The Blue Bird Corporation, as the Blue Bird Body Company initially known, is an American maker of activity and school buses. Created in 1927, the business has also made rvs, transit buses, and specialty vehicles for example mobile police command centres and mobile libraries. Blue Bird's corporate headquarters and chief production facility have been in Fort Valley, GA. It's a subsidiary company of the Traxis Group B.V., portion of Cerberus Capital Management. Blue Bird's symbol is really a silhouette profile of the brand's namesake chicken.
1927 1945: AllSteel School Buses and Basis
The Blue Bird name originated in the reception of schoolchildren into a yellow and blue demonstrator component into several schoolchildren; Luce didn't utilize the family name because of his company out of fears of it being mispronounced. In 1937, the business began creation of allsteel bus bodies, an invention which soon replaced the wooden bodies that were then in common use across the United States.The first utilization of farm wagons on the parttime basis soon developed into purposebuilt school bus items, each with market and function as important priorities.
Since the second-quarter of the twentieth century started, Albert Luce Sr. was among the entrepreneurs of the period who transitioned from constructing wagons to developing a number of the first purposebuilt school buses. In a 1939 convention, Blue Bird engineers helped to build up the colour school bus yellow, that's still being used now. Wayne Company and Blue Bird were many of the first to experiment with metal body building, even though such efforts were seriously restricted by war generation merchandise shortages and constraints during World War II.
1945 1960: The First All-american
Following World War II, continuing a transition from schools, there is a national movement within the USA to merge schools into fewer and bigger ones, facilitating graded course buildings. This meant that fewer pupils were attending school within their immediate neighborhoods, especially as they advanced into high-school; for many, the prior custom of walking to school became impractical. This led consequently into a big rise within the need for transport.
The business grew considerably and became a leading school bus body-builder within the postWorld War II period. In 1948, Blue Bird creator Albert Luce Sr. noticed a layout for a flat-front bus with a car show in Paris.
1960 1990: Growth into new markets
In Guatemala, the bodies were manufactured by Blue Bird for the Traditional and the All-american to be used both as transit and school buses. Rather than importing truck chassis (or even the Blue Bird All-american transportation system-style chassis) from america, the bus bodies were made on locally accessible chassis hidden in North America.
With this time, nearly the entire Baby Boom generation had finished their highschool education; combined with transfer to from cities to suburbs, the larger pupil populations of the preceding two decades had been an important factor behind school bus sales. The downturn of the early '80s cut deeply into gains, resulting in the reorganization or close of many producers. Blue Bird fared better-than most makers, becoming the biggest producer when it comes to sales; from the mid1980s, one-out of every three new school buses was a Blue Bird.
In the '60s, Blue Bird Body Company also began producing luxurious motor coaches depending on the All-american. Branded "Wanderlodge", the first of the popular product-line was constructed in 1963.
Blue Bird entered the business public transit bus industry in the 70s. The shorter wheelbase transit - fashion models proved popular with people and smaller towns with culde - sac route ends, offering much more efficient, and better manueverability prices than larger models. The Q - Bus business bus for charter and transit applications was launched in 1992.
Small School Buses
Even though Blue Bird didn't appear with the notion of the little school bus, the organization acquired substantial market-share with both of its own designs. In 1975, Blue Bird launched the Micro Bird, a double back-wheel cutaway van much like the Wayne Busette. The Micro Chicken set itself apart from other small school buses times by having a fullheight school bus door and added windows ahead of the door to assist loadingzone visibility.
Micro Bird by Girardin, Blue Bird's present little school bus.
A constraint of the Micro Bird was that its van chassis confined the complete width of the bus body. For a school bus which was still short in duration but was still as broad as the Conventional/All American, a distinct option was required.
For the 1988 model-year, Blue Bird supplemented the All-american school bus accord with the TC/2000 transportation system-fashion school bus. Unlike the superior All-american, the TC/2000 was priced lower in an attempt to procure bids from bigger fleet operators. Coinciding with the launch of the TC/2000 was most substantial redesign of the All-american for the very first time since the late 1950s; it was released for 1989.
Blue Bird TC/2000 operating as cell library
Such as the TC/2000, the TC/1000 was created for an unique kind of purchaser. Its body was somewhat altered to better suit operators who transported special-needs clients.
1990 2006: Possession changes
From its 1932 basis until 1984, Blue Bird was run completely by the Luce family, possibly by Albert Sr or by his three sons. In 1986, the board hired Paul Glaske, president of Marathon LeTourneau, a heavy equipment maker. In this time, the Luce family still kept possession of the business.
Sagging fiscal issues, demand and shifting world markets in the '90s and early 2000s result in Blue Bird close two plants and opening another.
Henlys had financial issues in this time around, including some not associated with its investment in Blue Bird. Blue Bird Midwest was shut in 2002.
Blue Bird Vision
As per an organization news release in the autumn of 2004, Blue Bird became the "lone operating subsidiary" of the newly created holding company, Peach County Holdings Inc. Within the offer, a banking syndicate composed of Henlys lenders possessed 42.5% of the Peach stock, based on Blue Bird. Also in 2004, Blue Bird launched the Vision, the primary normal-fashion school bus to be constructed without relying on another provider for chassis.
However, following a bankruptcy filing, Blue Bird was obtained by Cerberus Capital Management. Blue Bird is now owned by the Traxis Group B.V., who got them in 2006.
The late-1980s and 90s found the Blue Bird merchandise line in flux compared to the decades before. In 1988, Blue Bird released the TC/2000, its first allnew transit-design school bus in more than 25 years; the flagship All-american was redesigned a year after. In 1991, the Blue Bird Wanderlodge finished the utilization of its own school bus body. The 1992 Q-Bus was the first Blue Bird transit bus created in the ground-up for a transit bus , not derived in the All-american.
The 1990s were also a span that the business investigated using alternative electricity sources for school buses. In 1991, Blue Bird launched the very first school bus-powered by compressed gas. In 1994, a battery-powered school bus was developed by Blue Bird in an attempt with Westinghouse Electronic Systems for a school district in California. Blue Bird has continued to provide as an alternative to the All-american CNG since its 1991 launch, as the electrical school bus stayed an image.
2012 Blue Bird Micro Bird MBII by Girardin.
Through 2007, Blue Bird done a string of product-line divestitures and plant closing meant to refocus the business to the school bus market in an attempt to enhance profitability and market place. The industrial bus creation was used in NABI's Anniston, Alabama facilities. Blue Bird's first and last remaining global plant, Blue Bird Canada, was shut August 10, 2007. Later in 2007, the rights for the Wanderlodge were offered to Complete Coach Works, stopping Blue Bird's 44year involvement within the recreational vehicle industry.
Blue Bird No. 1, the very first steelbody Blue Bird school bus, was contributed to The Henry Ford Museum in 2008.
In October 2009, Blue Bird entered into a partnership with Canadian school bus maker Girardin Minibus. The venture, named Micro Bird, Inc. finished production of the Micro Chicken version to combine all Type A school bus production in the Girardin services in Quebec, Canada.
Producing and assemblage
Traditionally, school buses like those created by Blue Bird contain components bought from various "outside" providers and parts that are made "in house" for the company's specs. Both of these classes of elements are then commonly assembled into bodies which is often mounted onto chassis which have usually been versions of these found in a multitude of truck applications.
Service and parts were also found in Fort Valley, as was Wanderlodge Wayside Park, a treeshaded motor home park for visiting Wanderlodges adjoining to the Wanderlodge plant.
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