Taxi and Bus has ticket to export markets

A Dungannon based company is set for major export success, thanks to support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Taxi and Bus Conversions Ltd, specialises in the adaption of wheelchair accessible vehicles, including taxis and minibuses to meet Motability and safety legislation. With the export of adapted vehicles restricted because of legislative differences across Europe, export sales have been restricted.

R&D support from Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has helped Taxi and Bus Conversions to secure European Type Approval for the Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life - a first for this vehicle in the UK.

Taxi and Bus Conversions Ltd has been trading since 2006 and with the European type approval, the Company now has approval to sell adapted Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life vehicles in a number of export markets, without the need for costly and time consuming additional testing in-market.

Graham Davis, Invest NI’s Director of Regional Economic Development, said “Working with our Western Regional Office in Omagh, Taxi and Bus Conversions was able to access tailored R&D support to redesign a number of systems and further develop its innovative vehicle adaption services. This means any alterations to the Volkswagen Caddy now meet full European standards providing major export opportunities for this vehicle.

“Combined with an export marketing strategy, Taxi & Bus Conversions is now projecting significant export growth over the next twelve to eighteen months. This success proves that an initial investment in R&D, to modify operations or improve products and services, can deliver major long term business benefits”.  

Terence Donnelly, Co-Founder of Taxi & Bus Conversions Ltd is delighted with the award: “Prior to European Type Approval being awarded we had some success in export markets but it was limited because we were constrained by the legislative requirements of the different markets.

“By assessing R&D support from Invest NI we were able to accelerate the design of new components for the Volkswagen Caddy and the extensive testing to obtain full European Type Approval,” Mr Donnelly added.

“A lot of hard work went into gaining the award but the positive impact of this on the business and our export capability is already apparent. As a relatively young company, we recognise the value of continued investment in R&D, design, and export marketing. This focus will help us to build upon our success to date, secure further vehicle specific accreditations and position ourselves as one of the leading European vehicle conversion firms”.