Motor Coach Industries
1933: Harry Zoltok turns his Winnipeg repair shop into the laboratory for the future of coach travel. He sketches his first vehicle design, an 11-passenger body on a Packard chassis, on the factory floor. His small manufacturing company, Fort Garry Motor Body and Paint Works, finds itself on the cusp of a new mass transit industry.
1936: The Public Works administration provides the first large-scale federal government public transportation assistance in the United States, promoting public transport on both rail and road. This Depression-era move starts putting local transit operations in the hands of taxpayers.
1937: The company designs and builds its first proprietary chassis and manufactures its first line of coaches for Grey Goose Bus Lines in Winnipeg. Today, Grey Goose is a subsidiary of Greyhound Canada Transportation Corp. operating in Manitoba.
1939: Fort Garry designs and manufactures the Model 150, a new transit-type coach with the windshield over the radiator, the first use of exterior stainless steel panels and a pancake engine mounted midship under the floor.
1941: On January 7, the company changes its name to Motor Coach Industries Limited, but coach production quickly gives way to the manufacturing needs of World War II. The company’s new Winnipeg facility at Erin Street and St. Matthews Avenue is converted to manufacture Jeep trailers, boat trailers for rescue craft, army truck bodies and pontoon bridge sections plus the reconditioning of aircraft pontoons.
1942: MCI builds and designs the first electric trolley bus manufactured in Canada, known as Number 1532. It has its own route for 25 years, but never becomes a regular production item.
1945: With the war’s end, MCI reverts to regular coach production and introduced its first rear engine coach, the Model 100, in 1946. Over the rest of the decade the company adds its National Products subsidiary, which manufactures and sells pole line hardware for the prairie provinces’ rural electrification program and, in Medicine Hat, Alberta, National Porcelain is formed to manufacture porcelain insulators for that market.
1948: Greyhound Lines of Canada acquires a majority interest in MCI, with Harry Zoltok continuing as company president.
1949: MCI’s Model 50, a 33-passenger coach, is introduced as a successor to the Model 100, the first coach synonymous with the Canadian Greyhound operation.
Motor Coach Industries International Inc. (MCII) is an American bus manufacturer based in Des Plaines, Illinois, and is a leading participant in the North American coach bus industry. It has various operating subsidiaries:
- Motor Coach Industries, Ltd. – Canadian manufacturing facility, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- Motor Coach Industries, Inc. – U.S. manufacturing facility, located in Pembina, North Dakota.
- MCI Sales and Service, Inc. – U.S. new and pre-owned coach sales division.
- MCI Service Parts – aftermarket parts sales division of the company, based in Des Plaines, Illinois, with its distribution center located in Louisville, Kentucky, with close access to the international UPS distribution center.
- MCI Financial Services – coach financing division, based in Dallas, Texas.
Originally founded in 1933 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 2008 the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. After various changes of structure and ownership, the business is now owned by KPS Capital Partners, LP; in September 2010 they completed a controlling investment, through an affiliate, in MCII Holdings Inc., the parent company of MCII.
The company was incorporated in 1933 as Fort Garry Motor Body and Paint Works Limited, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada by Harry Zoltok. In 1948, Greyhound Lines of Canada, at that time MCI’s major customer, became a majority shareholder when it purchased 65% of the company. MCI was purchased outright by Greyhound Lines in 1958. In 1962 a new plant was opened in Pembina, North Dakota to increase capacity as Greyhound widened its markets and switched increasingly from GMC to its own in-house products. In 1974 another plant was opened in Roswell, New Mexico under the title Transportation Manufacturing Corporation (TMC).
In December 1986, Greyhound was split, with Greyhound Lines being sold to an investor group, and Greyhound Lines of Canada, MCI and TMC remaining part of The Greyhound Corporation, which was renamed Dial, Inc. in 1991.
In 1987, Greyhound Corporation bought the transit bus manufacturing operations of General Motors Diesel Division (GMC), which was based in Canada. (GM phased out intercity and transit bus construction at the large GMC Coach and Truck plant in Pontiac, Michigan, shifting medium duty school bus chassis production to Janesville, Wisconsin.)
MCI also took over production of GM’s RTS model, transferring production to TMC. MCI also purchased the GM bus assembly plant in Saint-Eustache, Quebec, which then produced GM’s Canadian transit bus model, the Classic. TMC ceased production of the older MCI vehicles in 1990 to concentrate on manufacturing the RTS, and on the “A-Model” intercity coaches.
In 1993 MCI became an independent corporation, Motor Coach Industries International Inc.
