The American Bus Association Foundation (ABAF) recently released the First Quarter 2022 Motorcoach Builders Survey, which is based on information from the major motorcoach manufacturers that sell vehicles in the United States and Canada. According to data, motorcoach manufacturers continue to face unprecedented challenges. While new motorcoach sales in Q1 2022 are 11 percent above where they were during the same period of 2021, sales are still well below before the onset of COVID.
This quarter, the participating manufacturers sold 191 new and 109 preowned coaches, for a total of 300 motorcoaches. This compares with just 270 during January 2021. The bulk of new coach sales were made to public entities like transit companies, which accounted for 58 percent of sales. These public entities tended to continue to purchase motorcoaches during the COVID shutdowns, while sales to private companies fell by almost 50 percent to an average of just 152 per quarter following the lockdown.
Overall, the three-month moving average of total coach sales is down by about 30 percent from the last month prior to the COVID pandemic.
“The motorcoach industry is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic,” said ABAF President Peter Pantuso. “When motorcoaches aren’t running, the trickledown effect on suppliers is devastating. As the industry struggles to rebound from the past two years, we are hopeful sales will also improve. However, it could be well into 2024 and beyond before we see a true comeback for the industry.”
According to the ABAF, the bus industry is the greenest and most affordable transportation sector and was moving more than 600 million passengers annually before the pandemic. As of the beginning of 2022, industry passenger volumes were still down by 62 percent from pre-COVID levels, making it one of the hardest hit parts of the economy.
The ABAF is the scholarship and research arm of the motorcoach, tour, and travel industry. The largest nonprofit in motorcoach group travel, the ABAF distributes $100,000 a year in scholarships to industry families and invests in research to demonstrate the important role motorcoach transportation plays in society.
Visit buses.org/aba-foundation for more information