Colombiabus newsroom – William Marroquín / Bus Ecuador
A NEW COMPETITOR FACES HINO AK
For many years in Ecuador, the chassis that has dominated the bus market has been the Hino AK, a front-engine platform of great reliability and resistance, with 7.7 liters of displacement and capable of transporting up to 45 passengers. Their resistance characteristics, availability of spare parts, simple mechanics and facilities to access after-sales services, together with the great tradition of Hino buses in the neighboring country, have made them the super-favorite of transporters.
Several brands have wanted to confront and seek to subtract their dominance in the Ecuadorian bus scene without losing strength. International and Agrale have tried it, also Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen with mixed results. Now Scania arrives to look for a space with a platform that has as its reference point the much preferred Hino AK, with a version with a front propeller, as the Ecuadorian transporter likes.
Scaneq, the brand’s representative in Ecuador, has begun to offer its F310 chassis, developed according to the needs of the country’s transporters, which cannot be made to a larger rear engine chassis or more attached to traditional models. Taking advantage of Scania’s great modularity and ability to configure multiple versions, the new platform reaches a broader customer segment.
“Because of the brand, the truth draws attention to the carrier. Everything will depend on the cost and maintenance required for your reception, since HINO in terms of spare parts and after-sales is super commercial», said Luis Miguel Sánchez, head of Bus Ecuador, one of the most important bus portals in the neighboring country.
With a 9,300cc and 5-cylinder engine, it produces 310HP at 1,900 rpm and 1,550Nm of torque between 1,100 and 1,350rpm, equipped with a turbocharger, intercooler and power by pump-injector, complying with the Euro 3 emission standard in force in the country. It is complemented by the Opticruise automated gearshift and the Scania origin retarder, which contrast with the mechanical suspension, which never ceases to amaze in configuration but has a very clear objective of being close to the current leader.
The long wheelbase is also surprising, being able to reach 6,500 mm on a chassis that reaches a length of 10.7 meters at the time of delivery to the bodybuilder, who will be able to develop buses with capacity for up to 46 passengers, depending on the seating options. It is expected to be able to offer it with the applications of connected services for maximum productivity and security.
The Chassis is already available through Scaneq and at the moment, the Ambate builder Carrocerías Cepeda is preparing a bus, which should motivate other local bodybuilders. Pricing was unconfirmed, but hard work has been done to get as close to the dominant chassis as possible thus far. Finally, it is another segment where Scania was not present and everything it achieves will be profit.