PROFILE CORNER: GRANDE WEST FINDS ITS NICHE
Original Article can be seen here: http://invest.tol.ca/news/Profile-Corner-Grande-West-Finds-its-Niche/
Bigger isn't always better, especially when it comes to methods of transportation. Just ask Grande West Transportation, based in Aldergrove, which is filing a market gap with its mid-sized buses.
Grande West Transportation International Ltd. says it's been "right-sizing" community transit buses with its revolutionary 27.5x30x35 foot (8.5x9x10.5 metre) model called the Vicinity. European-inspired and Canadian-designed, the Vicinity has a smaller engine than its big bus counterparts, so it uses less fuel, emits fewer emissions, and maneuvers through narrow neighbourhoods and on steep streets with ease.
Grande West founder and CEO William Trainer is a lifelong resident of Langley. He began his business in 2008 in Aldergrove. Unable to find a bus manufacturer in Canada or the U.S. that would assemble the Vicinity, Trainer's company partnered with Weichai Group in China, a $20 billion-per-year global manufacturer of buses and industrial products.
The final assembly is still done in Aldergrove, where you will find 25 full-time staff including the offices for the CEO, directors, corporate communications, parts division, technicians, engineering, and tech service hotline. Trainer is confident in expanding Vicinity’s markets throughout Canada and into the United States.
"The company has been able to hire local talent to the team, as well as attract best-in-class employees from across Canada, who are more than happy to move to the Lower Mainland," said Grande West Director John LaGourgue.
Among the benefits of operating in Aldergrove, LaGourgue said, is the community’s proximity to local, national, and international transportation hubs. For example, Aldergrove is close to the Fraser River for shipping and receiving buses and component parts, near rail lines for delivering assembled buses to clients across Canada, and less than an hour’s drive from Vancouver.
Last year, Grande West’s sales totaled $11 million for 32 buses shipped. This year, the company estimates sales orders for Vicinity models to exceed 200 buses and top more than $70 million in sales.