From a few weeks back:

London Mayor Boris Johnson in Hong Kong promoting a new Routemaster bus he hopes to sell to the Chinese

Did he sell any? No.

Vivien Chan, KMB corporate affairs director, says: “While KMB has no intention of introducing the New Bus for London to Hong Kong in view of the lack of an air-conditioning, necessary given Hong Kong’s climate, and the open design of the rear door, which does not meet the operating situation in Hong Kong, we have incorporated some of the environment-friendly features as well as the ergonomic seat design on newer buses in our fleet.”

What’s that, Evening Standard?

Hong Kong and other major Chinese cities could buy hundreds of new Routemaster buses, Boris Johnson said today.

Travelling around Hong Kong on a specially imported bus, the Mayor said: “The Chinese desperately need low-emission buses. We should be out here.”

The odd thing is that we *are* out there, but Boris is presumably not aware of the long standing deals under which the UK’s leading bus exporter ADL has sold large numbers of big, air conditioned double deckers to Hong Kong.

Turnover and profits have risen sharply for bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), following strong sales growth in international markets.

The Falkirk-based firm reported turnover climbed from £357m to £481m last year, while pre-tax profits grew by 56% to £24.2m.

ADL performed particularly well in its key overseas markets of North America, Australasia and Asia Pacific.

Should have done some research really.  They might have found out why the bus market, apart from the bits distorted by Boris’s tax funded vanity projects, isn’t going for heavyweight vanity projects:

ADL stated: “Customers are increasingly focusing on fuel economy and reliability of their fleets and, as a leading provider of lightweight fuel-efficient vehicles, this is an area in which we have been investing heavily over the past few years and we will continue to do so to maintain our market position.”

It’s be very interested to see what they come out with in 2014…


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