As of 1 November, Woodall Nicholson Holdings - the owners of Rochdale-based manufacturer Mellor Coachcraft - has completed the purchase of Villmount Group, the owners of rival manufacturer Treka Bus, who are based in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.
North Lincolnshire Council LJ14BHZ, a Treka 16-bodied Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 513CDi, seen laying over at Scunthorpe bus station on 18 August 2016. The Treka 16 is Treka Bus' most successful design, having proven popular with several local councils.
It has been confirmed that both Mellor and Treka Bus will continue to trade separately with their existing management teams as Woodall Nicholson subsidiaries. Mellor's products include the successful Strata LF service bus and Orion E electric minibus, while Treka Bus are well-known for their high-floor access bus bodywork, including the Treka 16. Mellor and Treka Bus designs will continue to be manufactured separately at their respective sites in Greater Manchester and Yorkshire.
Nottinghamshire County Council SC65HFR, a Mellor Orion-bodied Fiat Ducato service minibus, as seen at Worksop bus station on 30 August 2016 operating scheduled community transport service 108 to Worksop Sainsbury's.
This is the second major expansion for Mellor Coachcraft in the past few years. In July 2014, they completed the purchase of Scarborough-based minibus manufacturer Bluebird Vehicles, who had entered administration.
Bluebird's portfolio included the successful Volkswagen Transporter-based Tucana minibus, which, with over 650 built since 2005, is one of the most successful modern day minibus designs. Implementations include the large numbers ordered for London Dial-a-Ride services on behalf of Transport for London, and community transport services on behalf of Travel South Yorkshire by Sheffield Community Transport.
First Glasgow 54302 (YX10AXP) is a Bluebird Tucana-bodied Volkswagen Transporter service minibus seen awaiting departure from East Kilbride bus station on 3 June 2017 with an M1 service to Hairmyres. The vehicle is one of a handful of minibuses with First Glasgow painted in the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport's orange MyBus livery for contracted scheduled community transport operations.