The creation of Landplane, a European public-private partnership formed to manufacture buses and consisting of stakeholders in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain, was announced today by Jean-Pierre Montclair, who will serve as the group’s CEO.
“Our philosophy is to leverage cutting edge manufacturing processes and technologies to deliver a modern, state of the art bus that is 15-20% more efficient than the competition with greater reliability and reduced maintenance costs”, Montclair explained. “We will pioneer the usage of lightweight composites wherever possible, and introduce a revolutionary drive-by-wire control system that greatly reduces the weight and complexity of the mechanical components of the vehicle.”
There will be two models of bus introduced initially. The L320, which is intended for short to intermediate regional trips and will seat around 150 passengers, depending on the configuration, as well as the L330, designed for transcontinental trips and seating up to 400 passengers and ideally suited for value-segment carriers.
Long-term plans call for the introduction of the L380, an ultra-long-haul specialty vehicle designed to carry up to 800 passengers on routes like the grueling London-Vladivostok passage.
Commercial transportation experts expect the company to be successful if they can deliver on their lofty goals for efficiency and reliability. Sources report, off the record, that they would not be surprised to see the company endure a phase of unexplained accidents, especially in third-world or poorly regulated markets, that may temporarily park the fleet, before Landplane is largely absolved of responsibility for the crashes.