MCV showed the only London bus in the exhibition, a 9.7m Volvo BZL singledecker for Metroline with as many letters as figures in its alphanumeric fleetnumber, VMSS2840. A committed user of its diesel buses, ComfortDelGro-owned Metroline is Volvo’s first London customer for its new electric range.
This was the biggest sign so far of how far MCV and Volvo have come since they took a tentative step into the market with a double-deck body launched on the Volvo B9TL in 2010.
MCV was an alternative to Wrightbus, which seemed well entrenched as Volvo’s principal bus body partner for the UK, Ireland and Far East.
The tables have turned and MCV enjoys that position today, with its factory in Egypt apparently the only source of double-and single-deck bodies on the BZL, the diesel-engined B8RLE single-decker and the B5TL and tri-axle B8L doubledeckers, as well as building its EvoTor coach body on the B11R. The factory will produce between 2,500 and 3,000 vehicles next year.