Alexander Dennis today announce details of the successor to the current generation of the market leading Cheetah range as production of the current Mercedes Benz Vario based model draws to a close.
The new model builds on the outstanding success of Cheetah and owes much to the proven pedigree of what has long been the dominant market leader in this sector. It promises to maintain all the virtues – value, economy and reliability – of its acclaimed predecessor and in addition, will offer even greater levels of capacity and comfort. It also continues the lengthy relationship with Mercedes-Benz, a partnership which has been successful over more than three decades.
The new model is completely new, offering more seats, more space and a massive increase in locker capacity. It is sure to be of interest to the hundreds of customers who have operated Cheetah so successfully since it first appeared in 1997.
Initial reaction is described as “very exciting” from the panel of customers who have been introduced to the new vehicle, according to Director of Business Development, Kevin Wood. “Cheetah has been a massively successful model for us, regularly accounting for more than half the vehicles sold in the small coach category, so it was always going to be a tough act to follow. We’ve introduced customers to our design concepts over the past few months and listened to their views and opinions. Our engineering team have also worked closely with Mercedes Benz, both in the UK and Germany, to fine tune the base platform and we firmly believe that this gives customers exactly what they’ve asked for”.
The new model will be based on the Mercedes Benz Atego range and as well as promising increased power and much greener credentials than its Vario based predecessor, it also offers an automated manual transmission for the first time, bringing small coach into line with the larger models in the Plaxton range.
Customer demand for the final round of Vario based Cheetahs has been very strong according to Kevin, “Even as popular as Cheetah has been over the years, the last twelve months have seen unprecedented demand and despite securing all remaining chassis available, we sold out with more than six months production still to go. The new model promises to raise the bar for small coaches and naturally when you come to the end of such a successful product, customers are keen to see how you intend to follow it.”
The model is expected to start production in the last quarter of the year and will be available in volume from early 2015.