Busscar marks a milestone in the national car body industry, by managing to export its first unit to South Africa, fully developed in Colombia and designed to circulate in the African country.
It is a Busstar DD, whose main difference compared to traditional products for the Latin market, is the location of the driving position, installed on the right side of the body. South Africa was a British colony, so driving on the left side of the road is the norm, forcing vehicles built for its market to have both right-hand drive and the access door on the opposite side of the model. from Colombian.
To achieve this configuration, the chassis used (a Volvo B430R) must come conditioned from Brazil, where the plant is located, with right-hand drive. For everything else, the platform has the standard setup of the B11R line, including the D11C engine, automated I-Shift transmission, air suspension, and disc brake system.
Africa copies the operation model from Europe, seeking the greatest possible capacity in the buses. For this reason, this double-deck is equipped with a single toilet in the lower part, and 70 seats. There are no individual screens, and entertainment is provided by ambient screens, three on the top deck and one on the first floor.
Adapting the product to a large continent
Not only the controls, the front structure and the front trim, as well as the interior layout, had to accommodate the new customer. The total length of the vehicle had to be cut by 300 mm, leaving the total length at 13.5 meters, given the weight limitations per axle contemplated in South African regulations, making it a great challenge to place 21 passengers on the first floor, and 49 in the upper one, both heated by a team of Busscar origin.
This vehicle is the first of an order of at least 25 units that aspire to be shipped from the port of Cartagena to South Africa during 2023 on a boat trip that takes at least 45 days. The units are transported by their own means to the port, in land transport.
In addition to the Busstar DD, there are serious options to market the Busstar 380 single-floor bus, thanks to the management of the Busscar agent on the African continent, which also has the possibility of closing sales in Congo and Mozambique.
New instrument panel
The Busstar DD dashboard had no change, practically, from the DD Panoramic model presented in 2008 in Brazil. The evolution of the model, and the opportunity to develop new molds due to having a right-hand drive vehicle, allowed the Busscar design and development team to present a new, more modern, enveloping and ergonomic panel, allowing greater visibility of the frame. Instrumentation and body controls. The access door to the driver's cab electronic modules, as well as the dual-tone cover, are also new to this panel.
The Multiplex system, the rearview camera screen and the original chassis buttons are more visible and operable, in this two-tone panel, the ideal complement to one of the most successful models of the Pereiran bodywork.
Exports to Africa add to Busscar's constant task of placing units in the foreign market, where the Busstar line has been successful. Mexico, Cuba, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Chile have managed to discover the advantages of highway and urban lines designed and built in Colombia by Colombian hands.