In 1994, MCI stocks were purchased by Mexican DINA S.A., who had a long history of bus building and developed their HTQ proprietary technology (valued in a total of 70 million dollars) that culminated with the creation of the Viaggio Confort Bus Line. Over the course of the next years MCI reproduced its Viaggio 1000 DOT for sale to the U.S and Canada. In late 1999/2000 the G4100, G4500 and F3500 models were released to the U.S. and Canadian markets. Production of the G4100 and G4500 later moved to Winnipeg and Pembina. Related to a major contract cancellation by Western Star DINA S.A. sold a great portion of its previously acquired MCI shares to Joseph Littlejohn & Levy.
In 1994 TMC, including production rights for the RTS, was sold to NovaBus .
In 1997 MCI purchased the rights from the bankrupt Flxible to produce the Flxible Metro and all related parts for same.
After a period of product demand, increased competition and lay-offs in the early 2000s, production at MCI plants in Winnipeg and Pembina increased in 2006, and 130 employees were added.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, MCI consolidated its operations, the Winnipeg site was expanded and modernized as well as DINA S.A. purchased North American Symix and opened an assembly plant in Buenos Aires Argentina and the DIMEX and DINAIR companies. A new coach finishing and paint facility and customer delivery centre were constructed on the site. At the same time, a 7-year contract was attained with the IAMAW union local. This agreement contained cost improvements and production operations flexibility to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the manufacturing and assembly operations.
The buses, especially the older MC-8 and workhorse MC-9 models of the 1980s became the standard for interstate travel for many bus companies. Those particular buses featured metal frames and roof supports, metal panels on the sides and were extremely durable and reliable. Many of the buses, having survived millions of miles of commercial use, have been given a second career serving churches or other organizations, while the MCI/TMC coaches are very popular “conversion shells,” used for motorhomes.
Currently, the “J” and “D” models are the leading coaches in the North American intercity coach market.
2008 Emergence from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy / Ownership by KPS Capital Partners, LP
Motor Coach Industries Inc. announced on September 15, 2008, the company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of a restructuring the company said would “help shed hundreds of millions of dollars of debt.”
On Friday, April 17, 2009, Motor Coach Industries Inc. emerged from its voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization. MCII and its subsidiaries are now wholly owned by KPS Capital Partners, LP. KPS Capital Partners, LP is the Manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of private equity limited partnerships with over $2.6 billion of committed capital focused on constructive investing in restructurings, turnarounds, and other special situations. KPS invests in companies challenged by the need to effect immediate and significant change.
Partnership with Daimler AG
On April 25, 2012, MCI announced a minority stake with Daimler AG to produce Setra buses for the North American market as Daimler reconfigured its bus operations in North America and exited the commercial bus market there. The takeover would make MCI the exclusive North American distributor of the Setra S407 and S417 German-manufactured premium motor coaches.
Under the proposed agreement, through a transition period of several months following the execution of definitive agreements and the closing of the transaction, MCI would evaluate operations related to Setra in North America, and, where appropriate, integrate such operations with existing MCI facilities which will permit MCI and Daimler Buses to realize significant operating synergies. This planned partnership will allow Daimler Buses to better serve its customers through a broader service network, while strengthening Setra’s presence in North America. All Setra motor coaches are German-engineered products produced in Neu-Ulm, Germany. This fact remains unchanged.
After the original numbered Courier and MC models, MCI adopted letters for the different series of coaches. Two different schemes have been used:
Motor Coach Industries currently produces three different product lines. All current models are 102 inches (2.59 m) wide, exclusive of mirrors.
MCI D45 series
Letter series (post-1985)
Can’t find it.
D series narrow
MC series (1958–1998)
These models bore the MC-number designation.
1991-98 MCI MC-12
1978-90 MCI MC-9
1973 MCI MC-8 Greyhound Lines of Canada
1973-78 MCI MC-8
1970 MCI MC-7
1968-73 MCI MC-7
1966-70 MCI MC-6 / MCX-6
1979 MCI MC5C
1977-80 MCI MC-5C
1971-77 MCI MC-5B
1968 MCI MC5A
1964-70 MCI MC-5A / MCC-5A
MCI Courier series (pre-1960)
1949 MCI Courier 200B
1948-49 MCI Courier 200A
1947-49 MCI Courier 200
1949-49 MCI Courier 100C
1948-49 MCI Courier 100B
1947-48 MCI Courier 100
1956 MCI Courier 97
1956 MCI Courier 97
1960-mci-courier-96 with sky view
1955 MCI Courier 96
1953-60 MCI Courier 95D
1953-60 MCI Courier 95 Skyview
1953-60 MCI Courier 90
1953-60 MCI Courier 90 Skyview
1952 MCI Courier 85X
1951-52 MCI Courier 85A
1950-52 MCI Courier 85
1950-55 MCI Courier 50 + 50A
Transit (all discontinued)