinx.

In 2005 and 2006 the company unveiled two new models, the Enviro400 double-decker and Enviro200 Dart midibus.

Plaxton and Custom purchases

In May 2007, Alexander Dennis purchased Plaxton, thus reuniting the two former TransBus businesses.[17][18]

In May 2012, NFI Group and Alexander Dennis announced a new joint-venture to design and manufacture medium-duty low-floor bus (or midi bus) for the North American market. New Flyer will handle production and marketing, and Alexander Dennis will handle the engineering and testing.[19][20]

On 7 June 2012, Alexander Dennis acquired Australian bodybuilder Custom Coaches.[21] However, in May 2014, Custom Coaches was placed into administration.[22] In August 2014, Custom Coaches was sold to its former management.[23][24][25]

Sale to NFI Group

On 28 May 2019, it was announced that Alexander Dennis had been sold to NFI Group, in a deal worth £320 million. Souter Investments will retain an equity interest in NFI and ADL having been issued shares in NFI Group as part of the transaction. The two companies were previously engaged in a joint venture.[26]

On 20 Aug 2020, Alexander Dennis announced plans to cut 650 jobs from its UK manufacturing sites including Falkirk, Scarborough and Guildford, citing a demand drop due to the Covid pandemic. [27] The move of bus chassis production from Guildford to Falkirk is also planned.[28]



Complete diesel buses


Bus bodies

Bus chassis

Complete buses (or chassis/body only)

Coach chassis

Fire appliance (Chassis and crew cab)

TransBus/Alexander Dennis built fire-fighting vehicles until 2007. The bodywork on a majority of the chassis are built by a neighbouring company, John Dennis Coachbuilders Limited.


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no SC268016 Alexander Dennis Limited
  2. ^ ADL rides high on international sales and targets £1billion turnover Bus & Coach Professional 16 January 2014
  3. ^ "Alexander Dennis sold to Canadian firm". BBC. 28 May 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Union claims Camelon bus firm used pandemic as 'cover' to cut 650 jobs". Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  5. ^ Mayflower acquisition cash call. The Times, Friday, 7 June 1996; pg. 30; Issue 65600
  6. ^ Dennis Group held steady. The Times, Wednesday, 21 October 1998; pg. 28; Issue 66338
  7. ^ Joint venture for Henlys and Mayflower The Times 2 August 2000; pg.
  8. ^ Mayflower to lose 700 jobs The Times 4 May 2001; pg. 24; issue 67130
  9. ^ £20m rescue deal sealed[dead link] Yorkshire Post 27 June 2001
  10. ^ Offers made to take helm of the foundering Mayflower The Times 15 March 2004; pg. 23; issue 68023
  11. ^ Engineering The Times 19 April 2004; pg. 20; issue 68053
  12. ^ Most Dennis pension holders to get only 40% The Times 21 June 2004; pg. [19]; issue 68107
  13. ^ Managers buy Plaxton The Times 17 May 2004; pg. [19]; issue 68077
  14. ^ MBO heralds TransBus deal by end of this week The Scotsman 17 May 2004
  15. ^ Mayflower chiefs 'may be liable for pension hole'. The Times, Saturday, 22 May 2004; pg. 54; Issue 68082
  16. ^ Completed Acquisition by Alexander Dennis Limited of Transbus Limited Office of Fair Trading 23 September 2004
  17. ^ Plaxton bought by ADL Archived 4 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 14 May 2007
  18. ^ Alexander Dennis buys Plaxton Herald Scotland 15 May 2007
  19. ^ New Flyer in Bus Joint Venture Diesel Progress 10 May 2012
  20. ^ ADL aims for North American growth Archived 4 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 11 May 2012
  21. ^ Bus firm Alexander Dennis in major Australian deal BBC News 7 June 2012
  22. ^ Custom Coaches at Royal Park has been placed in administration with 100 jobs at risk Adelaide Advertiser 30 May 2014
  23. ^ Custom Coaches sold - 120 jobs retained Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine Deloitte 18 August 2014
  24. ^ Burgess buys back Custom Coaches Australasian Bus & Coach 18 August 2014
  25. ^ Consortium Announces Purchase of Custom Coaches from Administration Custom Coaches 19 August 2014
  26. ^ [1] Daily Business Group 28 May 2019
  27. ^ "Union claims Camelon bus firm used pandemic as 'cover' to cut 650 jobs". Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  28. ^ ADL to move chassis production to Falkirk Bus & Coach Buyer 20 August 2020

External links

This page was last edited on 1 November 2020, at 05:20
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