The bus market in Germany and Europe

The bus market in Germany and Europe

The Western European bus market recorded good growth during 2013. In Germany,
the market grew by 13.3 percent with over 5,800 new buses being registered. While
Europe has around 680,000 local buses and long-distance coaches on the road, the
total fleet in Germany is around 75,000 vehicles. One reason for the rise in demand,
mainly triggered by local authority orders and orders from companies engaged in
providing local transport services, was the need to replace older vehicles due to the
high average age of vehicles used for local transport. High quality requirements on
vehicles used for local transport and compliance with new emissions and environmental standards mean that fleets are continually having to be replaced. In 2013, around 5.4 billion passengers used local bus services. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the bus market in Germany and Western Europe is saturated. Despite the good growth in 2013, demand for new vehicles overall remained at a low level. The situation with tourist coaches remained stable with around 53.6 million Germans embarking on around 70 million holiday journeys. The market share of coaches thus continued at a level of around 8 percent. However, as in previous years, companies are faced with continued high costs.
The dynamic development of the long-distance coach market in Germany, which was liberalized at the start of 2013, is very pleasing. Official figures show that since the market was opened, over 3 million passengers have used these services. Since the newly founded companies in particular are only partly included in the official statistics, it may be assumed that the number of coach passengers was actually considerably higher. According to estimates by coach operators themselves, over 8 million passengers used a long-distance coach. Although this means that the number of new coach companies and passengers rose dramatically, this has not yet been reflected in major new investments by operators in their fleets. The new companies have been developed almost exclusively using existing fleets, with the business models of new operators often being based on existing, predominantly medium-sized companies. In the medium term, however, the coach market will provide additional stimulus in demand with estimates showing that several hundred additional units will be required

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