Private bus operators purchased 130% more vehicles in the first quarter of 2023 than the same period last year – another sign of recovery for an industry slammed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A recent Motorcoach Builders Survey from the American Bus Association Foundation revealed that participating motorcoach manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada sold 352 buses in the first quarter of 2023 compared to 300 during Q1 of 2022. The report revealed the strongest sales quarter since the start of the pandemic.
Despite a slight dip in purchases from the public sector – mostly city transit agencies – the overall three-month moving average of total coach sales is up by 17% from last year.
The report serves as positive signal for an industry that reported an 82.6% loss in business during the early months of the pandemic, as group travel was brought to a halt to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We are finally seeing some sectors in the private motorcoach industry start to recover from the effects of the COVID pandemic,” said Peter Pantuso, president of the ABA Foundation, in a release. “As our industry recovers, we see the positive effects on industry suppliers and manufacturers. We have a long road ahead of us until we see pre-2019 numbers again but we are heading in the right direction.”
This recovery bodes well for both travelers and the industry. More buses on the road means more options for group travel solutions, which are increasingly in demand. Operators with larger fleets can better accommodate this growing need, offering more flexibility in terms of routes, itineraries and group sizes.
At CharterUP, we’re committed to aiding this recovery. We know that enhancing fleets can be a costly endeavor for operators, which is why we’re proud to offer free financing to help them expand their services and meet the demand. This support not only aids operators in rebuilding their businesses but also encourages more diversity and resilience in the industry as a whole.