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Setra, market leader for touring coaches in France, launches ComfortClass 500
- Groupe Lacroix takes delivery of first new-generation vehicle
- Setra S 515 HD with 49 seats and elegant paintwork design by Graphibus
- Good market opportunities in France thanks to excellent fuel consumption and high standard of safety
Paris/Beauchamp (Île-de-France) – The first touring coach in the new ComfortClass 500 series has been handed over to French bus operator Groupe Lacroix of Beauchamp, in the Île-de-France region near Paris, a valued Setra customer of more than 40 years' standing. The two-axle Setra S 515 HD with the new in-line six-cylinder OM 470 engine (Euro VI) delivers an output of 315 kW (428 hp) at 1800 rpm. The drive system features the new eight-speed GO 250-8 PS3 transmission. The 12,295 mm-long, 49-seater coach has been significantly upgraded in terms of its luxury equipment and appointments. The distinctive livery, created by French company Graphibus (Nantes) and applied at the EvoBus bus plant in Neu-Ulm, together with electrically folding video/TV monitors, make this Setra S 515 HD a true benchmark vehicle for the French coach market.
The Groupe Lacroix, based at Beauchamp, some 30 kilometres north-west of Paris, is one of the most well-known major bus operators in the Paris region and operates more than 600 buses, of which more than half are regular-service buses and touring coaches bearing the Setra name. Jean-Sébastien Barrault, President of Groupe Lacroix, reaffirmed the company's rationale for investing in the new Setra series with the words: "Our Group's philosophy is based on the use of state-of-the-art buses and coaches with a high level of technical maturity. The Setra S 515 HD in the new ComfortClass 500, with its outstanding technical safety features and favourable fuel consumption, therefore made the decision an easy one for us."
Since 1980, more than 12,800 Setra rural regular-service buses and touring coaches have been supplied to France, so making the country one of the brand's most important export markets in western Europe. Setra, the Daimler brand, hopes that its new ComfortClass will in future help it build further on its success across the border as the market leader in the touring coach segment. Matthias Kussmaul, responsible for sales of Setra buses and coaches at EvoBus France, remains bullish about the challenges facing the company in a market that certainly currently shows no signs of getting any easier: "We have excellent sales arguments in the form of safety features such as the Lane Assistant, rain/light sensor, Active Brake Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control or Attention Assist. But probably one of the most convincing arguments to sway our customers will be the excellent fuel consumption figures, which offer fuel savings of more than 8 percent, as impressively confirmed by the Record Run undertaken in October of last year."