KPN Travels, one of largest travel houses in South India, will be the first Customer in India for MG – MAN “Mammoth”. Mammoth, a 12m front engine coach, is a joint development of MG Group and MAN AG, has drawn enough attention during their launch and subsequent showcase in previous editions of Bus World held in Bengaluru. MG Group has done a great job in their maiden coach development program and have already exported Mammoth to Maldives and Bangladesh. And now in India, Mammoth has got KPN Travels as “Right Customer as their First Customer “.
We are always of the opinion that, when a new product is getting launched the sales, rather pilot sales should start with right set of customers to get feedback about the product and its performance. The initial sales may be few, but are vital to set the platform strong. In case of buses, the even the route in which the bus is deployed will turn the operating economics and will inturn bring more sales. The earlier “Aerobus” based on MAN CLA 16.22 Chassis can be an example of how, not selecting a right customer can spoil the product sale.
Mammoth is available in both seater and sleeper versions and KPN Travels has chosen to induct a sleeper version. The coach is getting ready at MG Group’s, Belgaum plant and will be pushed to service shortly. Mammoth is arguably the best made luxury front-engine coach in the country till date in terms of fit and finish. We did have access to Mammoth in last couple of Busworld Editions, and what we could see was, in every nook and corner where we could touch and feel, the quality was top notch.
Gap and flush, fit and finish were so superior that the coach looked more like a manufactured one rather than fabricated. This was not just because of superior build quality but also due to choice of better quality materials chosen. MG Composites, an MG Group company with a dedicated design, pattern and mould-making shop along with an integrated manufacturing setup, has taken care of all the FRP (fibre reinforced plastic) requirements of the vehicle.
MAN CLA 16.28 4×2 Bus Chassis
The Chassis is powered by MAN D0836, Diesel engine. The 6.9 l, common rail engine develops a peak power of 280 hp@ 2400 rpm and torque of 1100 Nm between 1300 to 1700 rpm. 6 speed gear box, and a single speed hypoid rear axle compliments the power train. The chassis has air suspension at front and rear and has Voith hydrodynamic retarder for greater braking performance. MAN is the only manufacturer to offer sealed maintenance free wheel bearings and CLA 16.28 gets them as well.
Founded in 1973 by Mr. Natarajan, KPN Travels has operations in all southern states, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry and is headquartered in Salem, Tamil Nadu. The company has a fleet of more than 250 buses and operates Economy, Value and Premium services. Though KPN Travels, uses various brands like Volvo, Scania and Mercedes Benz for their premium service, the choice was only Ashok Leyland for economy and value services. Few years back the company did induct Eicher 20.15 but was limited to few routes. Now breaking the Monopoly of Ashok Leyland, Mammoth is now inducted into the fleet. We will need to wait for sometime to ascertain the product and its performance.
Established in the year 1980, MG Group was promoted by Mr. Mohan V. Kamat, who made a foray into Bus Building in 1996 and aggregates for over two decades. The group manufactures Staff Buses, School Buses, Executive Buses, Luxury Buses, Special Purpose Applications like Ambulances, Delivery Vans, Defense/Army Vehicles and other Custom Designed Vehicles. Alma Motors, part of the MG Group, unveiled its first-ever luxury premium coach ‘MAMMOTH’ in the Busworld 2015 show in Mumbai.
The MAMMOTH has been developed and conceptualized by the MG Group in a strategic partnership between Alma Motors and MAN India. The entire project, which includes important contribution from different MG Group arms – West & Deccan, MG Composites and MG Grey Engine, aims to provide an optimum delivery on sales and services that the two partners will closely work on.
Mr. Anil Kamat, Managing Director, MG Group said in Bus World 2016, “Celebrating our journey of 20 years in the Bus Building Industry, the launch of ‘Mammoth’ will enhance our position in the market. We will be launching the ‘Mammoth’ in the domestic market in both seater and sleeper variants. With this new future ready product, MG Group is set to transform the bus building industry in India, and I am convinced that we’re setting new benchmarks for the entire industry.”